They might not have won any beauty pageants, but they’ve certainly won fans, fame, and power to spare, thanks to “de,” an intense charismatic power that results from “wu-wei”—a truly relaxed, unselfconscious, effortless state of being.
1. Mick Jagger—The Rolling Stones
Rock ‘n’ roll legend, knighted by the Queen, seven children with four women, swooned over by generations but no Clark Kent. Oh well, we can’t always get what we wa-a-aant…
2. Lou Reed—Velvet Underground
Poet king of New York, founding member of the VU, hypnotically charismatic, the stuff of underground rock ’n’ roll legend…but objectively looked like the dorky kid who always got beat up in class. In short, he had a lotta’ “de.”
3. Susan Boyle—international singing sensation
When Susan Boyle auditioned for Britain’s Got Talent in 2009, she stunned the whole world with BOTH her astounding voice and her winning personality. Since that day, 16 million have seen that video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8OcQ9A-5noM), and she’s released UK’s best-selling album of all time and performed for the Queen.
4. Sir Winston Churchill—British prime minister (WWII)
Generally regarded as the greatest wartime leader of the twentieth century, this British prime minister also won the Nobel Peace Prize for literature and was the first person to be made an honorary US citizen. Charismatic indeed but rather like a bulldog in both personality and looks.
5. Napoleon Bonaparte—French emperor
French emperor and one of the greatest military/political leaders… Demolished feudalism, established the metric system, was defeated at the Battle of Waterloo. His incredible career is greatly attributed to his personality and hypnotic influence despite his… lack of meters in the vertical dimension. Definitely a man with “de”!
6. Margaret Thatcher—Britain’s first female prime minister
“The Iron Lady”—political phenomenon and probably the most famous leader of the twentieth century who was lampooned as often as heralded. Furthermore, ’80s and ’90s pop culture awarded much sympathy to her husband, Denis Thatcher for having to… well… you know…
7. Tom Waits—American singer/songwriter
Handsome he is not. Hip he is not. And yet is there anyone cooler in the music business? Who else could pull off the big glasses and bowlers?
8. Steven Tylor—Aerosmith
Rock icon with a cult following, produced a stunning daughter (and alluring elf), but, come on… How does he do it? It’s all the “de”!
9. Rosie O’Donnell—Comedian, talk show host, and actress
Despite being mocked for her looks, Rosie won America’s heart… as well as 11 Emmy Awards and a Tony… as one of the world’s most beloved talk show hosts. Moreover, her life-long philanthropic efforts and LGBT activism earned her the nickname “Queen of Nice.”
10. Fred Astaire—American actor and dancer
Somewhat dorky looking in a still photo, but I dare you to watch any of his movies and not fall in love with his twinkling, school-boyish, charming personality. “De” out the wazoo.
11. For more on “de,” “wu-wei” and how to enhance your own charismatic powers, read TRYING NOT TO TRY by Edward Slingerland.