Editorial – October 2019: Charisma is never enough.

September 29, 2019 | By | Reply More




noun: charisma; plural noun: charismata

  • 1. “he has tremendous charisma and stage presence”
  1. compelling attractiveness or charm that can inspire devotion in others.
synonyms: charm, presence, aura, personality, force of personality, strength of character, individuality; More

magnetism, animal magnetism, drawing power, attractiveness, appeal, allure, pull;

magic, spell, mystique, glamour

“some managers acquire authority through their personal charisma”

  • 2. a divinely conferred power or talent.

Hello everyone

‘Charisma’ is a word that is bandied around a lot. It’s seen as a useful quality to have in leadership but is also mined by the con man or con woman who uses it persuade you to trust them. I mean, why would you doubt what they say if you like them so much? Two extremes in people that are often blended together. Just because you feel compelled to like someone doesn’t mean you should take everything they say at face value and should check everything they say and certainly have a pinch of salt ready.

We all have charisma to some level, even those who think they don’t. Think of that when you win an argument by just being convincing and how you feel afterwards that you didn’t win by facts alone. It’s also an attractive quality when looking for love or partners. You want to like them and it blots reason for a while. Ergo, charisma is more an emotional response than an intellectual reaction. People react more to their emotions than actually think. Doing that, reason gets chucked out the window. In our current emotional reality/environment, that should be considered a foolish way to be. More rationality is needed in evaluating anything.

If I win arguments here it’s because I convince by showing the other arguments are flawed rather than force of personality. Any of you trust my answers base it on reliability and honesty than force of will. At least, I hope that’s the reason. Maybe because I write good copy looking at a variety of subjects and just look well informed. I don’t tend to analyse, the numbers are big enough to suggest a variety of answers and none to do with charisma. I doubt if any of you would want to be any different than me. Even my recent rants are backed by reasoning on absurdities than any prejudices. I think before saying.

Evaluating what is charisma give a selection of choices related to leadership and getting on with people. Odd that. A lot of leaders haven’t gotten on well with all people. Well, not for long anyway. Envy of position makes such things tenuous at most. I’ve always tended to think there are a lot more people smarter than me and certainly on subjects that I haven’t covered. Leadership by emotional manipulation amount to control and in any dictator’s toolbox.

Why is emotional control so strong? Love and hate are powerful emotions in the human psyche and get the strongest reactions. When you have that combined with the herd instinct and a desire for someone else to take charge or be responsible, it then becomes a need of leadership. Where it doesn’t exist, you have deities and priests filling this function in the old days. Village leaders might be respected but they were always feared and you wouldn’t tell them anything confidential. Well, unless you were pandering up to them for any benefits you might receive from doing so.

Defining what a good leader is can get varied responses and often depends on conditions and situations. Motivating people and having sensible agendas makes sense. Uniting people is a lot tougher and is largely based on a majority decision with the rest abiding by it. Defining a majority is a lot tougher when put to a vote because, especially with democracies, that it depends on having the maximum voting and wondering what those who didn’t vote should have done. Explaining what a standard deviation in statistics would be a lot tougher and decisions should never be made on a close thing.

I could convince you that walking across a live volcano as a means to remove excessive body hair. The majority of you would also realise that wouldn’t also be good for living as well but some would try it. Is that based on faith or trust in what I say and not considering what I say or plain stupidity. Then again, accepting a stupid decision without looking at all the consequences isn’t good decision making neither. Equally, I could have an ulterior motive in just removing population. In dictatorships, this could be done at gunpoint or total belief in what you are told. To rely solely on trust is a bit dangerous if you are depending on such people to look after your interest. Looking at this paragraph, you should be able to identify several different country regimes existing on this planet today. In a sane world, you wouldn’t want their leaders anywhere near a red button.

Having leaders who are motivated by ideals than information creates their own problems. Good leaders are supposed to prevent bad decisions not cause them. This becomes a grey area when it comes to democracy and political parties because you are voting for bulk choices not picking out the ones you favour or see as sensible. Often people are motivated by their choice of leader than overall choices. They don’t always see who is motivating their leaders and what promises are being fulfilled that got them into power. It’s the grey area that fiction explores far more than is seen in real life. Well, most of the time. A lot of the time, this is hidden by charisma. Human normality is often blinded by looking for the good in people than questioning such motivation. Am I holding up five or four fingers? That depends on whether you think I’ve including a thumb or am hexadactyly. Of course, I could be lying and you don’t even realise you’re being subtly manipulated in your beliefs. Interestingly, as religious belief in the countries of the west diminishes, other things take its place. It seems Man has to believe in something no matter how irrational it is.

