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I would have to say that confidence is the most important characteristic needed today to enrich executive presence and be perceived as a promotable leader.
Sure, you have to be competent. But you also have to support those credentials with persuasive confidence to project your ideas, present your solutions, and assert your leadership personality. Otherwise all the competence in the world and an advanced MBA degree won’t necessarily get you noticed and rewarded.
Curtail the Comparison Game
Where do you start, and what’s the initial step? The first thing I did to elevate my confidence and esteem was to stop comparing myself to all the other leaders in the organization.
Women are especially vulnerable to this “me vs. them” pitfall, because we are competing in a male-dominated arena where it’s easy to torpedo your confidence by feeling like you don’t belong at the top.
Replace that self-defeating attitude with mindset techniques and daily habits that empower you on your own terms. We’re all unique, so why should you grade yourself based on someone else’s resume or brand?
Develop Your Own Iconic Confidence
When you meet an iconic leader you can spot that kind of amazing leadership from across the room. They weren’t born with it, but they trained hard – just like professionally coached athletes. They win the game before they even walk out onto the playing field because whatever innate confidence or self esteem they may have is fully backed by practical strategies and creative techniques.
Practice Being Who You Aspire to Be
Armed with proven executive presence skills and internal confidence you’ll get up every morning a little earlier and more energized. You’ll know how to take advantage of every situation and resource to further your career advancement. You’ll be driven from within, and that will make you unique, authentic, and distinct from the competition.
Why wait for an elusive promotion to start making that happen? Practice becoming who you want to be and you’ll evolve into that person. That’s why the executives I coach frequently earn truly predictable promotions. They are already performing at the next level before the promotion becomes available, so they step into that role fully confident and qualified.
Predictable Promotion Exercise
Outstanding executive poise and presence only comes through practicing until you can respond – without being reactive – almost instinctively. So imagine an unexpected worse-case scenario at work.
Now think of three ways you might respond to solve that problem, overcome that obstacle, or diffuse the tension and arrive at a faster solution. Creatively troubleshoot one realistic scenario each morning.
Think of 3-4 ways you could successful handle it. Doing so is like practicing your golf swing. You start to develop your solution-oriented 2nd nature. That’s because grappling with “what-if” scenarios trains your brain to tap into the subconscious mind for answers.
Then when a real problem arises, you’ll be better prepared, calmer, and more poised because you’ve rehearsed it before.
So what fear currently keeps you from getting a good night’s sleep, and how could you solve it through advanced leadership development?
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.
Copyright © 2015, Sarah Hathorn, AICI CIM, CPBS 1-800-267-3245, [email protected]
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