For years I’ve worked with many multi-national corporations to offer professional development seminars and private executive presence coaching, and the experience teaches me a great deal. I have learned a lot within the past few months, too, as more and more companies and leaders are appreciating the importance of executive presence.
Substance vs. Superficiality
For years I have been emphasizing it for my own clients and seeing the extraordinary results, but it had not yet become an industry buzzword or HR trend – as it finally is today.
One thing that many people don’t fully grasp, however, is that executive presence is a deeply nuanced skill that involves many subtle qualities. Lots of coaches these days are jumping on the EP bandwagon to offer their own less effective off-the-shelf development products, for example, and capitalize on a trend.
I’m glad that everyone is getting excited about EP. But I am concerned when I see high potential leaders buying into the idea that executive presence can be learned in a weekend. The real nature of EP is that it involves and actually requires a genuine transformation of your leadership vision, mindset, and strategy. That’s what makes it so incredibly valuable.
Otherwise, if it were something you could learn in a 1-day workshop, why are top Fortune 500 companies paying top dollar to hire those rare leaders who exhibit and exude this immensely desirable and valuable charismatic EP quality?
Women Have a Great Advantage
The fantastic news is that anyone can learn executive presence, and as Maria Shriver explains in a recent NBC news feature, women who are always battling the glass ceiling in corporate America have a unique advantage.
That’s because a major component of EP is the ability to listen, put yourself in the shoes of others such as your employees, clients, and competitors, and demonstrate empathy as a leader.
But hey, guess what? Those of us who are women are taught those qualities from childhood because of how we are socialized. Now that you are a leader you can leverage that lifetime of soft skill acquisition into a better career, more responsibility, and the kind of recognition you have earned and deserve!
What do you think? I’d love to hear your take on this hot topic!
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 © 2014, Sarah Hathorn, AICI CIP, CPBS & Illustra, LLC
1-800-267-3245, [email protected]
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