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What is it about some people that helps them get others to follow with ease? What are the qualities that make others trust them so much? Most of us know already know what it is, even if it’s somewhat hard to describe in any detail. It’s a person’s “executive presence” that gives them the ability to draw others with no additional effort. Even the term itself seems to be covered in a shroud of mystery as if it’s something magical only a handful of us will ever possess.

This couldn’t be further from the truth. For an HR leader, executive presence is critical, yet it doesn’t need to be mysterious. More importantly, it’s a skill, not a trait. This means that executive presence is something that can be learned, cultivated, and built. The first step of the process is to understand what it is and how it works.

What Is Executive Presence?

Executive presence is a person’s ability to inspire confidence in others. As an HR leader, inspiring confidence in your subordinates is the key to making them follow you. When it comes to your peers, this skill lets them know that you are capable and reliable. And as for your superiors, your executive presence lets them know you have what it takes to achieve great things.

Having an executive presence is like having the “it” factor of the corporate world. It’s that skill that helps you get noticed, forge lasting relationships, and gets others on board with your vision and point of view.

Think of that, otherwise, competent team leader who doesn’t manage to command respect in meetings. Also, that overextended boss who never seems to know what’s going on with his or her employees or even how to motivate them. This is due to a lack of executive presence. But the good part about it is that this can change.

What Makes up Executive Presence?

Executive presence is a mix of good communication, mental attitude, and an authentic style. It’s the ability to combine the skills needed to create a confident, natural, and consistent leadership presence supported by an inner mindset. At its core, executive presence is intentional, individual, and inspirational.

Intentional – Your beliefs sit at the foundation of your presence. They influence everything about you from your actions to your body language. Therefore, you need to understand what type of presence you want to demonstrate. Likewise, you need to know what values you want to convey. Lastly, you need to see whether these match up with how others currently look at you.

Individual – When we form connections, we do so with individuals and not with the hierarchical concept of a manager or leader. It’s these connections, be it with colleagues, investors, or customers, that drive business and loyalty. And contrary to popular belief, building and maintaining these connections doesn’t require having all the right answers or working harder than everyone else.

Inspirational – What tools do you use when you want to inspire others? How do you go about getting others excited about a particular idea or project? These are an important element of executive presence.

How is your leadership team working on inspiring their staff members? Is there an emphasis placed on executive presence in your organization? I would like to set up a meeting with you and discuss best practices. Let’s connect at or +1 (604) 943-0800.

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Inscape Consulting Group
Greg Nichvalodoff, BSc. BM (Honors), MBA, PCC, CMC
Office: 604.943.0800
Mobile: 604.831.4734