It's not enough to be a good leader these days. You must cultivate 'Executive Presence' if you want to stand out. You see, being the best at what you do has its benefits. It draws people to you naturally and strengthens your brand's presence by being authentic and relevant.
Cultivating the knowledge, skills, and expertise to lead by example benefits you and the company you work for measurably. People look up to executives that "walk the walk and talk the talk."
What is Executive Presence?
Forbes defines Executive Presence as the ability to instil confidence in your subordinates, peers, and senior leaders. It's proving that you're willing and capable of stepping into the role of leader and taking on all the responsibilities it entails. You've got a proven track record of success for inspiring others to take on additional tasks and projects without being asked. It's less about personal branding and more about being a solid presence in the company's branding.
What is the Difference Between Executive Presence and Personal Branding?
Although they both may seem similar in concept, Executive Presence and Personal Branding are two entirely different things. Both can further your career, but one focuses mainly on you, and the other is about the role that you play within the company you work for currently. Personal Branding is all about how you appear to others, whereas Executive Presence is how you respond to the people you're directly in contact with daily.
As Forbes contributor, Glenn Llopis explains, "Personal Branding is a leadership requirement, not a self-promotion campaign." Executive Presence is all about furthering the company's best interests through direct action. It can benefit you as you implement Personal Branding by giving you better titles and opportunities, but it isn't focused centrally on you.
Why is Executive Presence Important to Your Career?
With many capable people in the workplace, Executive Presence positions you as a leader with a vision of the company's future. You act in the best interest of the business and make decisions aligned with its values. You have a growth-mindset and are willing to learn everything you can about being a great leader while practicing what others have taught you in your work environment.
As for furthering your career, it's often inevitable that you're among the first choices people consider for a promotion. You know how to play to your strengths and bring out the best in the people that look to you for direction. Your peers admire your creativity and ability to speak in a way that other people understand and act upon your instructions
Training Industry Magazine reports that a study conducted by the Center for Talent Innovation found that 26 percent of what makes a person a candidate for advancement within the workplace is Executive Presence. It's further proof that the more you can stand out in your company for the right reasons, the better opportunities exist for you professionally. Rather than hire outside the company, senior leaders feel compelled to promote from within by picking you for one of their open positions.
How to Cultivate Executive Presence Quickly and Successfully
Today, competition in the marketplace is fierce. With new businesses appearing daily, it can be hard to be seen, heard, and recognized without spending money on paid advertising. One of the easiest ways to cultivate Executive Presence is by following the formula we've come up with that when implemented, is very successful. We call the 4C model of Executive Presence, which we explain in detail below.
The 4C model of Executive Presence we've popularized includes:
1. Communication. The masterful way that you personally express your thoughts and ideas to others. Being an excellent communicator also involves you being an excellent listener. You can't expect to lead by example if you're dismissive of other people's thoughts and ideas.
2. Connection. How you form connections with other people and how you're able to grow your inner circle by nurturing your network of connections. Being a 'people person' is highly beneficial because it allows you to get to know your subordinates, peers, and upper management personally so you can play to their strengths and incorporate their feedback into future projects and tasks.
3. Composure. How well you keep your cool when faced with conflict or crisis. Being even-keeled and non-responsive allows you to look at things objectively to find the best solution possible to address the situation.
4. Culture. Adopting a culturally sensitive presence that respects other people's boundaries. How you make people feel when working with you makes all the difference in what they're willing to do for you and the company they're working for today.
At the core of our 4C model are the ideas of Competence and Values. You cannot expect to be your best unless you're competent and value-oriented. We factor in both competency and values in all virtual and face-to-face environments. It can change the climate that we live and work in quickly.
Being coachable is an important way to learn what it takes to develop Executive Presence. Forbes India notes that it's all about your personality and how other people perceive your "image, mannerisms, and behavior," authenticity, and substance. Knowing what it takes to get the job done right is imperative to your success as a leader.
Apply What You've Learned to Strengthen Your Leadership Skills Significantly
Take matters into your hands today by cultivating a strong Executive Presence. Think and act in the best interests of the company that you work for today. Most great leaders weren't born, they're made.
You can develop the knowledge, skills, and expertise needed to strengthen your brand and drive people to spend money on your business. When you get to know your customers more intimately, you're able to provide them with what they see as valuable more successfully.