John C. Maxwell on Charismatic People

September 1, 2015
At first glance, charisma
appears to be an invisible
energy or magnetism.
There’s no denying its
presence, but it’s hard to put
a finger on its source. Some
mistakenly believe charisma
is a birth trait—embedded in
certain personalities but
completely absent in others.
Charisma is both explainable
and learnable, defined as
“the ability to inspire
enthusiasm, interest, or
affection in others by means
of personal charm or
People who have this special
ability share four things in
1. They love life.
They are passionate about
life. They are celebrators,
not complainers. They’re
characterized by joy and
warmth. They’re energetic
and radiant in an infectious
Look no further than the
smile to illustrate the power
of charisma. When people
see a smile, they respond
with a smile. We are
hardwired to take on the
energy of those around us.
People who love life have
charisma because they fill
the room with positive
2. They expect the best.
They expect the best from
people—in other words, they
“put a 10 on everyone’s
head.” They see people, not
as they are, but as they
could be.
When you invest in people
and lift them toward their
potential, they will love you
for it.
3. They give hope.
They connect with people by
painting tomorrow brighter
than today. To them, the
future is full of amazing
opportunities and unrealized
They infuse optimism into the
culture around them, and
they boost morale. While
attentive to the current
reality, they do not resign
themselves to present
4. They share
They add value to people by
sharing wisdom, resources
and special occasions. They
embrace the power of
inclusion. They value
togetherness. They are not
When it comes to charisma,
the bottom line is other-


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