3 Elements of Executive Presence




When people describe someone as a "natural leader" they are generally responding to a combination of traits known as executive presence. If you're  looking to strengthen your leadership, here's 3 elements you should consider.

  1. Gravitas - okay, okay, I know I get teased for my SAT words, but there really is no better way to capture that intangible moment when you know someone with executive presence has walked into a room. They carry themselves with authority; are decisive, act with integrity and have a high degree of emotional intelligence.
  2. Communication - this is primarily about verbal communication and body language but also speaks to written communication as well. Leaders with executive presence speak with confidence and forgo self-defeating phrases such as, "I'm no expert" and "I'm sorry."
  3. Professional Image - At a staff meeting I once observed two up and coming executives in my organization. Both were females, approximately the same age, size, build, and education level. On that day they were both wearing their brown hair tied back in a pony tail. They were wearing similar outfits. However, one was well pressed and tailored, with makeup in place, appropriate accessories for the office, and was calm and poised. The other played with her pony tail, was wearing chunky plastic jewelry with ill-fitting clothing and fidgeted when she spoke. Guess who was taken seriously?

Stay tuned to the next LeaderSips for a self-assessment of your executive presence. You might be surprised to find out you're unwittingly sabotaging your efforts to get ahead.

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