So you’re at a business conference or event, when someone walks into the room and instantly attracts intense, positive attention. The energy in the room shifts. Heads turn. People gravitate towards them to engage in conversation. And it all happens in a magical, almost effortless way. Yes, you’ve guessed it – that individual has Executive Presence.
“Executive presence” has become something of a buzzword in the industry primarily because having a career as a CEO in today’s marketplace is becoming a risky business. Over the past decade the rate of dismissal has increased by 300% and turnover now exceeds the normal attrition rate for all employees. At least 40% leave in the first 18 months.
I notice that forced exits from the C-Suite happen for a wide variety of reasons with clients suggesting all manner of things from a poor cultural fit to lack of skills/competence in priority areas. Not surprisingly then, the primary reason for CEO’s being requested to leave is underperformance and when probed further the undeniable theme that emerges is that there was a distinct lack of Executive Presence – in other words the CEO didn’t look or act like a leader.
So what do we mean by Executive Presence and how can you make sure that you have it in bucket loads?
Executive Presence is easy to spot but hard to define. We all know it when we see it in action but there is no one size fits all recipe for success. Why? Because leadership is changing, faster than ever before and who you are as a leader is now more important than ever.
Executive Presence points not only to what you do as a leader but critically who you are being in the doing. And it will come as no surprise when I tell you that it’s all about resonance, it’s about the energy you bring to any situation, how you show up, because your ability to resonate speaks louder than words.
And it begins with the development of a strong personal brand. These form the roots of your Executive Presence; the message or impression that comes to mind when people come into contact with you or even think about you. What is it that you take a stand for in your leadership? What are the qualities of your presence from a physical? emotional? mental? and spiritual perspective. And yes, they all matter. People want to know that you have gravitas and credibility. They want to know what it is you believe in and where you are going to take them if they decide to follow your lead. And in leadership remember, they always have a choice whether to follow or not.
Here are some of the roots of resonance which form a powerful foundation for Executive Presence:
Professionals at all levels should think very carefully about how they can develop their Executive Presence. It is a continuous journey of becoming an exceptional leader through an ongoing journey of discovery. We need individuals with Executive Presence in all walks of life from large global corporations to individual business owners working locally with a few clients.
Just know that who you are today and who you become is central to your success. And it’s worth finding a guide for your journey – someone who can unleash your full potential and keep you securely on the path to your own uniquely defined success. Those I know who have mastered Executive Presence haven’t done so alone. They continuously listen to feedback and they engage a coach to ensure they can develop both the art and soul of what it means to become an exceptional leader with outstanding Executive Presence.
If you’d like to develop a personal leadership brand that leverages your authentic style, builds credibility and drives engagement go to www.JayneWarrilow.com