Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Executive Presence - The Best Kept Secret to Career Advancement

The Best Kept Secret to Business Success:
Executive Presence
Are you ever curious why others get promoted, secure the key assignments, or are selected for the 'high performer' talent pool - and you are overlooked? You know you have as much talent as they do - maybe more.
If you work hard and receive good performance reviews and yet are consistently passed over for promotions to leadership and management positions, perhaps you are lacking an executive presence.

What is Executive Presence? The term executive presence is an ambiguous term. Some think of executive presence simply as your image. There is more to it than that. Executive presence is tough to define. However, you seem to know it when someone walks into the room that creates a certain impression and commands attention.
Executive presence is a combination of attributes, many of which are non-verbal. It is a self-assurance, a style, an energy, a way of being that says... I am capable and confident. I am a leader (even when you may not have the title "leader".)
Simply put, executive presence is about impression - the impression you create on others who are in a position to make a difference in your career or business. It may be the difference between getting the promotion you want or hearing disheartening comments such as "you are not ready yet" to move into management. It has less to do with your actual skills and abilities than it does with others' perception of your capabilities based on what they observe. There is a significant subjective component to executive presence.
When someone observes how you look, act, sound, respond, play the game (or not), brand yourself (or not) they make subjective assumptions about you that go well beyond the facts. They translate the impression you create into a "story" about you.
If you aspire to advance to managerial and leadership positions in your organization, or want to attract top clients to your company, you must possess the intangible, yet essential, attribute called executive presence.
Creating an Executive Presence
Do you convey an impression of competence and confidence? First impressions are powerful. Your impression makes a difference when you are attending a networking event, or participating in an interview, working, or simply doing your day-to-day job. The first impression you create is a lasting one. First impressions make a difference in the respect you earn and the results you achieve in work and in life.
The impression you create consists of what people see and hear. What you communicate, both verbally and non-verbally, creates an impression on others that they translate into an opinion of your capabilities.
It is important to note, your external impression is largely dependent upon your internal self-image. The conversation you have with yourself in your own head is consciously and unconsciously communicated through your words and actions. Ask yourself, do I convey a strong, and self-confident impression because that is the way I feel inside... or is the reverse true?
The good news is your executive presence is completely in your control. Assess your impression. Ask for feedback from trusted colleagues. Have them tell you the top five business attributes that best describe you.
Then take the necessary steps to shape your new image from the inside out. You may find you have work to do to build inner confidence before you can radiate external business confidence and a strong executive presence. One way to Market Yourself To The Top is to enhance your executive presence.

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