Recently, Robert Braswell of British Insights Chronicle interviewed Edward Brown, lead trainer for Core Edge Image & Charisma Institute to explore the aspects of charisma and its relevancy to profitability and leadership within a global economy.
Robert: In your opinion, which industries could use charisma the most?
Ed: That's an interesting question. When we conduct surveys, invariably we hear that everyone could use charisma (trainers, lawyers, managers, salespeople, etc...), but the group that requests the training the most are professional women.
Robert: Why do you think that's the case?
Ed: We live in a patriarchal society where men still rule. As a result, the systems of thought and education are skewed to male domination. Ultimately, the fall-out is the insecurity and disempowerment of women. Women want information and skill sets that empower, support and expand their opportunities. We don't try to turn women into men, but expose them to the hard core realities of the business world and provide the tools and strategies for them to thrive. It's pretty hard core.
Robert: What do you mean by the term "hard core?"
Ed: My doctrine of Charismatology is steeped in the philosophies of Ayn Rand and Niccolo Machiavelli. I stripped away all the niceties that placate civilization to attempt to find the core of human nature and its motivation. In Western culture, we have an inundation with the pursuit and maintenance of power (political, social, economic, etc...). We are "Rugged Individualists" gaining power for our selfish ends. It's not necessarily for the good of the whole community, but for our personal self-aggrandizement. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, because the population as a whole benefits from this self-interest. Women often look for alliances and cooperation where men often act unilaterally. Men will partner as a philosophy only when they occupy a position of weakness. Man's quest for domination is contrary to woman's desire for collaborations. I try to instill within women clients the ways by which their supportive nature isn't used against them.
Robert: How do you do that?
Ed: Besides getting into the core of human nature and Darwin's "Natural Selection," I try to encourage women to always act rationally in their best self- interest. To be as focused, determined and amoral as men to achieve their objectives...
Robert: (Interjects) What do you mean by amoral?
Ed: The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines "amoral" as: neither moral nor immoral; especially being outside the sphere to which moral judgments apply. To act amorally is to act in ways without a preconceived notion to the best solution for a situation. You take your emotions out of the equation to insure that your solutions are based on what's best for a particular scenario. Most people confuse amoral with immoral. Immorality is when you're acting wickedly or depraved as a common mode of behavior. Such actions may be necessary for a certain situation, but not as the standard mode of operation.
Robert: I can see your perspective being controversial. How has it been accepted by the people you serve?
Ed: Some people embrace it and others find it problematic.
Robert: Why do you believe it's seen as problematic?
Ed: Because people are often overly idealistic about the world and human nature. Everything in the average person's socialization process is geared to preserving civilization ("The System") at the behest of personal freedoms and reasonability. The more conditioned you are in traditional team building, customer relations and leadership development, the more you are personally devalued and at the mercy of others.
Robert: Incredible! How does charisma fit into all of this?
Ed: Charisma is one of the means by which people get what they want. I define charisma as "The creating of perceptions that impact the mind and emotions of others through flair, finesse and glib language." It's a learned tool to become more persuasive and impacting on the world stage.
Robert: I can't help but to think that this all sounds a bit manipulative. Am I incorrect?
Ed: Does the situation call for manipulation? It depends on the situation! People want power and influence, but don't want to do what's necessary to achieve it. Even the Holy Bible states there's a time and season for everything. In a patriarchal society ruled by a particular class of men, they use whatever physical and psychological tools at their disposal to affect an end. They act amorally according to what's essential for meting out a particular outcome. They make and follow their own rules. Ultimately, rules are for the "Have nots" to remain weak and disempowered. I'm in the business of creating more "Haves."
Robert: How effective have you been?
Ed: Very effective for those who've stayed the course. Some people are just not ready to handle the level of power and responsibility we're talking about here. This level of training and dialogue can be overwhelming to some people. They refuse to let weak paradigms die on the vine. It's disheartening, but everyone must choose for themselves what they're capable of handling. I try to give them the best, but they have to want it for themselves.
Robert: As a "For Profit" company, you seem to be cavalier about your bottom line. Does profit matter when you are addressing such a controversial subject?
Ed: I'm never cavalier about the direction or profitability of Core Edge. For me, it's not just a company, but a crusade. Over a decade ago, I set out to answer one question: What does it take to succeed in this country? After I got through the optimistic 1990's, the question still persisted. I'm a great admire of former President Bill Clinton's charisma, which I did a case study on. However, President Bush and his former chief strategist Karl Rove have taught me more about the underbelly of power than any administration since President Richard Nixon. I had a blank slate when I started my body of work years ago. I let my lingering question guide me and it lead me to the aforementioned knowledge. I took the facts, analyzed and synthesized them. You may disagree with my final determinations, but I'm quite confident about the facts of which they're based. I'm interested in serving those who are interested in achieving greater professional success. Pragmatism and practicality serves us much better than illusions. If I've done anything for my clients besides provide a formula for professional success, I took away their illusions.
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