MGT 301 Case Study 4

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Assignment Overview

Many approaches to leadership stress the role of charisma in effective leadership. This raises the question of “To what extent is charisma a personality characteristic that people are born with and to what extent can individuals develop their own capacity to be charismatic?” In other words, can people LEARN to be charismatic?

Richardson and Thayer (2000)* have answered this question in the affirmative and proposed that individuals can become charismatic by practicing the following actions:

  1. Develop the specific persona or aura of the charismatic leader—by maintaining an optimistic view; using passion as a catalyst for generating enthusiasm; and communicating with the whole body, not just with words.
  2. Draw others in – by creating a bond or a link, a mutual rhythm, and a “likability factor” that inspires others to follow.
  3. Bring out the greatness in others – by inspiring appropriate emotions.

    *Richardson, R.J. & Thayer, S.K. (2000). The Charisma Factor: How to Develop Your Natural Leadership Ability. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.

This case is designed to help you explore your own charisma and develop your ability to use charisma to lead others. To do this, you will engage in an experiential activity, where you will actively try to project charisma and discover for yourself whether you can learn to inject the power of charisma into your own leadership style.

To begin this exercise, view several videos of charismatic speeches on the internet. Here are some examples, but you may select others:

Malala Yousafzai – The right to learning should be given to any child

Martin Luther King, Jr. I Have A Dream Speech

Dr. Maya Angelou – I Am Human

The Speech that Made Obama President

President Ronald Reagan “Tear Down This Wall” Speech at Berlin Wall

Steve Jobs’ 2005 Stanford Commencement Address (Especially after 9 minutes)

Then, take a minute to write down you own definition of charisma, based on what you saw in the videos. Now you are ready to complete the assignment.

Case Assignment

This assignment has two parts. The first is a video you will create and the second is a template on developing charismatic leadership that you will fill out and submit with your video.

Part 1: Create a video

Step 1 – Create a situation and compose a speech. The nature of the situation is up to you. There are examples in the videos above, but it will make the assignment easier if you identify a situation you feel passionate about. In composing the speech, try to incorporate Richardson & Thayer’s three characteristics of charismatic behavior. Consider:

  • What would you need to do to create an aura of charisma?
  • How can you create a bond that inspires?
  • How can you convey emotion?

Step 2 – Make a video

    • It might be easier to make a video before a small audience so you can try to connect with them better – that is hard to do when making a speech to yourself! However if you are unnerved by speaking in front of others, you do not have to.
    • The ideal speech would be about 2 minutes long, but no longer than 3 minutes.
    • Remember, the objective is to portray charisma. Be creative and have fun!

Part 2: Complete the Charisma Assessment Template

  • Access the Module 4 Case Assignment – Presentation. Fill out all sections.
  • Submit both the completed template and the video in the TLC dropbox on or before the deadline for this module.
  • Directions for uploading videos to TLC:
    • Transferring a video from your phone to your computer is easy. Here are some instructions if you need them.
    • You can also try Zoom, which saves the file to an MP4 format that you can upload into D2L. Zoom requires registration, but it is free.
    • This presentation must be submitted in video format (Webcam or Smart Device). Please submit an e-ticket via the TLC homepage if you have problems uploading due to file size. Note: TLC courses only support the following media formats: SWF, MPG, MPEG, RM, MP3, MP4, M4V, M4A, AVI, WAV, RAM, ASF, MOV, and RA.

Assignment Expectations

This assignment calls for two separate submissions:

  1. A video in YouTube or Zoom format, 2-3 minutes long
  2. Completed Charisma Assessment Template based on the form to be found in Table of Contents/Presentations, following Module 4 and above the Boundless Textbook.

Submit these files in the Case Dropbox on or before the date due, as indicated on the TLC hompage.


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