While getting caught up over lunch, my friend, shared with me how important executive presence is in organizations.
“You need to develop a personal brand that includes strong presentation skills, a professional image, and an “elevator speech” for executives,” she said. “There are so many people who are new to the corporate world that could use a good teacher.”
Hmmm. All true. As she was talking, I knew that many of my clients approach me with just these kinds of needs. No matter what environment you’re in, you need to know how to show up and interact with your coworkers. I hadn’t labeled my expertise with those particular words, but in essence, it is often what I do.
What is executive presence? I’m sure there are a lot of definitions, but here’s how I define it:
Executive presence is the way you conduct yourself in your professional environment with the goal of creating mutually supportive relationships that allow you and your coworkers to accomplish your goals. It’s how others know you, and what comes to mind when they think about you. It is the overall impression you give based on your actions, your interactions and your presentation.
Why do you need it? Well, think about it. None of us accomplishes anything alone. Yes, we might sit in our offices and use the computer for hours each day, but eventually, we need other people to read what we write, help us coordinate our activities, or buy what we sell, whether that’s a product, a service, or an idea. We need each other! How we show up is critical in creating the kind of relationships that will encourage others to join our efforts and invite us into theirs.
Here are the critical pieces to creating executive presence:
* Be yourself. Be authentic. In this world, you cannot be successful if you are phoning it in, hiding, or trying to be something you’re not. There are just too many choices. On the other hand, bringing your unique talents, expertise, and personality to the forefront will communicate how you can help others. As I’ve heard it said, it is “being you, on purpose.”
* Take a stand. Choose a focus and get good at it. We are all multifaceted human beings. We all have many qualities and quirks that make us the individuals we are. The challenge for some (me included) is to focus on what we really want to bring to our world. What are your talents and how do these show up differently in you? How would you describe yourself and your expertise? What do you want to be known for? The work here is to focus on how you want to be called forth. What do you want to magnetize to you?
* Show up. Yup, get visible. Put yourself out there. Talk to people. Let them know who you are and how you can help them. Speak up at meetings. Take that speaking gig. This is the hard part for many people, which is why they call me. Here’s what can get in the way — insecurities, self-consciousness, nervousness. How do you deal with that?
I’ve had to walk through these on my own journey. Executive presence isn’t something you “get” as much as “grow into.” It’s a matter of maturation.
However, there are things that can help you along the way. Getting a coach is one of them.
I believe in coaching. (I better — I am one!) I have a coach. I’ve had lots of coaches throughout the years, of one sort or another. I believe in investing in yourself. Coaches are about showing you your blind spots, then helping you find your way through them to greater love, happiness and fulfillment at work and in life. Sounds great, doesn’t it? It is great, both giving and receiving.
When you engage your executive presence you take a powerful stand for yourself. If you’re struggling with a lack of clarity, self-consciousness or nervousness when you think of becoming more visible, you can get help.
Getting clarity and moving through these obstacles is a huge part of what we’ll be working on in my upcoming virtual group program, “From Stage Fright to Stage Free!” starting October 21.
This program is designed for you if . . .
* You know being more visible would help you meet your goals, but you don’t even want to try because you’re so nervous.
* You already speak in meetings or on stage, but white-knuckle your way through and have to sleep for three days afterwards!
* You want to go deeper into your authentic voice, your personal brand, because you know there’s more of you to bring forth and you’d like to feel more comfortable.
Sometimes all you need to do is take that next step and wonderful things can happen!
If you’re interested in learning more about this program, contact us for all the details! Registration ends October 17 at 5 p.m. Seize the day! Make sure you have the tools you need to be authentic, take a stand and show up!
Engage your executive presence by being you on purpose!