Everyone knows that if you want to get to the top in today’s business world, you need genuine and consistent executive presence. But how do you define and develop it? I sometimes use the acronym PRESENCE to help convey 8 of the core traits of executive presence. Here’s a description of each of those key characteristics.
Companies cannot risk training highly-placed leaders while they are already on the job, so if you want that coveted promotion you have to demonstrate that you are already prepped and capable. The great thing about preparation is that it will make your current role easier and more successful – while you attract the attention of decision makers who are scouting for talent they can move into bigger positions of influence and responsibility.
Investing in your own development gains you the respect of your colleagues, team members, and superiors, too. That bolsters your confidence and makes you a more effective, persuasive leader. Everyone respects talent, skill, and capability – and when yours earns you greater respect you will automatically earn higher promotions and more compensation.
We all want leaders who understand our challenges and needs and know how to listen and respond to us in supportive ways. That’s why one of the most critical elements of leadership and emotional intelligence is empathy. Practice empathy and you’ll be a better communicator, motivator, and collaborator – which will make you a visionary leader capable of inspiring teams, departments, divisions, organizations, and entire industries.
The higher you rise, the more you must value the time of others, which necessitates a clear, concise, laser-focused communication and presentation style. Plus succinct clarity saves you time, freeing you up to put your leadership energy behind more people and projects.
If you burn out, though, your leadership will implode – so you have to maintain an extraordinary level of energetic output. That is accomplished by tapping into the power of the subconscious mind through intentional mindset management. You eliminate the negativity that drains you, and feed off of positivity that is unstoppable.
The very definition of leadership means you cannot go it alone. You have to rely on relationships and never stop nurturing and strengthening them. The more you cultivate networks, strategic partnerships, and supportive coalitions the more success you’ll have getting your ideas implemented and your leadership campaigns embraced.
Anyone who has these kinds of essential skills will exude, from within themselves, a palpable presence that lights up the room. Iconic, legacy-creating leadership has a contagious quality that inspires loyalty, performance, and high productivity. Executive presence isn’t an off-the-shelf product. You have to work at it in a deliberate way. But if you do it will generate life-changing ROI.
Always remember that the more you lead, the more scrutiny you face. If you crave the leadership spotlight, be a great role model when it shines on you. Mentor, teach, and be a lifelong learner who seeks out your own mentors and coaches who will give you honest feedback and challenge you to set the bar higher. Set the example of how to live just outside your comfort zone where leadership careers thrive.
Reviewing this PRESENCE acronym list you may feel that you are lacking in some of these core elements, but don’t let that discourage you. Nobody is born with all of them, and everyone has to gradually build-up their repertoire of executive presence skills. But you should know for certain that they are all skills and traits that can be learned. Acquire and practice them, and they will help to propel you with purpose and confidence to whatever greatness you want to achieve. What leadership presence challenges are you currently facing and what solutions do you have to share? I’d love to hear from you!