2018 challenge day 1 – The Charisma Myth: How Anyone Can Master the Art and Science of Personal Magnetism

About the book

The book, The Charisma Myth: How Anyone Can Master the Art and Science of Personal Magnetism, was written by Olivia Fox Cabane and published on March 26, 2013 by Portfolio. The book sports 272 pages.

Olivia starts the book off by bringing up a story about a woman name Norma Jean Baker – she seemed quiet, plain, average – you get the picture. However Norma tells a reporter following her that if he wants, she can show him Marilyn Monroe. With a quick flip of her hair Norma Jean Baker becomes her glamorous public persona of Marilyn Monroe.

Olivia’s thesis is that not only can charisma be turned on and off, it could be taught.

The book goes further by discussing the three components of charisma: presents, power and warmth. The obstacles to these three components such as physical and mental stress. The ways that one can train and build up these three components.

She then discusses the four different styles of charisma that is derived from these three components as well as other outside factors. These flavors are: authority, visionary, focus, and kindness. She furthers the discussion by showing their strengths, weakness and when which style of charisma works best for which situation.

Finally Olivia ends the book with methods on how to be charismatic in situations such as first impressions, presentations and dealing with difficult people.

Key Takeaways and commentary

My key takeaways from this book are

  1. Charisma is teachible
  2. There are three components of charisma which are trainable: presents, power, and warmth.
  3. There are four styles of charisma each with strengths and weaknesses. These are Authority, Visionary, Focus and Kindness.

I like Olivia’s view that charisma isn’t natural and that it is something that can be learned. One of the most powerful examples that she had brought up was Steve Jobs who actually started his career was awkward, dorky and quite frankly not charismatic.

Her exercises on how to improve charisma are very simple to follow although it maybe awkward at first. I definitely recommend you do them!

Finally I enjoyed where she discussed the different styles of charisma. It was pretty eye opening since I only thought a person was either charismatic or not – not that there were different flavors that suit different personalities.

This is definitely a good read for professional development

Again if you found this post useful or enjoyable, please share and leave a like. Thank you! Also feel free to leave a comment. Stay tuned for tomorrow’s book Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future by Peter Thiel.

For more information about the 2018 challenge, visit the following link: Business Trek 2018 reading challenge.

You can get the book via the following link: The Charisma Myth: How Anyone Can Master the Art and Science of Personal Magnetism

The image was take from wikimedia commons: here



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s