Just because you are in a leadership position, or at least aspire to be in one, that does not mean that you necessarily have what it takes to succeed in these types of positions. To be a successful leader, you need to have an executive presence. This does not mean that you are someone who is arrogant because of your job title or a leader because you are technically capable of holding the position. Executive presence is so much more than this. In a 360 evaluation that was recently completed for a senior leader, the superior of this client mentioned that he lacked gravitas and that this was holding him back. To succeed as a leader, he needed to learn about executive presence.
You know now what executive presence isn’t, but what exactly is it? Executive presence is what helps a leader stand out. People notice your presence and this helps you to get taken seriously. It consists of ABC: Appearance, Behaviour, and Communication. There are quite a few traits that that make up a person’s executive presence. One of the biggest traits that someone with executive presence has is confidence. Think about big business leaders like Steve Jobs. He was a confident man that drew in an audience whenever he spoke. He had executive presence. He was clear when he spoke and had credibility on the topics that he spoke about. These are the things that you need to have if you want to be a strong business leader.
These are all things that affect how you are perceived. Your ability to communicate in an articulate manner and to be assertive when speaking are a part of this presence. Communication is the biggest part of that. If you come off as uneducated or meek when speaking to your audience, people will have a negative perception of you, which will negatively impact how people view you. You mannerisms are important as well because this will give away if you are feeling less than confident. People will feed off of that. Finally, how you look matters though it is not quite as important as these other 2 aspects of executive presence. You need to look the part if you want to be taken seriously. If your attires is unkempt, it can distract people from your presence. The clothing should fit well and be professional in nature. This means nothing too revealing or tight.
Your executive presence can determine just how well you are able to do in your career. This will determine if your career takes off or stays stagnant. This is exactly why you need to make sure that you have executive presence. Fortunately, through coaching, you can learn how to get executive presence. Through a few adjustments, you can command the respect that you deserve in order to break through any glass ceilings that may have been in your way before. This type of training can really change your life and help you accomplish all of your career goals.