We hear a lot about executive presence, which is a fuzzy term to describe the steadiness, focus and strategic perspective that leaders must possess to instill confidence while navigating the stormy seas of leadership.
But as I work with clients on this, I find that just because you know it when you see it doesn’t mean you can conjure it up when you need it. And without presence, it’s unlikely you’ll be invited to join the highest ranks of leadership.
This confusion about how to create “presence” stems from a misguided notion that presence is something you do. It’s not. It’s something you are.
Presence is a state of being.
Presence means you are:
— AWARE of what is happening in front of you as well as the hidden dynamics beyond it
— FOCUSED on what is important and resisting temptation to become distracted
— TRUSTING, of yourself and the world, to keep providing opportunity
The cool thing about being present with presence is that you can simply choose to do it at any time, in any situation.
There’s more to leading successfully at senior levels, of course. You also have to be smart, emotionally intelligent and good at navigating organizational dynamics.
But when you add presence to all of this, you stand out and instill confidence at work. It can also help you be a better parent, family member and friend. Being present with anyone is a great gift to them.
What do you think? What’s your secret to exuding presence?