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Home » Let’s Face It: Charisma Matters by John Antonakis (Full Transcript)

Let’s Face It: Charisma Matters by John Antonakis (Full Transcript)

John Antonakis

John Antonakis is a professor of organizational behavior at the Faculty of Business and Economics of the University of Lausanne. Below is the full transcript of John’s TEDx Talk titled ‘Let’s Face It: Charisma Matters’ at TEDxLausanne conference.

Listen to the MP3 Audio here: Let’s face it – charisma matters by John Antonakis at TEDxLausanne

TRANSCRIPT: 

Take a look at this guy. And by show of hands, and everyone please participate, who thinks he wanted to be an economist when he grew up? A lawyer? OK. One or two. A heavy metal bassist? OK. Yeah. We think a face tells a lot. Does it? It’s not Bon Jovi in the picture. I am. A misguided, indiscreet, 17 year old who initially wanted to be an economist.

But now I study psychology. I also study faces, you’ll see why in a minute, and, charisma. I grew up in South Africa which cultivated my interest in charisma. I saw my dad as a community leader running for about a dozen elections and winning most of them. I saw my mum managing her shop and getting the most out of her staff. I saw South Africa transition peacefully from apartheid to democracy mostly because of one great leader. Nelson Mandela.

So, I have often wondered: What is charisma? Can it be measured? Can it be developed? I became a professor in the Faculty of Business and Economics at the University of Lausanne. But at times, I have felt like a particle physicist studying the Higgs field. Charisma is hard to define, hard to measure, but its effects are evident to see. Like the Higgs field charisma gives mass, gravitas, not to particles, but to social movements.

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