What is charisma? It’s an elusive question; we all know charismatic people, but what are the ingredients that go into making one? As a football manager, charisma can get you a long way — and inspire the loyal following of players, fans and others. In the Europa League semi-final between Liverpool and Villareal, Jurgen Klopp was on fine form and led his team to the final — unfortunately not to victory. But charisma comes in different shapes and sizes — as a look at four current and recent English Premier League managers reveals.

Jurgen Klopp

“I am the normal one, I was a very very average player.” These are not words that one might expect from a top-level football manager, yet Jurgen’s words exude charisma, charm and — importantly — an inner strength. Indeed humbleness has been recognised as an important component of effective leaders.

A confident smile belies the inner strength, a deeply appealing human characteristic. When he speaks, people listen, not out of fear, but from genuine interest and his apparent ability to make others feel important.

It is obvious that Jurgen loves football, wants to have fun, and is quick to laugh. Confidence is another key element of effective leadership.

However, Jurgen still maintains discipline and a firm touch. Fun and warmth will be replaced by wrath if you anger him: “I’m a really nice guy, but if you complain in the wrong moment with the wrong words, that’s the only possibility to get a real problem with me because it’s all about the team”, he said. His emotional displays from the sideline further demonstrate his emotional character, he is there with the fans and players sharing in the highs and the lows.

The Conversation

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