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You Look Mahvelous!

A little charisma goes a long way. Here's how to get your share.

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This story appears in the January 2001 issue of Entrepreneurs Start-Ups magazine.

is defined in Webster's as "a special quality of leadership that captures the popular imagination and inspires allegiance and devotion." Or, in layman's terms, the quality that makes others think you're the cat's meow. It's that pizzazz that makes a country's subjects go into battle simply because their charismatic king wishes it. So maybe you don't need your employees to battle for you-but you'd like to be a leader who inspires them, right? And some charisma certainly couldn't hurt in those meetings with investors. Tony Alessandra, author of Charisma: Seven Keys To Developing The Magnetism That Leads To Success (Warner Books), gave us a bit of his charismatic wisdom.

Silence speaks. You're communicating before a single word is spoken: Your mannerisms, your gaze, your fidgety little habits-all those things paint a picture of who you are. "Think of your silent message as an invisible rainbow that surrounds you," says Alessandra. Some might call it aura-the vibe you give off starts even before you're in contact with others. If you foster a healthy emotional, psychological, intellectual, spiritual and physical life, people can tell. Don't fret if cynicism is second nature to you-a good outlook can be learned.

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