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Charlie Houpert, author of Charisma on Command. Welcome your book,. Charisma on Command, which was made available for download back on August . [Pdf] Read Charisma On Command: Inspire, Impress, and Energize Everyone You Meet By - Charlie Houpert Full Audiobook. Charisma on Command book. Read 10 reviews from the world's largest community for readers.
I do not speak here of the political mantle and the aura that goes with it, that have become hand-me-downs in many so called democracies including ours, but of true inspiration that derives from one Master to another.
This may happen in the actual proximity of the two, as in the case of Ramakrishna Paramahamsa whose divine grace, unending devotion, and unfathomable love converted the young and initially skeptical Narendranath Dutta to become filled with discernment Vivek and bliss Ananda and fired in him a passion to become a charismatic with few parallels.
The inspiration may come from a distance, as in Vinayak Damodar Savarkar's from Mazzini, whose biography shaped the young Indian patriot's zealous chauvinism.
Jeremiah, Jewish prophet and scholar, Gotama Buddha, the founder of a whole new religion, Mahavira, the chief preceptor of what became a rival religion in close proximity to Buddha's, Lao Tzu, a central figure in Taoism, Confucius, an independent thinker also in China, flourished in this time. In the West, 'the ugly of face but sharp and steady of mind', Socrates, wielded his influence at the close of this period and left an indelible imprint on the way Occidental man thinks and behaves to this day, emphasizing the spirit of personal inquiry.
All these thinker leaders were effective principally because of their charisma. Personal scars may have propelled them to this achievement on the background of a milieu of uncertain values and a thirst for better reasoned norms. Many religious leaders wield their influence over their followers long after they are gone. Moses, apart from getting Divine Law to his people, united quarrelsome slave bands to a promised land and made them a fighting nation.
Jesus not only taught the principles of faith, hope and charity; he lethally challenged the imperial status of Rome by declaring God to be the only true monarch and the eternal kingdom of Heaven to reside in the hearts of the faithful. Mohammed did not only start a new religion; as an astute military commander he conquered the Arabic lands and united barbaric tribes and gave at Mecca a center to their nomadic life, preparing the way for Islamic expansion. Doctrinaire rigidity which was often never intended by the progenitor serves to dilute the effectiveness of this religion; this might well be considered a dangerous adverse effect of religious charisma.
A parallel in our times of great relevance to us is the non-eclectic passionate adherence of hardcore Freudians, Adlerians, and Jungians to the originators of their 'schools'. Marxists, Darwinians, and acolytes of many other original path breaking thinkers, all have a code of allegiance not unlike Pentecostals and other rigid religious sects. In our own country, there was probably no greater charismatic religious leader than Adi Shankara, who sought sanyasa at a very tender age, traversed the country with fervor, looking for enlightenment.
After his initiation by a Guru on the banks of the Narmada, he pursued the spread of Advaita philosophy with truly missionary zeal. His charisma was strengthened by his quick-witted linguistic and poetic skills, firmness of faith, and argumentative excellence. The Periyapuranam describes the lives of over 60 ancient Shaivite saints of the Tamil lands, many of them profoundly charismatic. This became the first source of inspiration for a rather unusual saint of our times, Ramana Mahrshi.
Ramana was uncommon, for his charisma like his ascetic practice, was primarily silent! His silence much more than his discourses stilled thousands of troubled minds and converted the doubting visitor, novelist W.
Somerset Maugham, to believing in spiritual salvation. Basava's iconoclasm in fighting sectarianism and meaningless ritual, as well as his prudence, gained him a mammoth following. Madhavacharya, Purandara Dasa, Kanaka Dasa, Raghavendraswamy, are other magnetic religious leaders of this land, their charisma reinforced in some instances by a talent for music. In more recent times there have been many claimant avatars and gurus but a few like Ramana have never sought to draw crowds, but have never turned a seeker, whether of immediate materialistic relief, or of long-term salvation, away.
The mendicant Sai Baba of Shirdi, shunned luxury and in many ways emulated his role model, the charismatic Sant Kabir. In contrast, many swamis and gurus of today profess a notable charisma but cater largely to a privileged clientele, basking in the luxury of palaces of marble and glass, limousines and velvet covered thrones. Some became obsessive collectors of precious stones and designer vehicles! There are hugging saints and unwinding saints, literally breath holding gurus, saviors who are joggers and motorcyclists, each with an impressive following.
Mother Theresa lived the life of a true saint, though to this day she has her detractors. Her piety, as much as her courageous bonding with the diseased and downtrodden, her unpretentious commonsense advice to those who sought it, rendered her a unique place in the hearts of millions. Her story reminds one of a great charismatic, St Damien, patron saint of leprosy, who worked tirelessly among sufferers of this disease.
