Je ne sais quoi…”an indefinable, elusive quality, especially a pleasing one”
For me, that is the definition of executive presence. Forbes defines it as “the ability to project gravitas – confidence, poise under pressure and decisiveness…Furthermore, communication—including speaking skills, assertiveness and the ability to read an audience or situation—and appearance contribute to a person’s perceived executive presence.”
According to a new study by the Center for Talent Innovation, the senior executives surveyed said “executive presence” counts for 26% of what it takes to get promoted.
I would argue that it’s a necessary quality for success regardless if you want to be an “L-code” or high performing individual contributor.
Business Insider has defined 7 traits that people with perceived executive presence display…
Composure: Self-awareness and understanding others are essential components of executive presence. The ability to control your emotions, recognize emotion in others and manage your response to them is key.
Connection: It’s critical to engage others when communicating and make them feel comfortable. The best way to connect is to understand your communication style challenges, how to overcome them, and how to read and adapt to the style of others.
Charisma: People who embody executive presence have the ability to draw others to them. This is often achieved through strong listening skills and an ability to stay “in the moment.”
Confidence: One key aspect of executive presence is to communicate confidence both in what you say and how you say it. To appear confident, good posture is essential. Next, eye focus is critical. Ensure you only speak when making eye contact and manage your eye focus appropriately when communicating with more than one person — one thought per person.
Credibility: Not only is your content important, but the language you choose to deliver it will impact your credibility. Filler language such as “um,” “uh,” and “so” immediately detract from presence. As do minimizers like “just,” “sort of,” and “this may not be a good idea but…” When someone with strong presence speaks, others take note, and there is no doubt of the conviction behind their words.
Clarity: For you to exude presence, the ability to clearly communicate is fundamental. If your point is unclear, any hope of commanding attention is lost.
Conciseness: Being verbose kills presence. Just as it is critical to know what you want to communicate, you must be able to do it concisely. Once you’ve delivered your message and validated it briefly, reverse back to others by asking, “What else can I share with you about this idea?”
In my opinion, demonstrating these characteristics 24/7, as opposed to only when you’re in front of a group, is the litmus test of true executive presence. That, and the ability to eat Clementine BBQ Baked Spare Ribs without constantly licking your fingers 😉
Description: Sweet, spicy, and citrus licking good. My taste testers were RAVING about these…
Clementine BBQ Baked Spare Ribs
5 pounds of spare ribs
BBQ Sauce –
~8 juiced mini clementines (need 1/2 cup juice, save skins)
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
Dash salt and pepper
1. Mix together ingredients for dry rub and press onto both sides of meat. Cover in saran wrap and refrigerate overnight.
2. Next day, broil ribs for 5 minutes then bake @ 350 for 2 hours.
3. While ribs are baking, combine ingredients for BBQ sauce (including clementine skins) in small saucepan over medium heat.
4. Bring to boil then simmer for 45 minutes.
5. Pour over ribs at 2 hour mark and cover with aluminum foil. Bake for additional hour.
6. Allow ribs to “rest” for at least 30 minutes before serving.
7. Keep extra napkins on hand once feast begins…
“We come nearest to the great when we are great in humility.”