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Executive Charisma

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Executive Charisma

Six Steps to Mastering the Art of Leadership


15 min read
10 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

Your attitude and self-confidence can create lots of charisma — now you only have to show other people that you have it.

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Remember everything your mother told you. Stand up straight. Pull your shoulders back. Be outgoing. Smile. If you’ve forgotten these lessons, this is for you. It’s not what you know, it’s who you know - and what they think and feel about you - that makes all the difference in your career. Be human. Ask for favors. Ask for information. Pitch in. Have a sense of humor. Speak slowly and listen carefully. Author D.A. Benton’s presumably deep, probing interviews with 500 executives convinced her that charisma isn’t inborn. She believes that everyone can learn to be charismatic. Just follow the six steps that can turn even the most repulsive excuse for a manager into a charming, charismatic executive. So, read this and practice. There’s no harm in it, and it might do some good. However, getAbstract while recommending this basic manual, suspects that the nature of charisma is a bit like the way a jazz musician explained the nature of jazz - if you have to ask what it is, you’ll never know.


Why Hard Work Isn’t Enough

You sweated through school, burning the midnight oil to hit the books and get the grades you needed to graduate at the top of your class. You were the first one in your office in the morning and the last to leave at night. Whenever something needed doing, you volunteered. You dressed right and took the right steps on the career ladder, but suddenly your ladder ran out of steps, and there you stood, at the top of a short ladder, multitasking like crazy and watching other people ascend beyond you on ladders that never seemed to run out of steps. What went wrong? Sucker - in a word. You were a sucker. Maybe you should have put the books aside. It turns out that your technical knowledge isn’t really that important. Heck, if somebody needs a specialist, there are plenty for hire. And by busting your gut to master the "how-to," you turned yourself into a specialist for hire, not a charismatic executive.

The people going past you on those ladders, or, more likely, stepping into the executive elevator that the likes of you can’t ride, didn’t spend all of their time grinding away over books. Instead, they learned how to manipulate or, at least, how...

About the Author

D.A. Benton heads Benton Management Resources, an executive development and career-counseling firm, and she is the author of Lions Don’t Need to Roar and How to Think like a CEO.

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