The world is a complicated place and how much of the surface you are actually seeing all stirred into misinformation and lack of knowledge even before fake news is added into the mix. If you’re going to growl like me on that then maybe we need a better way to have verification before news is put on the Internet or at least when it is shown to be fake after a warning sign flashing up and links to showing why and a more accurate account. Do we really need confused future generations who have no idea what is truth let alone know where to look for it?

This isn’t moving away from charisma, just showing it’s not enough in leaders for the world we live in today. You need leaders to recognise the dangers of global warming and not ignoring it out of hand. You need leaders to be capable of evaluating from what experts tell them and not be afraid of science.

I don’t even see myself as charismatic, although that probably means I’m loaded with it but never use it. Although I have a reputation of being a deep thinker, that is my natural state. Probably because I know my own faults and just see what I do as being perfectly natural and just get on with it. Would you really want to be locked up in a room with me except for my help in getting out of it? Something that doesn’t really come into play with being charismatic. As such, charisma comes over as something rather alien to me as a means to manipulate people. Does not being self-aware of it mean I can’t use it? There lies the rub. There are times when force of will is needed to get out of a dangerous situation but then back down and let you get on with your own lives. Charisma alone is not enough. You wouldn’t want to be put upon forever.

Thank you, take care, good night and watch out for live volcanoes, they can really burn more than surface hair.

Geoff Willmetts

editor: www.SFCrowsnest.info

A Zen thought: Free speech ends with national security.

What Qualities Does A Geek Have: A quaint charisma if left unchecked.

The Reveal: Politics is often telling the people what they want to hear than what they really need to hear. As such, some policies like low income tax becomes dogma and services suffer when you really need to pay to get what you need.

Computer Observation: If you current incarnation of Windows 10 feels sluggish, chances are that, amongst all its other operations, it’s downloading a massive update. That being the case go to Settings/Update and move it along so you don’t have hours to wait for instalation.

Observation: For those who are familiar with the 1966-67 ‘Thunderbirds’ TV series, the Fireflash’s cockpit is on the rear vertical fin. Considering it can fly up to Mach 6, having the cockpit not having to be shielded in flight like the Concorde did does make some sense and probably saves it from the supersonic shockwave. However, there is one drawback and that is in landing. No matter how good the instruments in the nose, line of sight is better at landing with no risk of instrument failure. From a safety point of view, passengers always know that the flight crew is at most risk when landing in a normal plane. With the Fireflash, the passengers are at risk. Good thing there is International Rescue.

Observation: I was watching the 1960s ‘The Avengers’ episode ‘The House That Jack Built’ again recently and was left with a quandary: Who killed scout leader Pongo Withers? Emma Peel found his body in the study on a desk with a spear through his chest. The question is who did it? It couldn’t have been escaped prisoner Burton because if he had access to the study he would have used his shotgun and tried to escape. If it was the house, why didn’t it kill Burton in a similar fashion when he first broke in or take out John Steed when he arrived?

Observation: I was watching another 1960s ‘The Avengers’ episode called ‘The See-Through Man’ and without going to spoiler about the fraud, it is never explained how the Russian agent walked invisibly into two British government establishments and knocked out two people when he couldn’t have been in there before?.

Observation: Cryo-sleep. Something that is never considered, even in 2001, is the refrigeration unit draws heat out. If you have your fridge too close to the wall then its heat will have the thermostat kicking over and getting hotter. I had to convince my next door neighbour he misheard the information he was given. Now on a spaceship, where does this heat go as heat isn’t radiated out that much?

Odd Query You Might Want To Email Me About: Although I’m syndactyl and have small thumbs, the span of my hands wouldn’t make me a good pianist. The question is do any of you with small thumbs have a genetic disposition to play a musical instrument and can do it?

Feeling Stressed: Only 3 more months to another new year and you can start all over again.




Category: Culture

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About UncleGeoff

Geoff Willmetts has been editor at SFCrowsnest for some 21 plus years now, showing a versatility and knowledge in not only Science Fiction, but also the sciences and arts, all of which has been displayed here through editorials, reviews, articles and stories. With the latter, he has been running a short story series under the title of ‘Psi-Kicks’
If you want to contribute to SFCrowsnest, read the guidelines and show him what you can do. If it isn’t usable, he spends as much time telling you what the problems is as he would with material he accepts. This is largely how he got called an Uncle, as in Dutch Uncle. He’s not actually Dutch but hails from the west country in the UK.

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