Charisma and Glamour with human capital equal success

Charisma or Glamour Power?

by Elaine Schwartz    •    Nov 2, 2013    •    1304 Views

Jackie Kennedy had glamour while Eleanor Roosevelt had charisma.

In her blog and soon to be published book, Bloomberg View writer Virginia Postrel describes the difference:

Comparing charisma and glamour

People who are glamourous and those who are charismatic.

Or, as she explains, “Charisma is a personal quality that inspires followers to embrace the charismatic leader’s agenda (an agenda that, in the original sense of the word charisma, is seen as divinely inspired.) Glamour, by contrast, encourages the audience to project its own yearnings onto the glamourous figure….”

“When voters motivated by charisma disagree with the leader they’ve backed, they support him anyway…When voters motivated by glamour disagree, they become disillusioned and angry.”

Writing about Steve Jobs, Postrel tells us that business used to be boring. But then, enter Steve Jobs and entrepreneurs became glamourous (or is it charismatic?). Even the idea that people invented things in garages could be alluring, maybe a little mysterious, exciting.

Our bottom line? When they combine their human capital with glamour or charisma, politicians and business leaders wind up with a synergy that can fuel their success.

Virginia Postrel’s TED talk on glamour:

Sources and resources: H/T to Tyler Cowen at marginalrevolution for alerting me to Ms. Postrel’s new book and her TED talk (above). You might enjoy reading more of her discussion of glamour and charisma in her dynamist blog ( the source of my quotes), her new blog, and her Bloomberg View column on Steve Jobs.



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