He used to say 'we lepers' even when he was not one, and was actually thrilled when he did acquire the condition, as now his identification with his followers was thorough. The term charisma itself was largely restricted to the ability to perform miracles by divine intervention, among Christians, especially Roman Catholics, till Weber widened its scope.
Most saints are charismatic pacifists. More militant saints who were religious zealots, politically driven by a sense of justice, or more appropriately, a need to undo injustice, include the charismatic Ramdas Swami, Shivaji's guru, and the ruthless devout charmer, wielding the sword to defend his faith, to stop the evil of forced conversion, Guru Govind Singh. It is worth noting that early parental demise is a marked turning point in the lives of very many saints.
Other traumata, both personal and vicarious have also been known to accentuate or even engender their turning to spirituality. Charisma in Politics Political charisma, even in democratic states that separate governance from the church, retains many features of traditional religious charisma. The background, inner life, and psychology of many political charismatics resemble those of religious leaders and saints.
There are important differences, though. Great religious leaders are believed in long after their deaths; and as Aberbach observes, when the matter of faith enters the comparison, it throws into relief the erosion of charisma in modern political life.
Gauging the impact of such leaders is a daunting task. One approach is to imagine the course of history if the opposite had happened, thereby excluding the leader at a crucial temporal stage. If Robespierre had been executed a half decade earlier in the French revolution; if Hitler's covertly conspiring officers had indeed blown him up…for that matter if Gandhi had anointed Vallabh Bhai Patel rather than Jawaharlal Nehru as India's principal leader, could history have been very different?
These 'what-ifs' are innocuous intellectual exercises that bring into focus the irony of modern states having been shaped by unpredictable forces and by a handful of individuals.
Many of these leaders have very ordinary lives and circumstances seem to conspire to bring them to the fore: George Washington, a quiet planter was transformed into a continental commander. Mohandas Gandhi was 'a mediocre, unimpressive, floundering Barrister-at-law' in sharply contrast with the Mahatma, leader of millions.
Public cause 'tapped his enormous reserves of intuition, will power, energy and self-confidence'. Churchill achieved a charismatic bond with his people quite late in life, when circumstances brought about his 'finest hour'. The most grossly underestimated of modern charismatics, arguably, was Adolf Hitler. Like a prominent minister in our country, now back on the track of fortune, Hitler was once dismissed as a ridiculous clown.
The main attribute that drove him to awe inspiring greatness was his fanatical racist conviction. Hitler's biographer Ian Kershaw, notes that, 'the mass appeal of the charismatic leader has only an indifferent relation to that leader's actual personality and character attributes. Perceptions are more important than reality. Shivaji was motivated by the conviction of a divine direction to work for establishing the 'Hindvi Rashtra'.
Garibaldi believed in his destiny to triumph, and this firm belief engendered his fearless fighting and power to inspire people. Often the mission begins with a crisis; the charismatic leader rises from the ordinary to determinedly fulfill a destined role. Napoleon might have remained an obscure officer with a limited command but for the crisis that brought him to power. His adversary remarked that Napoleon's presence on the battleground was worth forty thousand men; but what if there had been no war?
Indira Gandhi, piqued at being perceived as a puppet prime minister doing the bidding of wizened power hungry men, seized the opportunity to show them the door when the opportunity arose three years into her premiership. It was after this that the charismatic, self-assured, shrewd Indira emerged. His record of service before his illness was not impressive and he was perceived as being, vain self-serving and arrogant. Seldom have the effects of adversity been sweeter. Rising above the defeats of health and reputation, he fought back and was transformed into a man of vast spiritual vigor from an unethical politician.
The climax was his being elected to the White House while the country was forlorn in crises. Today Roosevelt, once dismissed as corrupt and unfit, is rated as the greatest President ever of the USA. As one who had battled despair, he was righteous in declaring, 'the only thing we have to fear is fear itself', a slogan that wildly caught the imagination of a nation browbeaten by mediocre governance.
Margaret Thatcher, in a comparable mode almost half a century later, with her country having been for more than a decade under unremarkable leadership, embraced a simple slogan, 'Britain has lost its way'. The erstwhile seat of the World's widest and most prosperous empire had been reduced to a second-rate power. She quoted a predecessor, 'I know I can save this country and that no one else can.
Criticized for her blatant capitalism and no-nonsense handling of labor precipitated crises, Thatcher remained undaunted, leading the country from strength to strength and remaining in power an unprecedented tenure of eleven years. Thatcher's charisma was widely respected but she was largely a lonely person, often the price of greatness. In studying charismatic politicians, Fidel Castro, Adolf Hitler, Vladimir Lenin, John Kennedy, Ferdinand Marcos, Gamal Abdel Nasser, all present fascinating lives where the yearning for public approval at least in some measure springs from unrequited love, significant privations or trauma in childhood or adolescence.
