“Demands on Political Leadership: Beware charisma”
by Peter F. Drucker from The Daily Drucker
Charisma is “hot” today. There is an enormous amount of talk about it, and an enormous number of books are written on the charismatic leader. But, the desire for charisma is a political death wish. No century has seen more leaders with more charisma than the twentieth century, and never have political leaders done greater damage than the four giant leaders of the twentieth century: Stalin, Mussolini, Hitler and Mao. What matters is not charisma. What matters is whether the leader leads in the right direction or misleads. The constructive achievements of the twentieth century were the work of completely uncharismatic people. The two military men who guided the Allies to victory in World War II were Dwight Eisenhower and George Marshall. Both were high disciplined, highly competitive and deadly dull.
Perhaps the greatest cause for hope, for optimism is that the new majority, the knowledge workers, the old politics make no sense at all. But proven competence does.