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Which influences the direction of human development more… charisma or diplomacy?

Leaders have many names. I think ultimately they're labeled based on an emotional perspective. A male autocratic leader is patriarchal in societies that revere order over independence, but oppressive in societies that value the inverse.

Diplomacy is the art of conducting negotiations. Charisma is the art of persuasion. One is based upon the reordering of existing paradigms, while the other invents a communal perspective. Both have altered the path of history.

Which encapsulates your personal approach to life?

  • May 31 2014: Gord

    Ben Franklin is probably the best example of diplomacy at work and certainly through his efforts the American Revolution was won. Henry Kissinger was also a noted diplomat.
    Charismatic leaders, by far, have a greater effect on populations and the world at larger as they are able to mobilize the masses for a cause, good or bad. Caesar, Constantine, Napoleon, Churchill, Roosevelt, Kennedy, Mussolini, Hitler, Obama all charismatic all capable of moving populations. The cause is the difference.
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  • May 26 2014: It depends on what an individual beleives charistma is. I only recognise good people to have charaistma therefore my following point of view is based on this perception.
    Rarely do charismatic people become political leaders or politicians, as charistma is linked to likeability and likeability comes from a more spirited, people centred place of personality. The old saying 'your too good to be a politician' relates to this type of charisma. Charastmatic people don't fit into the typical political doctrine but they can encourage and persuade the public to see things in a different light, thus forcing politicians to revise their own opininions.

    John Lennon was charismatic and influential, encouraging a change in peoples attitudes towards politics and religion. He was assasiated as a result. Russell Brand has much a political opinion, is charasmatic, but not a politician. He is currently trying to change drug laws in the UK and is slowly changing peoples perception of drugs to the point politicians will have to listen. Without the charismatic, politicians would take advantage of the peoples lack of will to make change.

    Diplomacy is the art of conducting negotians often without the publics interest at heart, so is often counterproductive to a nation. I trust the charismatic more than the diplomatic.
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    May 22 2014: Charisma equates to likeability. Often if you hear a great idea from an uncharismatic person you feel the content of the great idea is diminished if not lost. Also the same goes for simply bad ideas. Have you even seen a very charismatic person present a very bad idea in a illogical course of fascinating connection between absolutely not connected concepts and ideas and arrive at a conclusion that almost seems rational because the pure excitement and charisma they employed to deceive? The are many great and many horrific examples thru history that I am sure you can imagine.
  • May 20 2014: I would say Charisma.

    Diplomacy is a gentle art of persuasion, slowly comming to a result by compromises, deals and shifting power dynamics. It does not CREATE those power dynamics, but rather reflects the new reality. It is a group activity.
    My favorite definition is: 'Diplomacy is the Art of saying "Nice Doggie!" until you can find a rock.'

    Charisma is very individual. Having it allows one person to change the world (i.e. Hitler, Ghandi). I firmly believe that major changes to human societies are done by individuals at the fringes. The world is driven by a handful of people, with the rest of us along for the ride (or the fleecing.) The only way to overcome the momentum of a society is to have a Maverick throw a wrench into the gears.

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    • May 22 2014: Martin, your response nicely clarifies the question. I chuckled when I read your favourite definition of diplomacy.

      World War II is an interesting example. Hitler's charisma was the catalyst, while diplomacy restored stability. If influence is measured by rate of change, then I believe Hitler would be the most influential (perhaps the most significant change being a heightened global awareness of the evils of genocide).
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    May 14 2014: Johnny Atman says:

    Neither, because you limit human behaviour to two modalities.
    • May 15 2014: It's impossible to encapsulate the sum total of human experience in a single question. I believe it's the discussion the question inspires that expands our understanding. Please include any modality you feel clarifies your position. (reframe the question if you wish).
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        May 15 2014: Johnny Atman says:

        My personal approach is Compassion
        • May 22 2014: I agree Johnny. I believe compassion can greatly influence the world. I also agree it's a personal decision. Unfortunately it's a decision that many abdicate in favour of maintaining the social structure that feeds and protects them.

          After all great change is seldom a single event but rather a series of easily rationalized decisions. (The cautionary tale of the "boiling frog" comes to mind)