16 Get the “It” Factor: Create Presence

Clients whom I’m coaching often ask, “How do I get executive presence?” The question is tricky because “executive presence” isn’t easily defined. Most folks agree that leaders need it and great leaders have it. But it’s not so simple to deconstruct its elements.

Your definition may be based on a leader you know who has a commanding aura. You know what I mean—someone who exudes confidence and attracts people like a magnet. Sometimes the value of executive presence seems most obvious when it’s missing. I’m thinking of Ed*, a brilliant corporate attorney who was repeatedly overlooked when spots opened within his company’s management ranks. When I asked the COO whether Ed was likely to be promoted, she said, ...

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