The Physics of Executive Presence: The higher you rise the more gravity you need

The Physics of Executive Presence: The higher you rise the more gravity you need


Although it may same contradictory, the higher you go in terms of corporate leadership, the more you need to be rooted and grounded. Otherwise it is easy to lose that precious work/life balance that is needed in order to nurture yourself, inspire your teams, and stay clear and focused regardless of the challenges and changes around you.

Leaders who are in the minority, particularly women and people of color, are often given little guidance regarding executive presence. Many of the unwritten and unspoken rules that apply to executive presence are, after all, left over from an era when the only executive leaders in America were Caucasian males.

To Earn Promotions Develop Gravitas

Thank goodness that is changing, albeit gradually, and those of us who are in minorities are getting more opportunities to compete. But to remain competitive and successful at the highest levels – the C-Suite and boardroom positions – today’s corporations demand real leadership gravitas. As explained by new research from the Center for Talent Innovation, the top jobs always go to those who manifest “executive presence.”

The CEO of Your Career Destiny

I provide seminars on this type of executive presence to top talent groups and diversity groups within large companies. What I’ve learned is that to exude gravitas you have to first feel entirely comfortable in your own skin, with a brand solidly built around who you really and truly are. Those who attempt to be something they are not will crash and burn. But dig deep into yourself to mine that nuggets of value that are exclusively and uniquely your own and your brand will shine bright 24/7.

Broadcast Your Value-Add

Then it is just a matter of communicating your value loud and clear across all levels of the organization and industry. The higher you go, the more clear, concise, and potent your message and communication style needs to be. So invest in your career advancement by developing your executive presence and the fundamentals of leadership style and communication. Let your gravitas or leadership gravity elevate you to your full potential – and to the high-profile roles you deserve and desire!


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Sarah Hathorn is a leadership development mentor, executive presence coach, image and branding consultant, public speaker & author. She is the founding CEO of her own successful company, Illustra Consulting, and the creator of the proprietary Predictable Promotion™ System.

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Copyright © 2014, Sarah Hathorn, AICI CIP, CPBS

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