Ruthlessness is an accompaniment of charisma in most political leaders, all the more so in those from totalitarian states. Wisdom does not necessarily bestow charisma. Gandhi's political guru, Gopalkrishna Gokhale, was not charismatic though he was brilliant and sagacious.
On the other hand, Bal Gangadhar Tilak, senior in age to both Gokhale and Gandhi, and ideologically their opponent within the Congress party, favoring militant nationalism, was an orthodox Brahmin, astute and acerbic writer and editor, and gained charisma across caste barriers, which at that time was unique.
A worthy successor of Tilak's kind of charisma was the legendary Subhash Chandra Bose, removed prematurely from the Congress by the ruses of Gandhi, and removed from greater historical glory by fate. There has recently been a comparison of the two great political charismatics: Gandhi and Churchill. His poor behavior at boarding school may have resulted from the misery of his abandonment of sorts, and the failure of his parents to respond to the young lad's repeated pleas to visit him at school.
Psychotherapist Anthony Storr records that Churchill was exceptionally prone to bouts of depression, that he labeled his 'Black Dog'. Belligerent and hostile, Winston was much admired for his linguistic, military and strategic skills, even his cussed bravery, but liked he was not.
There were other facets of his personal life that had shaped young Winston's sense of both frustration and defiance and finally the latter came to his rescue. Mohandas Gandhi was a determined fighter who was also determinedly weaponless in the military sense. Armed with moral righteousness and seeking but equal respect for all humans, he resorted to the enforcement of truth as a stratagem.
His style has been likened to a passive aggressive mode with some justification, and his moral snobbery reinforced by his almost boundless charisma, has even rendered him a 'comissar'  in the eyes of some. In his early fights, Gandhi showed the spirit of Buddha and Christ could be applied in modern times.
This can sometimes be at a grossly physical level. The Russian priest Rasputin, and the Italian Garibaldi may have sought to resemble Jesus Christ physiognomically, consciously or otherwise. Interestingly, Savarkar and his follower Nathuram Godse, ideological opponents of the Mahatma, enjoy a charismatic following even today that we hardly can speak of, which I personally witnessed very recently.
Each became a unique charismatic leader in his own right, not entirely due to this influence of course. There is a phenomenon of the passing of the power baton to chosen family heirs in politics. In a culture of sycophancy and ingratiation, it is common to witness even the charisma being bequeathed to the successors. In India, the story of the Nehru-Gandhis is well known and a continuing saga. Benazir Bhutto inherited her father's legacy with charisma and aplomb.
In the Phillipines, the widows of Ferdinand Marcos and his sore opponent, the assassinated Benito Aquino, could not hold on to power, clearly shorn of charisma. Martyrdom in politics, as in other fields, seems to enhance the lingering charisma of the deceased. Charisma and the Media The effects of modern media, especially the electronic, and now the digitalized variety have totally enlarged the possibilities and meanings of charisma.
As soon as a medium makes its appearance, it is adapted to become a conveyor of charisma. The effect of television reached a new zenith in the s, the first prominent beneficiaries probably being John Kennedy and Charles de Gaulle. Though the electronic media are clearly swifter and more easily penetrative, the effect of less sophisticated media should never be underestimated. Charismatic speakers can turn audiences; such was the gift of Gandhi, and even more so of the now often forgotten Savarkar.
Justice Khosla who presided over Gandhi's murder trial commented on Nathuram Godse's concluding defense which was a powerhouse of oratory and could have overturned a whole newly liberated country, had it been allowed broadcast. It bestowed on the authoress a charisma that long endured.
There is a paradoxical co-existence of weakness and strength, apart from the creation of a new identity, and a union with a mass audience. The weakness of charismatics often springs from early family loss or deprivation, leading to lowered self-esteem, despondency and sometimes a blockage of feeling.
Aberbach  cites the lives of Chaplin, Marilyn Monroe, and John Lennon to support these observations. The weakness is not allowed to predominate. It gives rise to a restless craving for some unusual strength.
This strength flowers in positive conditions following a trauma, and is enhanced by natural gifts which seek a creative outlet. In the struggle to overcome or master his weakness, the charismatic artist uses the media to recreate himself, to augment his worth in his own eyes, and in the eyes of his society, his constituency as it were.
Marilyn Monroe basking in the adulation of a few millions, escaped the torture of her early abandonment and abuse declaring herself to belong to 'the ocean… the sky… the whole world! With charisma comes the risk of narcissism, and this is maximally demonstrated among folks of showbiz. He looks great! I hadnt gained or lost a pound since I left. If anything, I was a little bit softer from months of eating rice and beans three times a day. But Jane thought I looked great. Which meant one thing It was working!
