When our firm’s clients ask us to take on a search, they usually lay out the key qualifications as well as some traits and qualities that fit well within their company culture or the job. Some of those things are easy to assess and others more difficult. I have filled several executive searches recently where clients have asked for someone with a mix of strategic and tactical experience and the ability to manage up and down well.
The one quality that many of our firm’s clients are seeking and targeting is someone with “executive presence.” Executive presence is a vital component to being an effective leader.
How do we create or transform to possess “Executive Presence?”
Let me just start by saying that when I think of executive presence it has nothing to do with a suit and tie or skirt and stockings. Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s really think about the essential qualities that make up executive presence.
Since this became a recurring theme with our clients, it prompted me to purchase a few e-books that focus on Executive Presence. Of the books I read, I really liked how one in particular laid out the theory of executive presence, entitled Executive Presence: The Art of Commanding Respect Like a CEO.
In this book, they highlighted many traits and skills that come along with “commanding respect like a CEO.” Of those, there were five that stood out and were reoccurring themes.
5 Traits of Executive Presence:
1. Listening Skills
4. Commands Attention
5. Ability to Leverage Resources
Executive Presence is not something that shows up overnight, it is something that has to be molded, shaped and practiced. We all need coaching in some area or another and working on executive presence is sure to pay hefty returns whether you’re an entrepreneur or work for a company. Executive Presence is not just based on looks and appearance, it is based on the way your interact and how well you manage up, down and laterally. Most of all, it’s about impeccable listening skills and treating people like people!Share