This website uses technical, customisation and analytical cookies, both first-party and third-party, to anonymously facilitate browsing and analyse statistics on use of the website. Learn more
During periods of crisis or disenchantment, charismatic leaders emerge because they offer an alternative to the uncertainty of the times. Such was the case in the 1980s with Ronald Reagan, whose clear message and emotional style held across-the-board appeal and provided a sense of certainty after years of political and social turbulence. Using case studies of prominent leaders of the past 50 years, the authors explore the keys of effective leadership. In business as in politics, managers can use the challenges of the current uncertain times to inspire others and lead change. To do this, they need two important tools: the magnet and the hammer. Magnet actions include vision, storytelling, charismatic speaking and role modeling, which create a pull toward a destination. Hammer actions include direct orders, threats, control systems, hiring and promotions, job definition and financial incentives that drive change directly. Four practices that will help leaders develop skill with these tools are: developing a personal vision; articulating that vision in a way that connects powerfully with your audience; following through on your promises; and then making sure everyone else fulfills their part of the bargain. The authors offer practical tips to help managers go further, and urge them to put their magnet and hammer into practice in various non-work settings, too. By following the examples of yesterdays leaders, you can become a visionary leader of tomorrow.