Without even speaking to her, Id changed her opinion of me. Jane saw the way I was carrying myself and formed a totally different opinion of me. For the first time in my life I knew what it felt like to exude charisma. I never did go speak to Jane again. I admit I was still stung by the initial snub. I was just too worried about her rejecting me again. But I was hooked on developing my charisma. So I poured myself into it. I enlisted the help of my best friend, Ben. Almost every day, Id call him up and wed talk about the interactions wed had that day, what wed learned, and how we could do better.
We started to piece together the art of human interaction in a way no one had ever taught us before. Ben was nowhere nearly as shy as I was. But he had charisma issues of his own. Six months prior, Ben was working at an investment bank as an intern.
It was basically understood that theyd hire their interns. Unfortunately, he didnt make the right relationships. He got no offer. He was supposed to kick back and relax senior year and instead he found himself scrambling to lock down a job. That was when we started working on our charisma.
From that point on, he went 4 for 4 on offers from interviews hed taken. He chose a position at a prestigious investment bank. They loved him. When he moved on two years later, his exit reviewers told him he was culturally accretive. Banker-speak for We like you. I went to work at a consulting firm. Despite rookie errors, shoddy dress, and an unwillingness to cut my faux-hawk, I had good relationships with management and my peers.
Other analysts would talk to their bosses about work. Id gotten friendly enough to talk to them the crazy things Id done the weekend before. They were good humans as well as businessmen and because I connected with them on that level, I got top bucket bonuses. And then when everyone else was getting promoted, I did something insane. I walked into the Presidents office. I sat down. And over the course of a half hour, we had a candid conversation about how I was planning to move to NYC in 2 months.
How I really appreciated everything he and the company had done for me. I understood if he wanted to let me go right then and there. Instead, I walked out of his office with remote work arrangement and a raise. At age 24, I basically doubled my salary and had complete freedom to live and work where I wanted.
I was not the best analyst. Ben neither. We had just applied what we learned about charisma. We learned how to connect with people on a real level. Past the detached corporate BS, past the status games people play in bars and networking events.
Our lives transformed in every aspect. Two years later, Ben and I have left our corporate gigs on friendly terms. We live in Rio de Janeiro with 4 friends.
These are guys we met while teaching charisma. Guys who were inspired enough by what we were doing to leave behind dream jobs, universities, and their entire lives to come on this adventure with us. These guys didnt come with us because we are especially qualified South American guides. None of them were even very interested in moving to Rio.
They came with Ben and I because they were drawn by our charisma. And they wanted to develop it for themselves.
Learning charisma changed my life. I know of no more important skill for feeling happy and fulfilled. Unfortunately, most people will tell you it cant be learned. Charisma is like genius. Youre born with it or youre not. There is nothing you can do to change that. So we have this amazing, mystical quality.
A quality that propels companies to success, makes people filthy rich, and leads to high levels of personal fulfillment for the lucky few among us who have that natural draw. Yet we accept that there is nothing we can do to affect it. Its like growing wings. Sure itd be nice, but its not worth putting in effort to practice developing wings so you can fly around town.
I hope my story illustrates one thing. Charisma is not like sprouting wings. Charisma is like building muscle. With the right routine and the right perseverance, it can be developed. Charisma can be trained. Just like a spike in adrenaline can lead to superhuman feats of strength, the right neurological mix can activate your charismatic potential. This book will destroy any passive mindset you have regarding charisma.
This book is about how to take it to the next level. Read it and do the exercises, and youll be the one leapfrogging waitlists, stumbling on ridiculous moneymaking opportunities, intriguing romantic interests, and inspiring everyone around you.
What they do is tough to notice. What they believe cant even be seen directly. But if you know what to look for, its unmissable. Youre going to learn what to look for.
Youre going to learn how to internalize charisma so it becomes a decision for you: Do I want to light up this room? Do I want to make this persons day? Do I want to make a friend for life? You will learn to train in charisma, just like you would any other muscle. You will walk away with a real life superpower. Every waking moment we shout to the world what we believe about it and what we believe about ourselves.
We do this with our word choice, body language, eye contact, tonality, facial motions, gesticulations everything we do screams what we believe and how we feel. Im sure youve picked up the phone before and immediately known someone was pissed off on the other end.
Youve seen a friend walk into a room and known that something great just happened simply by how he carried himself. Now, these evaluations are not occurring consciously.
You didnt watch your friend enter and think: Hmm. His chin is lifted a bit more than usual and he has a relaxed swing to his arms.
I also notice that hes smirking instead of smiling and holding eye contact for half a second longer than usual. By golly, he must be in a good mood! That would be a ludicrously complicated thought process. Your brain just takes all those stimuli, plus many more, and pops an idea into your conscious brain: John looks like hes in a good mood!
You dont know how you came to that conclusion. And your friend, John, certainly wasnt consciously thinking about how his arms swung. Everything occurred subconsciously. Charisma is broadcast in the same way as Johns good mood.
