The period after the charismatic leader is gone is always perilous, but in hypercompetitive, fast-moving industries, the loss becomes apparent much more rapidly.1

Last week in my small town of Leesburg, Virginia, an estimated 35,000 people turned out to see Barack Obama. Why is he drawing crowds like a rock star? It’s a lot of things, of course – but don’t underestimate the power of a largely misunderstood leadership quality – charisma.2