|“She just doesn’t have Executive Presence,” he moaned.
Listening to the senior executives complain about one of their EVPs, I took a deep breath before responding; it’s a phase I frequently hear when hired to work 1:1 with leaders to help advance their careers. And when I hear that, well, it frustrates and fascinates me.
It’s a common complaint among senior leaders at strategic meetings and succession planning conversations I am often part of. Still, these same executives often can’t actually explain to me what they mean by it.
The phrase ‘executive presence’ is often used but rarely defined.
Executive Presence is not something mysterious that people ‘lack’ – it’s a SKILL, NOT a secret.
Executive Presence is a skill that can be developed with the right strategies and coaching
Let’s stop using the word ‘executive’ and call it Presence.
So how do you have more Presence? Presence is all about demonstrating confidence—the ability to inspire confidence in others and yourself, and confidence from others, especially from leadership.
That’s it. Easy peasy.
You know when someone has it, and unfortunately, when they don’t. It’s easy to see and hard to name. So let’s fix that.
In our research with leaders in the Luxury Mindset research, we learned that luxury helps many leaders feel more confident. 60% of the leaders surveyed shared that confidence was the number one quality for presence.
Other qualities they listed included:
- Ability to inspire others
- Creative thinking
- Ability to articulate a vision
- Emotional intelligence
- Public speaking skills
- Storytelling ability
As you can see, these qualities are related, and turning your attention to developing any of them can help increase your presence. And incorporating luxury into your life can most certainly impact all of these—I’ve even written down a few tips on how to use luxury to improve your confidence here.
Personality doesn’t dictate presence; confidence drives presence.
I recently shared our Luxury Mindset Research as the keynote speaker at the Hotel Nikko in San Francisco (a great city, fabulous hotel) for the ALHI Executive Women in Leadership Program. It was phenomenal—you can see my Instagram reel here.
When introduced to the vice president of the hotel, Anna Marie, I immediately thought, ‘Now this is a woman with presence’—she is confident, fun, assertive, and deeply respected in the industry.
As the host for this magnificent event, she provided an environment to allow her team to shine, connected us with leaders in the area, spoiled us with gifts to enhance our experience; and you knew she was the person in charge just by the way she entered a room—I love that. Each and every moment felt luxurious.
You don’t have to have a big personality, be the social butterfly, or have the biggest title in the room to have presence. Presence can be a quiet confidence and demonstrated by those that are knowledgable and the go-to person on the team.
As a leader, consider how you are creating an environment to allow others to grow, shine, and feel more confident. If you want to make your workplace feel more luxurious, you might enjoy reading one of our previous blogs with practical tips to appeal to all the senses; read more here.