Its a myriad of tiny shifts in word choice, body language, tonality, eye contact, and facial movement. When we see it, were not aware of all the ingredients. We just feel it. We just like them.
We cant identify the near imperceptible difference in the eye contact, tonality, body language they all share. And even more importantly, we certainly cant see the critical thought patterns that underpin their charisma. And then we assume it is magical. But like all magic, there is a set of concrete skills underpinning it. And once you learn those skills you will have those magic powers yourself. The only difference is that charisma magic is real.
Why is charisma necessary? From the age of 4 we are fed a lie.
The lie is this: You go to school, you get good grades, you go to college, you get more good grades, then you get a great job, work hard, move up and you are a Success. Except not. We all know that a college degree and good grades no longer guarantee a job. Thats the easy criticism. The bigger lie is that we will forever be judged on our academic merit.
That all we need to do is fulfill the requirements of the syllabus or the job description. Most of us believe that lie at some level. And when the world doesnt work out that way, we feel cheated. For instance, in college, when the talkative but unoriginal student hauls back great grades on subpar papers. Or when the woman down the hall in your office who isnt as good as you beats you out for a promotion. Or when the guy who isnt as successful or dashing as you winds up marrying your dream girl.
Lucky bastard! And then even when you have everything you ever want, the promotion, the girl, the status, you still feel like you havent gotten what you really wanted. What the heck is happening? Something else is at play. The problem is this: The syllabus and the job description have made every requirement explicit except one. This secret requirement exists in every classroom, every workplace, and every singles bar. Here is that secret requirement: You need to connect with people.
You need people to like you. And you need to like them back. If you dont, it doesnt matter how many boxes you check. Youre going to come up short in success, happiness, and fulfillment. Yes, favoritism and nepotism exist. Yes, some guys get lucky breaks with women. Some But the point is the same: your relationships with other people are the most important factor in determining the quality of your life.
This is a scientific fact. Seriously, there was a year study of men. Scientists tracked their happiness for their entire lives. At the end, the director of the study summed up everything he had learned about happiness like this: The only thing that really matters in life are your relationships to other people. To be the type of person that inspire, energizes, and impresses everyone they meet. To be charismatic.
Yet we dont teach it. You never learned to really connect with others. We rectify that now. Chapter 3: Elements of Charisma When you read about charismatic people, if youre lucky, youll get a description of their actions. Clinton looks you in the eye and remembers your name. Steve Jobs paints a compelling vision of the future. Robert Downey Junior is playful with a sly smirk. Jennifer Lawrence is self-effacing and modest. Those are all important.
But the fundamental building blocks of charisma are much simpler. All the outward manifestations of charisma rise from an internal belief. Apple Computers is 4 years old. Steve Jobs is a longhaired wunderkind building revolutionary tech. But he has a problem. He doesnt have the training or the image to sell his new technology to corporate America.
Enter John Sculley. Sculley is the youngest ever President of Pepsi. He has the training, experience, and relationships Jobs needs to market Apples products. And he just denied Steves request to come work at Apple. Steve is dressed in his signature turtleneck and running shoes. He glances at the floor then up at Sculley, who just rebuffed him. He looks straight into Sculleys eyes and asks: Do you want to sell sugar water for the rest of your life, or do you want to come with me and change the world?
What was going on here? Sculley was the darling of the business world and could have had just about any position he desired. He could have joined companies times the size of Apple for a much bigger payday. Yet one unsubstantiated sentence turned Sculley.
In his own words, I just gulped. I knew I would wonder for the rest of my life what I had missed. Steve Jobs did not have any guarantees. Business, like life, is unpredictable. Maybe Apple would make a dent in the universe, maybe not. The truth is, in , no one knew. But thats not what Steve said to John. He looked John dead in the eye. And he told him, in no uncertain terms, that he was going to change the world. Thats conviction.
Id been learning salsa for 6 months. I was good, but my friend and teacher was leagues better. When he was on the dance floor, it just flowed. Regardless of who he was with, they looked as if theyd been dancing together for their entire lives. I was another story. I knew the basic step well enough, but whenever I tried to spin girls, we just wound up banging into one another. Id mash their toes and theyd have to excuse themselves to sit and recover.
We were in my friends apartment pre-gaming and dancing before hitting the club. I was determined not to crush any toes tonight. I was watching my friend and teacher, Steven, dance. Measuring every inch that his feet shifted. Teach me the footwork for that turn you just did, I told him. Steven dropped the hands of the girl he was dancing with and walked over to me.
You dont need the footwork! You know the footwork, he said. Then he pointed at the girl behind him. She needs to know that you know the footwork. You have to believe you are the best dancer in the entire world, he continued. If you believe you are the best, she will too. Shell follow every move perfectly. If you doubt yourself and wonder if shes a better dancer than you, shell know it.
