There is a great talk by Olivia Fox on “Building Your Personal Charisma”. What is fascinating is that she describes charisma as a set of behaviors that can be learned and executed. It’s not intrinsic, genetic or inborn as we tend to believe. This is a pivotal lesson about management and knowledge work in general – it’s a set of behaviors that can be learned and executed. Peter Drucker’s basic premise in “The Effective Executive” – probably the best management book ever – is that an executive’s job is to be effective and effectiveness can be learned.
Olivia says that we tend to believe that charisma – and similar attributes like leadership – are innate because they are shaped by circumstances very early in our lives. But they are just learnt – or not learnt – early. They are not innate. They can be learnt at any stage and adopted. Anyone can be charismatic – at least to some extent.