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Deconstructing Executive Presence

By John Beeson

If you ask a group of managers who aspire to the C-suite what it takes to get there, they’ll invariably mention executive presence, but they aren’t always so clear about what it means. Not too long ago, I conducted a series of off-the-record interviews with senior executives responsible for executive placement in their organizations. I asked them about the “make or break” factors they consider in making C-suite promotion decisions. Executive presence was one of the handful of decision criteria they cited, but even these experienced executives struggled to define what it is and why one person has it and another doesn’t. In an increasingly diverse world where senior executives are no longer all ...

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