Charisma by itself serves little purpose. There are many who are charismatic that leverage it for selfish and foolish exploits. Natural charisma is a gift that can benefit those with positive intentions. Those who lack charisma can boost it with focus and hard work.

Whatever your charisma levels, you will need to understand and develop it to achieve a successful preferred destiny. Here are some insights on the positives and negatives of charisma from some of the greatest and most charismatic thought leaders. Heed their words and accomplish much.

1. "Charisma without character is postponed calamity." --Peter Ajisafe

2. "But charisma only wins people's attention. Once you have their attention, you have to have something to tell them." --Daniel Quinn

3. "No one is charismatic. Someone becomes charismatic in history, socially. The question for me is once again the problem of humility. If the leader discovers that he is becoming charismatic not because of his or her qualities but because mainly he or she is being able to express the expectations of a great mass of people, then he or she is much more of a translator of the aspirations and dreams of the people, instead of being the creator of the dreams. In expressing the dreams, he or she is recreating these dreams. If he or she is humble, I think that the danger of power would diminish." --Myles Horton

4. "No one has it who isn't capable of genuinely liking others, at least at the actual moment of meeting and speaking. Charm is always genuine; it may be superficial but it isn't false." --P.D. James

5. "Throw away those books and cassettes on inspirational leadership. Send those consultants packing. Know your job, set a good example for the people under you and put results over politics. That's all the charisma you'll really need to succeed." --Dyan Machan

6. "The essential difference with Builders is that they've found something to do that matters to them and are therefore so passionately engaged, they rise above the personality baggage that would otherwise hold them down. Whatever they are doing has so much meaning to them that the cause itself provides charisma and they plug into it as if it was electrical current." --Jerry Porras

7. "How can you have charisma? Be more concerned about making others feel good about themselves than you are making them feel good about you." --Dan Reiland

8. "I have yet to find the man, however exalted his station, who did not do better work and put forth greater effort under a spirit of approval than under a spirit of criticism."
--Charles Schwab

9. "There can be no power without mystery. There must always be a 'something' which others cannot altogether fathom, which puzzles them, stirs them, and rivets their attention.... Nothing more enhances authority than silence. It is the crowning virtue of the strong, the refuge of the weak, the modesty of the proud, the pride of the humble, the prudence of the wise, and the sense of fools." --Charles de Gaulle

10. "Charisma is not just saying hello. It's dropping what you're doing to say hello."
--Robert Brault

11. "Being negative is like spraying yourself with anti-charisma." --Karen Salmonsohn

12. "Being a leader gives you charisma. If you look and study the leaders who have succeeded, that's where charisma comes from, from the leading." --Seth Godin

13. "We need less posturing and more genuine charisma. Charisma was originally a religious term, meaning 'of the spirit' or 'inspired.' It's about letting God's light shine through us. It's about a sparkle in people that money can't buy. It's an invisible energy with visible effects. To let go, to just love, is not to fade into the wallpaper. Quite the contrary, it's when we truly become bright. We're letting our own light shine." --Marianne Williamson

14. "Charisma is the transference of enthusiasm." --Ralph Archbold

15. "Charisma is the fancy name given to the knack of giving people your full attention." --Robert Brault

16. "Charisma becomes the undoing of leaders. It makes them inflexible, convinced of their own infallibility, unable to change." --Peter Drucker

17. "The essential element in personal magnetism is a consuming sincerity--an overwhelming faith in the importance of the work that one has to do." --Bruce Barton

18. "The reason we're successful, darling? My overall charisma, of course." --Freddy Mercury

19. "There aren't many strong or charismatic candidates today, because most people can't withstand the scrutiny." --Tom Ford

20. "Most people think of leaders as being these outgoing, very visible, and charismatic people, which I find to be a very narrow perception. The key challenge for managers today is to get beyond the surface of your colleagues. You might just find that you have introverts embedded within your organization who are natural-born leaders." --Douglas Conant

21. "Everyone knows of great projects that were too dependent on a charismatic individual, or simply too expensive to be replicated."--Geoff Mulgan

22. "I think acting is a gift. I look at someone like Ben Kingsley, and he's incredibly charismatic, even when he's not acting. He's an incredibly hard worker, and he has a very specific system that he does with his work." --Johnathan Jackson

23. "I've known entrepreneurs who were not great salespeople, or didn't know how to code, or were not particularly charismatic leaders. But I don't know of any entrepreneurs who have achieved any level of success without persistence and determination." --Harvey MacKay

24. "Charisma will sustain a relationship only in the way that strong coffee first thing in the morning will sustain a career." --Elliot Perlman

25. "Consider that idea that charisma can be just as mush a liability as an asset. Your strength of personality can sow the seeds of problems, when people filter the brutal facts of life from you." --Jim Collins

Published on: Mar 6, 2015
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