And shell hesitate to follow you. Youll step all over her. That night when we went out I pretended I was the best dancer Id ever seen. I pretended I was Steven. As soon as the salsa music came on, I walked up to a girl. Instead of asking her if she would like to dance, I smiled and said Lets dance, in the way Id seen Steven do a hundred times. I led her by the hand to the spot of the dance floor Id picked out. My first instinct was to gently rest my hand on her hip.
Youre the best dancer in the world I muttered to myself. I curled my arm tight around her back as Id seen Steven do. This complicated matters because now we were closer than ever. I couldnt even look down to see my feet. Youre the best dancer in the world I told myself again. I stepped forward. Somehow she knew to step back at the same time. On her next back step, I lifted her hand over and across her body. She spun and slipped right back into step with me.
No words were exchanged. No feet were crushed. For the next 3 minutes, we danced. At the end of the song, I walked her back to her friends like I had seen Steven do a hundred times before. Before I could hurry back to celebrate my victory, she told me Youre one of the best dancers Ive ever danced with.
It is the belief that things will work out. That somehow, someway your goals will be achieved. That no matter what, it will all be okay. It is confidence in the face of the unknown.
Certainty in the face of naysayers and haters. What is miraculous about conviction is that it is highly contagious. If you really believe something, say, that your company is going to change the world, or that youre an amazing dancer, youll infect everyone you meet with that same belief.
This is partially due to the words you use. When Steve Jobs spoke to John Sculley, he literally told him that he was going to change the world. But the full force of conviction is communicated beyond words. Sculley sensed it in Jobs eye contact, body langua ge, tonality. He sensed it in a thousand little micro gestures that say, This is the truth. The girl I danced with didnt even need that. She could feel the conviction across my entire torso. Sculley knew nothing about computers. The girl I danced with had no idea if Id make a strong lead.
Neither had enough information to measure the objective merit of our arguments. But both were struck by the force of our conviction. It was practically mind control. Thats conviction in action. So how did Steve Jobs pull off such masterful management of every little facial expression, vocal inflection, and body movement?
How did I finally get the footwork right after months of tripping over myself? The answer is by not focusing on the microgestures or the footwork.
Jobs and I and everyone who has ever communicated with conviction did it by focusing on one thing: Our beliefs. Every interaction boils down to two sets of beliefs banging into one another. The beliefs with greater conviction win. For instance, have you ever seen a fight break out? Or even an almost fight? Right before any fight there is that moment where the would-be tough guys size one another up. They glare. They shit talk. Touch me and Ill kick your ass, they promise.
They do everything in their power to convince the other guy hes about to make a huge mistake. But in the end, no amount of swearing can cover for the fact that neither guy really believes his own threats. So both parties size one another up and come to the conclusion, I can take this punk. A fight ensues. Do you know who I havent seen get in fights? My friends who can fight. Because their pre-fight behavior bleeds conviction.
Take my best friend, Ben. Ben has been training MMA for years. When some guy gets in his face, there is no big show. Ben just tilts his chin down, grounds himself, and shuts up. And then the other guy starts diffusing the situation. Few words, if any, need to be exchanged. All it takes is a look. A head tilt. A shift in posture. All of those announce Bens belief, If you touch me, I will hurt you.
People believe his message more than they believe the guy who blusters about how he will kill anyone who touches him. So Ben gets in no fights and the big talker gets in lots. All based on the conviction they project.
Now let me pause. This isnt mystical. Steve Jobs, Ben, me, you no one is projecting a literal aura. We are simply displaying conviction through every physical method possible. Eye contact, tonality, flinching, muscle tension, breathing and myriads more.
They are so minute that we dont consciously pick up on them as an observer. But our subconscious processes them all and provides us with a feeling: Hes lying, or Hes telling the truth.
These microgestures are often called subcommunications. They are transmitted and received subconsciously. Which is why even though we may lie with our words, we shout the truth with our bodies.
Why, even though Apple had no guarantees, John Sculley believed what Steve believed. And why no one will follow your lead until you believe yourself worthy of leading footwork be damned!
Have you ever said, Hi, to someone you liked at a bar and then walked off as soon as they didnt appear interested in speaking with you? Have you ever misrepresented your religious or political beliefs because you were worried how theyd be received? Have you ever wanted to raise an idea or concern at work, but kept quiet, convincing yourself it wasnt worth sharing anyway?
What every one of these situations has in common is that they represent a lack of conviction. A lack of conviction that you ought to be heard. That your ideas have value. That you would be okay if you tried and failed. That you could disagree with someone and still maintain a relationship. What inevitably happens in those situations? Other people dont hear you. They dont think your ideas have value.
They judge you. Basically, your own beliefs have leaked into theirs. You broadcasted your belief that you shouldnt be taken seriously. Everyone else just took you at your word. Consider the reverse. The times when you have broadcasted steadfast conviction. When you spoke like you expected people to listen.
