Cultivating Executive Presence – A Guide for Executives and Professionals

Cultivating Executive Presence – A Guide for Executives and Professionals

Leadership is a skill set requiring us to constantly sharpen the ax. Developing and refining the skills of leadership has a serious return on how our team, and we, perform. Within the sphere of leadership, executive presence plays an important role of how we handle challenges and how people perceive us. In our blog we’ll explore how we can cultivate a stronger executive presence to enhance your leadership skills.

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Executive presence can feel intangible and yet it is made up of very tangible components such as gravitas, decision making, appearance, confidence, awareness, and communication. The benefits of executive presence extend to inspiring confidence in your team, projecting authority and engage others. We’ll outline some tools you can use to develop your executive presence to the next level.

1. Appearance

Although executive presence requires much more than a ‘good’ appearance, we often make impressions within half a second and appearance counts. For executive presence it’s less about defining what ‘good’ means and more about making sure we are well groomed, conscientious, and diligent in our appearance. This means that the initial driver of executive presence means preparing how we want others to view us before we ever set foot in a room (virtual or real) with them.

  • Dress well and with intention
  • Maintain excellent personal hygiene and grooming
  • Display strong posture and body language

2. Confidence

Confidence is the foundation of executive presence. Confidence can be established physically, vocally, and mentally. It provides your team with inspiration and security and helps you cement loyalty.

  • Have faith in your decisions regardless of results
  • Accept responsibility for your actions and your teams
  • Be willing to take risks

3. Awareness

If confidence is the foundation of executive presence, then awareness is the cornerstone. Understanding our own skill set, how we react and respond and how others perceive us is essential if we want to better develop our executive presence.

  • Create a feedback loop and receive feedback from transparent and trustworthy people
  • Understand your triggers and the red flags that identify when you are reacting instead of responding
  • Review and assess your own skills and repeat the behaviors that are beneficial

How do you develop your executive presence?

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