Defining Aspects of Executive Presence

Defining Aspects of Executive Presence According to a recent Hewlett survey of some 4,000 business professionals, executive presence is one of the top reasons for leadership success and consists of three main factors: acting with “gravitas,” communicating effectively, and looking the part. Others have cited a multitude of other traits and actions that, in their view, define this elusive quality of executive presence, such as an ability to put oneself in another’s shoes or to keep other’s engaged. On the darker side, some have even despaired that hard work and true accomplishments seem to figure so small in what oftentimes leads to promotion in the business world, supposing that executive presence is a superficial veneer totally disconnected from true leadership. One way to define what we mean by “executive presence” is to see how it displays itself in various leadership roles, taken from all walks of life. Five aspects of executive presence observed in other arenas but applicable to the business realm are: 1. The Courageous, Confident General From time immemorial to the most recent battlefield engagement, men have followed other men into combat whom they have found full of confidence and courage. When Julius Caesar, George Patton, or Robert E. Lee, …

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