Three things that Define Executive Presence

crowd of smiling business people looking upwards

There seems to be a ton of attention focused on the topic of Executive Presence lately. I can hardly pick up a trade journal or visit a social media site without someone saying something about it. A simple Google search turns up over 92 million hits on the topic.

As if 92 million is not enough, here are a few of my thoughts.

Executive presence isn’t turned off and on

First, Executive Presence is not something you do, its something you are. Executive Presence is not turned on and off. It’s not a task to complete. It is a way of working in the moment, attuned to others, and influencing them towards a positive result.

Second, it ain’t called Presence for nothing. The ability to be fully engaged (to be present) is the foundation of Executive Presence. Whether that’s Fully LISTENING to someone when they speak or the ability to be focused in the work you are doing without getting swept up in the trap of multi-tasking. Executive Presence begins (and ends) with being present.

Third, its communicating in a way that connects with people on a level beyond intellect. It takes nothing special to tell me what to do. Any rookie supervisor can do that. Executives get results through the actions of others. The ability to make a connection, to ask the important questions, and to have the courage to hear the answers are at the essence of Executive Presence.

How to get a reputation for having Executive Presence

What to be known as a person with Executive Presence? Start small. Listen fully every chance you can, and tell stories that communicate value. Then, be ready to notice how differently you engage with others.

The biggest surprise of all is not what you will notice about yourself, but how much more you will notice about others.

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Jeff Serenius

Jeff Serenius helps companies grow their in-house leadership talent faster. Whether working with executives, managers and staff in groups or individual coaching sessions, his leadership roles in Human Resources, Information Services, Corporate Planning and Corporate Communications is invaluable. Bank of America chose Jeff as its “Highest Rated Facilitator” in 2013.