When you stood by your ideas. When your eyes and tone told everyone they ought to pay attention. Your jokes were funnier. Your ideas suddenly had merit. Your beliefs were different from theirs, but acceptable. Your subcommunications told everyone how to treat you. They do so all the time.
Which is why conviction is so crucial not only to charisma, but to life. You are sending a non-stop broadcast out that says, Treat me like Im awesome. Or youre sending one that says, Treat me like wallpaper. Either way, people do as you say. You know old Henry Ford quote? The man who thinks he can and the man who thinks he can't are both right.
Its like that The man who thinks he should be heard and the man who thinks he shouldnt are both right. The man who thinks his jokes are funny and the man who thinks his jokes arent are both right The man who thinks he ought to be hired and the man who thinks he shouldnt be are both right.
The man who thinks his client will probably download and the man who thinks he wont are both right The man who thinks hes a catch and the man who thinks he isnt are both right. If you want to be funnier, happier, and more successful, the answer all lies in your subcommunications. Unfortunately no one except the most highly trained liars can consciously control their subcommunications to a convincing degree. So there is only one option: Build conviction in everything you do and people will respect, support, and believe in you.
Conviction is mind control. Conviction is magic. Chapter 4: Charismatic Convictions So how do you go from normal levels of conviction to charismatic conviction? How do you go from self-doubt to complete self-confidence? And how do you do it without acting like a crazy person? After all Charles Manson, Jim Jones, and every doomsday cult leader had conviction in spades.
How do you have unwavering confidence, like Steve Jobs, yet still stay grounded in reality? The answer is by developing Charismatic Convictions. Well cover the concrete steps to develop these beliefs in the Action Guide, but first, I want to explain what these specific beliefs are. Ive identified 12 Charismatic Convictions. If all you did was internalize them, and then shut this book forever, your charisma would skyrocket.
Charismatic Conviction 1: Im okay. I will be okay. Waityoure going where? Id gotten this question so many times in the last week that I didnt feel like elaborating or explaining. But dude, you dont have any money. He was right.
I had just a few grand in the bank and a mountain of student loans. I had no job. I had no chance of getting one in Brazil. I had at max a few months before I zeroed my bank account the way I was currently spending. I have enough to last a while, I replied. Bemused more by my calm than my answers, the questions kept coming: What if you cant find work because of the gap in your resume?
What if you cant find a place to live? What if you hate it there? What if you run out of money and this winds up being a huge issue? I didnt have a perfect answer. I shrugged. Ill figure it out. Ill be okay. I smiled. A few days later, I got on a plane to face the unknown.
My friend shook his head at my immaturity and went back to the real world. What if my boss doesnt like my idea? What if the joke I want to tell doesnt go over well? What if I let this person know I like them and they dont reciprocate? What if I let my friend know theyve upset me and they think Im being silly?
What if quit my job and then cant find more work and everyone thinks Im stupid? The unspoken answer is that catastrophe would occur. Youd fail. Youd be unloved.
Your world would implode and youd never recover. Since the stakes are so high, you play it safe. You dont tell the joke, quit your job, or let the other person know how you feel.
Failure equals catastrophe. You never put yourself in a vulnerable position. You take no risks. You try not to be seen. You purposely inhibit your ability to stand out. You rarely, if ever, fail because you rarely, if ever, extend yourself beyond your comfort zone.
Mission accomplished. Except the mission got confused. The goal is not to avoid failure. The goal is to thrive. The goal is to connect, to lead, and to love. The issue is that we assumed that the answer to our what if question was catastrophe and failure. The real answer to lifes what ifs is always this: It will be okay.
Please, please, please, realize this: No matter what happens, you will be okay. If you crack a terrible joke in front of a crowd, you will be okay.
If you reveal your feelings to someone who doesnt reciprocate, you will be okay. If you start a business, sink your savings into it, and lose it all you will be okay. If you get fired and everyone you know thinks you are incompetent, you will be okay.
To be clear, Im not saying that these are wonderful outcomes. Im saying that you will go on breathing. Im saying that even if you lose your job, you will not starve to death. If you lose all your money, you will not freeze to death.
If you make an ass of yourself, you will not doom yourself to a loveless existence. You will go through an uncomfortable period. You will manage. No matter what the outcome, life will go on. Realizing this gives you license to fail. Which gives you license to try. Which is something most people never do. Most people stick with the comfortable option. Whether it is the job, the relationship, or just staying quiet at a party instead of chatting up a stranger.
So when you are trying new things, taking risks, and succeeding or failing without an existential crisis, people notice. You appear unshakeable. You are undaunted by the fear of failure that controls their lives. People flock to this self-assuredness. Its like a magnet. Everyone is just as deathly afraid of failure as you may sometimes feel.
