I have always been fascinated about charismatic personalities. What is it about these individuals that can draw the attention of a whole room of people without saying a single word? I have been in their presence and have sensed the certain radiance and glow that shines from them.
It wasn’t their apparel or physical beauty. The same radiance came from the shabby to the elegant, from the beautiful to the downright ugly. Their radiance does not register in the light meter of a camera. It can’t be seen physically yet, somehow, lights up their faces and being.
In nature, radiant objects glow due to a high level of energy emanating from within the object. The radiance of the Sun comes from intense nuclear reactions at its core, creating extremely high temperatures. For the heat of the Sun to reach us from 93 million miles across the vacuum of space, its surface temperature needs be extremely high. But for the surface temperature to be extremely high, the core temperature, where all the reaction takes place, has to be even hotter.
The Sun has no radiant coating. It’s not dressed up. It’s not like gold coated lead which shines only on the outside but is dull and lifeless inside. It is the inside the glows and escapes through the surface to the Universe around it. It’s the interior that counts!
Using the Sun as a charismatic model, I can infer that radiant charisma is a property of our invisible selves and has little to do with the outer. All the clothes and make-up are really skin deep and do not radiate. Physical things, unless they are really, really hot, or excited, don’t radiate! Place a handsome man in a tuxedo in a dark room and he just disappears from view! the true charisma comes from within a person.
So how can we, as physical human beings, radiate charisma?
Radiation is a by-product of energy. The Sun is incredibly energetic, so much so that its surface cannot contain its power. As a result, the energy escapes in the form of thermal and light (as well as some invisible) radiation. Fire up a piece of steel to 2500°F and its atoms vibrate to such a high degree that it radiates visible light! Apply 110 volts to the fluorescent light bulb and the gas within gets excited enough to emit visible light.
Uncontainable energy, fired up, excitement!
For humans, these are terms of emotion! It can wrapped up in one single word…
Passion! The moving power of Emotion!
There is something magnetic about passionate people. Those in positions of leadership “fire themselves up” before addressing large crowds. The more “fired up” they are, the more “fired up” the audience gets. Such charismatic personalities take pains to increase their emotional intensity when meeting others. It gets to the point sometimes that the charismatic can influence large crowds without making any sense at all. They influence with only with the radiant power of their emotions. Take the emotion away and their logic falls apart with the simplest argument.
This is so easy to prove for we see and sense it all the time. We radiate all the time and others reflect back to us what we feel. The Sun shines on planets and reflected sunlight from those planets allow us to see them. Let an intensely angry man in a room and, very shortly, everyone in the room reflects that same grumpiness. The is as true when an intensely cheerful person enters the room. Within seconds, a light cheerfulness is reflecting back and forth within the room.
People pick up on our emotions all the time because we continually radiate emotional energy. Most of us have a low emotional intensity, depending so much on logic, that we have very little persuasive and influential power. We try to convince with logic and intellect. The movers radiate while the reactors merely reflect back.
This is the secret of charismatic leadership. The passionate leader who influences through the power of intense belief and emotion can sweep even the most logical among us away. That’s because we are emotional beings, transmitting and receiving waves of emotional information. The more powerful emotional beings among us tend to lead the way. Powerful emotions will trump intellect any time. That’s why we do so many things that don’t make sense. We’re human!
Charisma is radiant emotion. Just like any tool, it is neither good or bad. The charismatic leaders of history come in both flavors. That’s a choice that we, as emotional (charismatic) individuals, must make.
For me, it is better to be a small radiant sun and foster life than a dense and powerful black hole that pulls everything to itself and never lets go. Both are radiant objects, one radiant with light, and the other with inescapable gravity. One creates. The other destroys.