BLG Leadership Insights Leadership Videos

When Charisma becomes Madness: Leadership and Shakespeare’s Henry V and Melville’s Ahab

Charisma is a slippery slope (See my video on the subject, here).  The drama of charisma can mobilize toward great achievement, but the madness of charisma can bring about a single-mindedness of focus and narrowness of vision that leads to destruction.  Charisma is a combination of personality and language.  It is not simply who you are, but how you express yourself.  It is having control over what you say, a sense of tonality, a rhythm, a passion.  It is a force capable of driving to the cutting edge, but when gone mad, it can drive many over the edge.  Take a look at the difference between Henry V and Ahab and see if you get the point.

The charisma of Henry V

The madness of Ahab: