In public speaking and leadership development circles, the phrase “executive presence” is all the rage. But what is it? And does it matter?
No one quite agrees on what executive presence means.
It’s been called “the wow factor,” which merely substitutes one ill-defined concept for another.
It’s been likened to gravitas, charisma, and dynamism, which are equally fuzzy concepts.
It’s assumed that you’ll recognize it when you see it.
People with executive presence are described as having the ability to
- Quickly gain people’s attention and respect
- Exude confidence, poise, and calm under fire
- Influence and inspire others as much by who they are as by what they say and do
Everyone agrees that executive presence is a desirable quality in a leader.
And every leader or inspiring leaders wants it.
Forbes cites a study that concludes “executive presence counts for 26% of what it takes to get promoted.”