When you give them an example of okayness you open up new possibilities for them. You lead by example. And far from judging you negatively, they will admire you for it. I knew living in Brazil was a dream of mine. Even if it flopped it was a worthwhile pursuit. I had no guarantees, but I thought about it: When I am 95, wasting away in bed, looking back at my life, which will I regret more: That time when I was 24 and I moved to Brazil? Or living my life at half tilt because I was too afraid to take a chance at the dream?
I told people that a few weeks before I left for Brazil. Id watch their eyes light up. It was like a veil was lifted. For a second, all their excuses were revealed to be illusory. In total, ten people actually left their lives behind to move to Rio de Janeiro.
Three who were virtual strangers wound up living with my best friend Ben and I. Now they are some of my closest friends in the world. Everything will be okay. Youll regret the chances you didnt take more than the ones you did. When you realize this, risks become more worthwhile and people flock to your example. Charismatic Conviction 2: I care more about my character than the opinions of others.
As many people achieve success, they gain notoriety. While they are relatively unknown, they have much more direct control over what people think about them after all everyone who knows them is a close friend. But with increased notoriety, complete strangers are now forming opinions of them Some will be good. Some will be awful. Some people hate the idea of anyone thinking negatively of them.
So they sabotage themselves. Anything to protect themselves from the poor opinion of strangers.
I experienced this with my blog. The same blog post might get me a batch of emails from readers saying that it changed their life for the better. But there is always one person who writes that I am a total piece of shit.
That I am not just mistaken, but morally reprehensible. The only way to avoid that vitriol is to disappear. Everyone who has made a serious positive impact on the world has had to stand out in some way.
And that has inevitably brought haters. Yes, more people hate Gandhi than hate you. By orders of magnitude. Now what if Gandhi had cared more about what people thought of him than what he thought about himself?
How would the world be different? You can ask that same question of every intensely charismatic person. What if Steve Jobs was more concerned with Apple bashers than creating the products he thought would change the world? What if Ellen DeGeneres was more concerned that people thought she was going straight to hell for being gay than in pursuing her dreams?
What if Arnold Schwarzenegger was more concerned with people thinking he was vain than in winning Mr. Theyd have shrunk. Both in their public and private lives. The impact they made on the world would have been destroyed. The flipside is also true. Living by your standards will earn you haters. But it will also breed confidence in those who support you. By refusing to conform to social pressure, you will inspire trust that you are the real deal.
Coach Wooden nailed it: Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are. Charismatic people are more concerned with their character than their reputation. Since theyre not always trying to persuade people to believe something about them, they seem more credible.
Focus more on being the person you want to be rather than on being perceived as the person you want to be. Youll certainly get the first. And with time, youll likely get the latter. A note from my own life A few weeks ago I was wandering around the streets of Rio during Carnaval. The entire city was out drinking and partying. I struck up a conversation with a group, three girls and a guy. The girls were really interested in talking to me and the guy sensed that they may have liked me more than him.
To regain control he started insulting my Portuguese: Dont say it like that. You sound gay. You have to say it like this. I dont care, I responded. But if you say it like that you sound gay. Thats fine. I dont care. People can think whatever they want. The dynamic completely shifted. He cut the aggressive power play. There was no more talk of me sounding gay and when we parted ways he gave me a high five and a genuine smile.
Now let me be clear. I dont think being gay is a bad thing. I dont think being mistaken for gay is insulting. But this guy did. He was trying to control me by threatening my reputation: Keep doing that, and people will think youre gay!
What a bunch of strangers think about me is none of my business. They can think Im gay, straight, bi, transgendered, whatever.
I happen to be straight and Im happy to tell them the truth if they care to ask. But Im not going to live my life in such a way that I go around concerned with what strangers think about my sexuality.
When my words and subcommunications made this clear, the guy came around. He knew he couldnt control me by threatening my reputation. That show of character won him over.
A note on incorporating other peoples feedback You might be thinking, How do I take constructive feedback then? Am I supposed to just ignore everything that other people think? Certainly not. There are times in my life when friends have corrected me. When strangers have let me know my behavior was sending the wrong impression and I corrected course. What you are and how you present yourself BOTH matter.
So when should you let other peoples opinions influence how you present yourself? My suggestion is to change how you present yourself when other peoples impressions of you are: 1. Consistent 2. Not in line with your values So in the example of the guy calling me gay, I didnt adjust what I said. Firstly, because that was just one guy not at all consistent feedback. But more importantly, because being considered gay does not fly in the face of my values.
I have no problem with gay people and dont much care if strangers think I am gay. It doesnt hamper my interactions. If they care to find out the truth, I tell them Im not and it is fine. Ask yourself those two questions when you get feedback that says you need to change: Have I gotten this feedback consistently?