What exactly is executive presence? Do you have it?
In a recent study conducted by Sylvia Ann Hewlett and a team of researchers at the Center for Talent Innovation, the senior leaders surveyed listed executive presence – being perceived as leadership material – as the essential factor in determining who gets ahead in an organization.
Hewlett and her team also sought to deconstruct executive presence by defining the three components that help a leader look the part:
Communication. Excellent speaking skills, active listening and assertiveness are required skills for leaders. In addition to interpersonal communication, leaders need the ability to read an audience or situation and craft the appropriate response. Perhaps that’s why 28 percent of senior executives agreed that communication predicts your leadership potential.
Appearance. Looking polished and well put together was found to be an important element of presence. While only 5 percent of senior leaders considered it to be a key factor, every leader surveyed recognized appearance for its potential to derail high potential talent.
Gravitas. Leaders with executive presence must project confidence. In high-pressure situations, members look to their leader for confident, decisive action. Keeping ones poise under stress is vital for those in senior leadership, which is why two-thirds of the leaders surveyed agreed that gravitas was the core characteristic of executive presence.CEO