Subject: Sociology
Language: English (U.S.)
Pages: 1
What are the key similarities and differences of charismatic and transformational leadership? What do you think are the impacts on followers of each?

Charismatic and Transformational Leadership

Charismatic and transformational leaders have many attributes in common. Both have a heightened sense of identity and both seek to actualize their purpose in life through leadership. Both types of leaders seem to discover their purpose in life or personal meaning much earlier than others. In addition, charismatic and transformational leaders can create a compelling vision for the future and convince their followers by invoking strong emotions in their followers to support the vision. Studies have also shown that both types of leadership always involve conflict, and the need for a solution that often brings about change (Schuppel, 2013).  

However, there are certain differences between the two types of leadership. For starters, all charismatic leaders are transformational by nature, but not all transformational leaders can achieve their transformational effects on a group of people by using their charismatic personalities. In an organization, there could be several transformational leaders, but there can only be a few charismatic leaders.   

Another difference between the two types of leadership is that transformational leaders can come from different levels of an organization and they are usually present whether there is a crisis or not. They are often committed to the organization’s goals and strive to attain or support them whenever they have the opportunity to do so. However, charismatic leaders tend to appear when there is a crisis in the organization and someone has to step forward and show the others the way.

People’s responses towards transformational or charismatic leaders are usually polarized. This means there is generally total commitment to the leader or total lack of it. The difference is that the emotional level of resistance towards transformational leaders is usually low and less extreme as compared to the emotional level of resistance that can be leveled against a charismatic leader (Schuppel, 2013).


Schuppel, F. (2013). Differences and similarities between charismatic and transformational leadership. Retrieved on 12/11/2015 from