This is an interesting question “do female leaders lack charisma” asked, and answered, by Elizabeth Winkler in Quartz magazine.

Certainly the article caught my attention because at Mental Toughness Partners, when we coach male or female leaders to develop their mental toughness, this is often achieved through focusing on outcomes at the expense of emotions. The opportunity cost of greater emotional control is the potential loss of empathy, which in part creates the charisma. This is often compensated in men through a greater (but often misplaced) level of self-confidence.

Winkler uses Hilary Clinton as an example, which may be skewed anyway as she appears at the high end of the Control scale in the 4C’s of mental toughness. There is also the question around whether charisma is predominately a male trait in the same way collaborative could be considered more a female trait.

It’s an absorbing leadership discussion and one where mental toughness, for female leaders at least, appears at odds with charisma.

Winkler begins her long but absorbing article here

Hillary Clinton’s charisma deficit is a common problem for female leaders

Hillary Clinton may be, in the words of Barack Obama, the “most qualified candidate” to ever to seek the presidency, but it’s now commonplace to suggest her leadership leaves something wanting. The Guardian notes that she “lacks authenticity and the kind of charisma required to unite a nation.” The Daily Beast asks “Can Hillary’s one-percent charm win over voters?” And on Reddit, users wonder: “How can Hillary Clinton be so far in the lead with so little charisma?”

Charisma is difficult to define. Oprah or Michelle Obama might qualify as charismatic for many… but they’ve also never run for office (a show of ambition that tends to make women seem less likeable). Read More.. 

Source: Mental Toughness Partners 

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