Executive Presence

Leading with Intention, Connection and Inspiration Whether you call it charisma, confidence or compelling leadership, executive presence is the new corporate “it” factor. We’re talking about more than making a great first impression. Presence is multifaceted, builds over time, and is reflected in everything you say, feel and do. In today’s competitive business environment, executive presence can make or break your ability to influence others during periods of uncertainty and change. It encourages people to seek you out and opens doors. The concept of presence is nebulous for most people, but we all have it to a degree – and we know it when we see it in others. But most of us are unsure of how to increase our presence and develop it in others. Many people assume it’s about showmanship, charm, unabashed confidence and smooth speaking skills, but this only scratches the surface. Leading with Intention, Connection and Inspiration Fortunately, a spate of new books do a good job of covering the topic. Three of the best ones are: 1. Leadership Presence: Dramatic Techniques to Reach Out, Motivate and Inspire, by Kathy Lubar and Belle Linda Halpern (Penguin Group, 2004) 2. The Power of Presence: Unlock Your Potential to Influence and Engage Others, by Kristi Hedges (Amacom, 2012) 3. Executive Presence: The Missing Link Between Merit and Success, by Sylvia Ann Hewlett (HarperBusiness, 2014) Specific Criteria Sylvia Ann Hewlett, founder and CEO of the Center for Talent Innovation, surveyed 4,000 college-educated professionals (including 268 senior executives) to find out what coworkers and bosses look for when evaluating executive presence. Three criteria proved critical: 1. How you act...

Emotional Expressiveness for Leaders

“Great leaders move us. They ignite our passion and inspire the best in us. When we try to explain why they are so effective, we speak of strategy, vision or powerful ideas. But the reality is much more primal. Great leadership works through the emotions.” ~ Daniel Goleman, Richard Boyatzis and Annie McKee, Primal Leadership (Harvard Business Review Press, 2013) How well do the leaders in your organization express their emotions? What about you? Do you appropriately articulate your feelings? Do you use emotional expressiveness to persuade and inspire others? Leaders are responsible for their organizations’ energy levels. While research has demonstrated a strong link among excitement, commitment and business results, many leaders stumble at emotional expressiveness. They hesitate to express both positive and negative emotions in an effort to maintain credibility, authority and gravitas. Consequently, they’re losing one of the best tools for achieving impact. Emotional Intelligence “The role of emotional maturity in leadership is crucial.” ~ Kathy Lubar and Belle Linda Halpern, Leadership Presence: Dramatic Techniques to Reach Out, Motivate and Inspire (Penguin Group, USA, 2004) MBA programs don’t teach emotional expressiveness, although professors often address emotional intelligence as an important leadership quality. Emotional intelligence is the ability to understand and manage your – and others’ – moods and emotions, and it’s a critical component of effective leadership. Leaders at all organizational levels must master: Appraisal and expression of emotions Use of emotion to enhance cognitive processes and decision-making The psychology of emotions Appropriate management of emotions Every message has an emotional component, so leaders must learn to articulate and express their feelings. Mastering this objective inspires...