Essay on The Importance of a Charismatic Leader

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The role of the charismatic leader in the emergence of a new society has been frequently commented on from within the studies of sociology and world leadership. The charismatic leader is unique, in the sense that the authority that the leader possesses is largely based on the individual traits of the leader, and his or her ability to maintain support from followers. As a result, the charisma of a leader is many times not enough to ensure a long lasting stabilized society. Max Weber has suggested in his study of leadership and authority, a process known as the routinization of charisma must take place in order for a movement or message to continue. The purpose of this paper is to explore the concept of the routinization of charisma and…show more content…
Authority is transferred from the charismatic leader into the newly established institutional framework of a new regime, which allows the system to become stable and viable. While this process may signal a diminishing role and importance of the charismatic leader, the initial bond between the leader and his disciples is not broken. This process simply allows for charismatic authority to no longer be the dominant mode in which leaders garner their legitimacy. Instead, charisma is transformed and essentially incorporated into a permanent political structure or established traditions present in society. This is Weber’s process of the routinization of charisma but as the transference of authority form Lenin to Stalin demonstrates, this process is susceptible to other possible outcomes. A discussion on the rise of the Soviet Union must first begin with looking at the immense role played by Vladimir Lenin. After the conclusion of the October Revolution in 1917, Lenin enjoyed a form of legitimacy stemming from the zeal produced during the revolutionary period. Similar to other charismatic leaders, it was Lenin’s consummate political skill, his ability to seize opportunities, and the scruples of the provisional government, which allowed him to gain control of the Russian state. Once this occurred, he helped establish a set of structures such as the Russian Central Committee and the Politburo, which would
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