Sunday, October 03, 2021

Executive Presence

Image by Gerd Altmann from 

In the last two articles, we spoke about Gravitas and Signature style. Both are imperatives of leadership and creating authentic leadership. Authenticity, gravitas and signature style make your leadership presence impactful, also called as Executive Presence. 

Executive Presence is a persona that lets everyone around you know that you, as a leader, are in charge, confident and capable of leading others. Executive Presence is not related to the position, power, or hierarchy. It is about creating the impact in a meaningful way. It is about your ability to inspire confidence, in your team that you’re the leader they want to follow, inspiring confidence among peers that you’re capable and reliable and, most importantly, inspiring confidence among senior leaders that you have the potential for great achievements. So executive leadership is not about what position you hold.   

ABC of Executive Presence.

Attitude: It starts with the attitude. The attitude of taking proactive actions, continuous learning, acumen and leading the self and others.

Behaviour: Demonstrating right behaviours and being flexible enough to adjust the mindset in the changing world. For example, during the pandemic, you may have demonstrated behaviours which you might not have demonstrated during the normal course. 

Credibility: It is about how you build a trustworthy relationship and atmosphere around you. You need to build trust, earn trust and gain trust. There are different methods. Being credible also means being consistent in your approach. People will trust you when they know that whenever they approach you, you would give them attention and support to solve their issues. Being knowledgeable in your area, sound in the technical competencies will help in building credibility. 

As per the research, elements of Executive Presence are 

Gravitas: How do you Act? 

Communication: How do you speak?

Appearance: How do you look?


Though the major impacting elements are Gravitas and Communication. Appearance also plays a role to some extent in developing the Executive Presence. Most of us say that appearance doesn’t matter much and that is true to some extent. “Simplicity has the glamour when you are a celebrity. It doesn't always work for common people. People will be judgemental and hence it is necessary to create simplicity with elegance and beauty”. Here, appearance doesn’t mean physical personality. It is about overall grooming, dressing sense and cheerfulness. 

“Always remember, people create perceptions. Everything we do, impacts perception and perception impacts credibility. Hence your overall leadership persona has to be developed considering the impact on others’ perceptions.”  

Few more tips to develop the Executive Presence,

  • Create your own signature style

  • Have a personal vision, and articulate it well,

  • Understand how others perceive and experience you.

  • Build your communication skills, learn storytelling technique, Use proper body language. 

  • Become an excellent listener,

  • Cultivate your network, understand socio-political dimensions of the organization and be political savvy,

  • Be emotionally intelligent, learn to operate effectively under stress,

  • Be polished & poised. Dress professionally, pay attention to your clothing style & grooming.

(Opinions are purely personal & does not represent my organizations, current or past) 

Author's book are available on AmazonFlipkartPothi and BookGanga. Income from books is used for social cause. 


Unknown said...

Excellent article. All tips are useful to fresher and experienced professionals. Keep continuing the series on Gravitas and further.....

Nitin Shinde said...

One of the Great Mentor. Proud to be a part for the Team.

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