Listen. Do You Want to Know a Secret?

George Harrison, John Lennon and Paul McCartney practicing in Liverpool 1957

Picture the scene.  Liverpool 1957.  A bunch of kids 14, 15 and 16 get together to jam. They are a rag tag group of lads who are developing a special sound. Could you have spotted the talent and genius when they were just starting? How can you possibly identify the spirit of unfettered brilliance in some scraggly haired rock and rollers as they are just charting their course? Is there some secret way to identify who will succeed and who will fail? Could you imagine a charisma measuring device? How can you tell if someone’s got that something… I think you understand?

There is no genius detector. But I do wonder if there is a charisma detector and if these qualities exist at a very young age.

Kur riz muh, noun
Human Magnets:  Some people seem to have a spark; an electricity running through their veins that energizes people who are near.  What is it in their being that draws us to them? Are they wise old souls who have come back to try again with a head start on the rest of us? What are the personality traits that act as conduits for the electricity in a human being that we call charismatic? Would we recognize it in these people when they were children?

Charismatic leaders and influencers
Ella, Steve, Mahatma, Audrey, Teresa, Katherine, Barack, Bill, Cary, Eleanor, Jack and Hillary
Enchantment: When I meet someone new, young or old, I often marvel at who reels me in through enchantment and putting me at ease.  Somehow there is a powerful energy around them and you can’t help but be mesmerized by their charm. It can be in the eyes of a child or the voice of a powerful and intelligent woman who you just want to be near. You can call it an aura, an emanation or simply a quality that is different. Would we have sensed this quality in the young Elvis, a teenage Mother Theresa or Jack Kennedy as a young adult? Did Cary Grant or Katherine Hepburn have a gravitational force as children that could affect the tides and people in their circle? And how did Barack Obama connect with other students at The Punahou School in Honolulu when he was in the 8th grade? Would you have been able to sense the coming wave drawing him toward his date with destiny? 

Can you identify the traits of magnetisms and can you teach it?

In my life experience, I have observed and noted five traits of these special individuals. Finding all of these traits in one person is rare but usually most charismatic people possess some of this circuitry that has them wired to connect and energize others. I am not naive to think that all of these people aren't flawed like all humans. Yet, they do possess certain qualities that seem magnified in their personalities as they attract followers like  moths to a bright light.  

Emotionally Intelligent: They are emotionally complete people. They feel things and show those feelings. They seem to have a maturity beyond their age. Whether young or old, you feel as if they are complete and whole. And their emotional intelligence strikes you like lightening. A youthful Mother Teresa must have had a deep wells of emotional intelligence as a child that enabled her to feel the pain and suffering of the impoverished children of Calcutta and to do something about it. 

Exude Self-Confidence: This is not a quality of ego, but a quality of trust in the world. They know that if they fall, they will be caught. The truly charismatic aren’t full of themselves but they have complete belief that they will be successful. And being near these people helps calm you down as if their strength can protect you too. As they gain status or success, the ego may overwhelm them, but at the start, they just have a powerful belief in themselves. Samuel Johnson, the 18th century author wrote, "Self-confidence is the first requisite to great undertakings."

Trusting Others: People who have magnetic personalities believe in others. They are willing to trust them with increasing levels of responsibility and authority.  

"The charismatic leader knows that trust is a gift and we all like to follow people who believe in us."  

We embrace their trust and accept it as a form of love and compassion. Yet, it isn’t cloying or smothering but it fills you with a confidence in your own abilities.  Someone who trusts you helps you turn on your own switch of self-confidence. I heard Jack Welch speak about 15 years ago and the only message that I still remember was his insistence that a strong and powerful leader had to trust those who worked for them without reservation. Give people confidence in themselves and they will give back results.  

Breathing and Pausing:  This elite group of individuals have a sense of inner peace that allows them to take a deep breath and pause before they speak or react. They have an ultimate belief that wisdom will emerge and rise up right in front of their eyes. They know and understand how important it is to be patient and to trust in the universe. Like musical prodigy, they know that life is like beautiful enriching music and the silence in between the notes is as important as the song. When Gandhi was asked a question, there would always be a pause before he spoke so he could carefully say what was deep in his heart. 

Look into people’s eyes:  This is another lesson I have witnessed and observed often. These individuals who attract others toward them, look right at you. They aren’t afraid of being seen or having you deeply see them. They know you are watching them and they are watching you with undivided attention. It is said of Bill Clinton that he could enter a room with 100 people and each one he spoke with knew they had his undivided attention. He will look at each person with a laser-like focus of great intensity and everyone feels as if they are the only one in the room with the former President. Another President, Ronald Reagan is also an example of this power. My wife and I had lunch with President Reagan and other business executives in 1985. We were fortunate to be seated at his table but I felt like he was only interested in talking to me. 

I'm looking through you

Here I stand. The Beatles

Baby You Can Drive My Car
Paul, John, George and Ringo had something special about them.  If I were transported back to Liverpool in the late 50’s, would it have been apparent that these lads were going to change the world? Could I have seen in their faces or how they behaved that they would attract fans by the millions? Would I have recognized or sensed their charisma? 

Here is an interesting little experiment. The next time you are in a room filled with dozens of people, can you determine who everyone is pulled toward? 

Watch. Listen. Observe. 

Can you understand why? Who are most people drawn toward? Is it solely her/his position or is there something more. Can you feel the magnetic force pulling you toward them too? If you suspend thinking about it- what can you feel? 

Ask yourself, Why does everyone want to ride on this person's magical mystery tour?

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