2. Good Looks and Charisma


The Charisma Chronicles: episode #2 of 10

Do you have to be good-looking to have charisma?

If you stop and think about it, people with charisma tend to be good-looking. But maybe there is a chicken and egg thing going on — are they charismatic because they are good-looking or good-looking because they are charismatic?

We learned in episode #1 that charisma is about emotions and not looks. Here’s the thing, as humans, we use heuristics or short-cuts all the time to make judgments. And one of the short-cuts we make is based on how things look.

Imagine you have come into some money and are looking to buy a million dollar house. Today you are meeting your realtor for the first time and they arrive in a Toyota Corolla with one or more hubcaps missing. Confession time, I used to drive a Toyota Corolla and from time to time a hubcap would fall off. Not sure why, but to this day if you see a Toyota Corolla on the road a lot of times a hubcap is missing. But, I digress. Where were we? Oh yes, the realtor rolls up in the Toyota Corolla. Be honest, before you even exchange hello’s, how has your impression of the realtor been affected?

Now let’s rewind and imagine the same exact situation except this time the realtor arrive in a impeccable, almost impossible shiny metallic blue Maserati? Be honest, how do you like them now?

Here’s the thing. You are a savvy house buyer so you will know in the next few weeks whether the realtor is a good realtor or not. However, you are more likely to favor them if they arrive in a nicer car. The same goes for tasting bottles of wine. Even sommeliers can be affected in experiments where they play around with the labels.

Being good looking gives you what I like to call “simulated charisma.” Our brains work in a way that we give good-looking people bonus points in the game of charisma. However, good looks will only take you so far.

Good looks cannot actually create charisma — hence the term, simulated charisma.

The takeaway is that how you present yourself can make it harder or easier for your charisma to reveal itself. I’m not saying obsess over your looks, but you need to be aware of the limited extent to which it matters.

Don’t make things harder for yourself. In the same way you wouldn’t show up to an interview with a stain on your tie, don’t present yourself in a way that you know will makes it harder for the person to be for you.

Final pointer is associations matter, too. The school you went to, the family you come from, the circles you move around in all have a simulated charisma effect.

Back to our realtor in the Toyota Corolla. Suppose they arrive with Richard Branson in the passenger seat. How do you like me now?

If you are curious about the principles that underlie the elusive trait known as charisma, I have just released my first book, Unlock Your Charisma.

Available on Kindle and Apple Books, get the insights you need to become your most charismatic self.

1.0 Why is Charisma so Elusive and How to Get More


The Charisma Chronicles: episode #1 of 10

What's the one thing we could all use more of? 

I know what you’re thinking because I’m thinking it, too — “more cowbell!” Okay, that’s definitely #1. 

So let me ask again, what is the #2 thing we could all use more of?

Coming in at a close second would be more charisma. Like Will Ferrell's sweet moves, it’s easy to imitate, but not so easy to produce the same intangible genius of the original.

Which leads me to ask, why is charisma so elusive? Ask 10 people what charisma is and all of them will tell you about behaviors or traits of charismatic people or how it makes them feel. No one can seem to put their finger on the actual mechanism that makes a person charismatic.

One reason why charisma is so elusive is it lives in the energy created between two people. The person with the charisma and the person being affected by it. Also, charisma is less a group of behaviors and more a state of being. You don’t “do” charisma, you “are” charismatic, or you are not. Finally, charisma is all about emotions and being able to connect with someone and impact their emotions in a meaningful way. 

The most important thing is if you can’t say what something is, you can’t get more of it. As I was talking to a coworker around this difficulty of defining charisma, I actually stumbled across the first definition I’ve seen that actually explains how charisma works, not just what it does.

Charisma is the ability to sense, and ultimately deliver, exactly what is most needed from an emotional perspective in a given moment.

Imagine you are a party and it is boring. Sensing and saying, “this party is dead,” will not make you charismatic, just observant. However, the person who can bring what is needed to make the party exciting and wonderful will be perceived as charismatic.

Now change scenes to a hospital where a family is waiting to find out the results of a loved one’s operation. Bringing da party is not charismatic. What is? Imagine the uncle or aunt who has the ability to empathize, give compassion and comfort — this person will be perceived as charismatic.

Through these examples you can start to see why charisma is so elusive and hard to define. It is ever changing based on the needs of others and it not just a single skill that a person has. The truly charismatic among us carry this state of being with them in whatever context they find themselves in. It’s not an act or a skill, it’s more a state of being.

The good news is once you unwrap what charisma actually is, you can start to get more of it.

If you are curious about the principles that underlie the elusive trait known as charisma, I have just released my first book, Unlock Your Charisma.

Available on Kindle and Apple Books, get the insights you need to become your most charismatic self.

If you are ready, in the immortal words of Bruce Dickinson, “roll it!”

“...ding ding ding ding...”

How to Redeem a Promo Code in Apple Books


Help Me Redeem my Free Apple Book or iBooks code

First, an apology.

Recently, in my excitement to share with trusted beta readers a few free copies of my first ebook, Unlock Your Charisma, I failed to test the Apple Books process for reddeming a free ebook.

Big mistake!

If I had, I would have realized it takes a Ph.D. to figure out how to do this. When I tried to do this myself using helpful advice like from this link it didn’t make sense to me. Perhaps the article reflects an older version of the apps or the way Apple has designed things in 2019 has changed. In any case, below is my attempt at making things EZPZ for anyone who has a free code for an ebook from Apple (mine or someone else’s) and has NO IDEA how to redeem it!

Don’t give up!

Help is just a few steps away!

Step 1. Forget about your Macbook. You can’t use this EZPZ method below to redeem your promo code on a laptop.

Step 2. Take your iPhone or iPad and make sure you have these 2 apps: iTunes Store and Books


Step 3. Open your iTunes Store app

Step 4. At the very top, make sure “Featured” is selected in blue


Step 5. Scroll down to the bottom of the page

Step 6. Tap on the “Redeem” button right above your Apple ID

Step 7. When you see the pop-up saying “Apple Books is required to view this item” click OK. Remember, you already downloaded the Apple Books app in Step 2.


Step 8. Enjoy my book or whatever other book you had a promo code for.


If you read Unlock Your Charisma, please leave a review on Apple Books or Amazon and I will be very appreciative.

Thanks and happy reading!

Apple Books


Amazon Kindle