The X factor of Politics

the X factor, leader, charisma, politics,

1. The X factor

In mathematics, the unknown missing element or quantity is denoted by X which become visible only when you solve the whole equation and comes to a fixed known values. Thus unknown becomes known! 

While the lexicographers define that any person or circumstances which has a strong but unpredictable effect or influence on the events or situation is called their X factor. The first known use of this word is reported from 1930 when Max Weber used it in his writings for the first time.

2. X Factor of Politics

The first well known and organized definition of leadership was given by German sociologist, Max Weber in 18th century broadly categorizing it into three categories of, charismatic, traditional and organizational or bureaucratic leadership.

The overall exceptional quality of any leader is their endowment of leadership, of any type, that set them apart from other individuals who follow them up.

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3. In which part the x factor is more prominent?

The x factor is more prominent in the charismatic leader than the other types of leadership. It is more magnetized than others.

The word charisma was originally used by Saint Paul in his letters to the new Christian converts about the authority of God on them. Hence, the word “charisma” signs back to Christian’s converts and the magnificence of God on them.

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Max Weber took the notion from here that anything that goes from material to surreal, the followers of a leader put them on the pedestal of Godism. This charisma of leading and leadership has always been used in politics from all ages, albeit with changes as required by the time.

4. How does charisma arise?

The psycho-analytic literature interprets some important points in the birth of charisma which are,


The good brought up of a child by its parents or guardian may cause charisma in individual to develop in an early age. We are not focusing on ideal situation for this as this may be hard to realize in an unideal world. The opposite would be a pernicious and overblown personality, bad both for individual and society as a whole.


The parental death in early age, physical, mental or psycho issues may generate a sense of deprivation and voidness in a person. These lacking and deprivations when channelized and utilized constructively, find their expression in literature, religion,  music,  art or anything else in the collectiveness of their society. Thus the personal voidness is no more voidness but filled with something great pieces of art, science and culture of the age.


The charisma of a person comes to forefront when there is a crisis in a society. No matter what may its magnitude or nature be, the splintering society magnetized themselves around the charisma of leader to lead them into crisis.

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One interesting point to be remembered is that charismatic growth is not limited to only financial penury or physical, mental issues for its full manifestation in a society. It may also be the result of luxury when an individual feels that the things are to be changed and that the individual does not find vent for them in the present situation. For example Prince Siddhartha Gautama of Kapil Vastu (now Nepal) yearned for an eternal life that goes beyond this worldly life.

Martin Luther King Jr , Winston Churchill, Nelson Mandela, Pope John Paul II, Fidel Castro, Mother Teresa, Oprah Winfrey, Dr Ruth Fao and Abdul Sattar Edhi, to name a few among the unending list of charismatic leaders who in their life changed the lives of innumerable people that they synonymized with eternity and charisma.

5. What are the x factors of a charismatic leader?

Some qualities that make a leader charismatic for their followers are:

1. Strength, Resilience and Challenging,

Maxime Bernier of Canadian People Party was least interested in winning 2021 elections. All his aim was to create the chaos and turmoil in the politics for people and against their alienation from politics.

2. Communicating too easily.

Trump and Obama are the present examples of communicating too easily to their followers that made their way to the prestigious office of US president. It was their charismatic X that for the first time a black became US president. While Trump won and lost in elections by his strong and off-the-line approach that was his charisma.  The mesmerizing and energizing speeches of Martin Luther King Jr made him the epitome of black rights in United States.

3. The futuristic approach.

Prince Mohammed bin Salman of KSA, President Ibrahim Raisi of Iran are the leaders who want to resolve all long standing issues with their neighbours and of the region for a bright peaceful future for their people, region and world at large.

Likewise the green political parties are now challenging the world politics by focusing on environmental degradation. A topic once ostracized from the conventional politics!

Willy Brandt visit to Warsaw Ghetto on December 7, 1970 was a futuristic approach by him for the unity of Europe and safety of Germany and world at large against the future destruction of another war.

4. Emotional Intelligence (EI) or Emotional Quotient (EQ). 

This is the ability of a person to only control one’s emotions but also people around them. The five steps of emotional intelligence /quotient are:

1. Self-awareness,
2. Self-regulation,
3. Motivation.
4. Empathy,
5. Social skills

 President Trump lacks the emotional intelligence (EI). While President Reagan and Franklin Delano Roosevelt had the enough score on the EI scale as they would aptly manage and control their feelings to the public. Reagan being a former film star was consummate in doing this. Roosevelt led the United States in WWII with his polio crippled leg in wheel chair. He would have to be photographed from such angle that would not show his wheel chair nor polio crippled leg to public. To show them only that United States, its government and forces are strong enough to defend and protect the USA in war.

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5. Some drawbacks of charisma

Excess of everything is bad. Whether it is worldly material or too much conceits about oneself, it is destructive and led to downfall. This is the same phenomena that destroy all the charismatic leaders in the end. They become too much narcissistic about themselves believing that they have all wisdom and that some supernatural forces are guiding and protecting them. But nothing such exist. This self-opinion and conceits are only their illusions and mirages!!!

Napoleon Bonaparte illusion about himself that he is the man of destiny.

Gandhi’s whimsical tactics teased both British Empire and his own countermen leading him to his murder by a Hindu fanatic. 

Hitler’s blind belief on German superiority, WWII destruction and his suicide.

Malcolm X was killed by his own members of Nation of Islam. Similarly Martin Luther King Jr was murdered by the black racist.

The X factor of Politics

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