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Evolving Perspectives on Charismatic Leadership

Bernard M. Bass

Charismatic leadership is seen in extremely highly esteemed persons (Weber, [1924] 1947). Such individuals exude confidence, dominance, a sense of purpose, and the ability to articulate the goals and ideas for which followers are already prepared psychologically (Fromm, 1941; House, 1977). The response of followers is likewise extreme. It is both cognitive and emotional, as well as devoted and unquestioning. Charismatic leaders have extraordinary influence over their followers, who become mobilized with moral inspiration and purpose. The followers experience a magnetic attention that transcends their usual experience. They become zealots and leaders in their own right (Burns, 1978; ...

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