16 Sep

4 Ways to Leverage Executive Presence Into Positive Change

Real leadership means being a positive change agent for your organization. To exude that kind of contagious and persuasive influence it takes a well-defined and developed executive presence. A huge component of that is intentionally cultivated emotional intelligence. Here are four ways to continually raise your emotional I.Q. and utilize your executive presence as a catalyst for organizational growth, improvement, and innovation.

Secret #1: Know Your Hot Buttons

By paying attention to your emotional triggers you can empower yourself with the ability to disengage or neutralize the ones that trigger stress. That’s the key to successfully reframing negative reactions into positive, intentionally thoughtful responses that support – rather than jeopardize – a more charismatic executive presence.

Secret #2 Be a Grounding Force

Another aspect of emotional leadership is acting strategically when there is some tumultuous change happening with your team or department. You need to be the calming presence within the storm of chaos around you, keeping the big picture and long-term objective in focus and reminding others to do so as well.

Secret #3 Think Twice Before Speaking/Acting Once

Because you are practicing personal internal mindset management your external executive presence will be that of a steady role model. Regardless of what happens, others can look to you for reassurance and leadership inspiration

That’s why it is especially important for your words to communicate your true identity as a positive catalyst. During wartime when security is so vital they say that, “loose lips sink ships.” The same is true when you are on deck steering your organization through rough waters. Survey the situation clearly, through a positive lens. Considering every possible contingency and outcome. Then you can speak and act without fear, doubt, or indecision.

Secret #4 Lean In and Step Up

But you need to own your leadership by both leaning in and moving up. Prepare hard for the greater role and responsibility that an exceptional level of executive presence deserves. Then you will not be hesitant to broadcast your value-add to decision makers and clients. After all, solid confidence and bright visibility is a signature trait of those who are genuine agents of change!

I also enjoyed reading an article on this topic that you can find using this link: https://trinet.com/blog/2014/03/19/how-to-be-a-change-agent-at-work/

What aspects of executive presence do you find useful for sparking change or who are the leaders you consider legendary change agents? I’d love to hear what you think!


As a pioneering and visionary innovator, Sarah is a certified professional image consultant and brand strategist, speaker, trainer and author. Her company, Illustra Consulting, provides leading-edge image and brand management strategies for top leaders and high achievers who wish to take their career to the next level. She also delivers innovative and inspiring corporate workshops to assist large organizations in strengthening their corporate brand.

Illustra Consulting
Copyright © 2014, Sarah Hathorn, AICI CIP, CPBS

1-800-267-3245, [email protected]
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Sarah Hathorn
Sarah Hathorn, CEO of Hathorn Consulting Group, is the go-to-expert in working with leaders and companies to create successful corporate DNA. As an executive coach, consultant and speaker she collaborates globally with clients and brands such as Kimberly-Clark, Sherwin-Williams, Home Depot and other leading organizations.
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