Executive presence (EP), is trait, that all aspiring executives know they need. EP, is grace under pressure. Its knowing that you can’t leave things to chance, and hope that you have what it takes. Instead, be smart, and take proactive steps to build this important leadership element.
Cracking the code on executive presence
EP is a combination of personal traits, and outward behaviors that create an image of leadership competence, and trustworthiness. Anjiline Sirsikar, the founder of North Atlantic Policy Center, and author of The Color of Change: Rescue and Rebuild America, defines EP is being able to act, speak and look the part. To act means, to behave in a way that positively impacts your immediate self-image, meaning you can, and should prioritize yourself. You can do this by keeping a laser focus on how you project yourself, how the outcome of that benefits you personally and professionally. Act in ways that positively impacts your team, and the overall organization. EP is a group of traits that defines individuals, and emanates outward to create a perception of their ability to lead under all circumstances.
Cultivate: Quiet Confidence
At its core, executive presence is about confidence, it does not encompass the mindset, more confidence is better. In fact, I believe in the notion of quiet confidence. In this context, presence is defined as confidence without arrogance. Sadly, confidence is often confused with cockiness. Present executives should not trumpet their achievements. Instead have an internal resolve driven by solid sense of self – worth, that demonstrates healthy, effective ways of dealing with challenges and relationships. Equally, important is the belief in yourself which leads to more confidence, which in turn gives projected desired presence. Our logical left brain, understands things abstractly, but our emotional right brain will only believe us if we hear ourselves say it, and receive feedback from those we trust. Therefore, belief in our abilities leads to confidence, this in turns creates positive energy, one should speak, and act in ways that builds others trust, and competence. Taken together these elements will help you demonstrate that you are ready to take on new challenges, and lead yourself and others to achieve great things.
Create your own Fuel: Be Motivated
Create your own fuel and be motivated by keeping the eye on the prize. In order to do so we need to connect with our own why? Ask yourself why are you doing what you are doing? Why is it that you need to accomplish that particular goal?
Discipline is another sort of fuel, so you need to train your discipline. Force yourself to do things when I don’t feel motivated, this will in turn make for a strong discipline. The secret to success is having the ability to keep on going and trying again with different strategies to keeping the eye on the prize.