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3 Simple Areas to Improve Your Executive Presence


The number one question that I'm most often asked is "How do I grow as a leader and develop my executive presence?"

Executive presence, what does that even look like?

You know it when you see it, right?

The person is poised, intuitive, creative, focused, powerful, persuasive, and even charismatic.  They communicate with ease, they have clarity, and have a way of simplifying complexity.

It would make sense why you want to improve your executive presence.  But how?

So often we look to tactical training to develop what is intangible and even subjective. 

How do you develop something that feels so hard to grasp?



In this video, we discuss three simple areas to improve your executive presence.  

We'll answer questions like...

  • What does it really mean to be present?
  • What is it that might be preventing you from being a more powerful and influential leader? 
  • What do all great leaders have in common?

Also,  as a bonus for checking out this training.  You can download The Executive Morning Plan below.  This is a great practical tool for you to show up with more executive presence.  Check it out!





3 Simple Areas to Improve Your Executive Presence

Transcript - February 13, 2020

How do I develop my executive presence? 

That was a question that I asked myself years ago. In fact, I've had a lot of clients asked me the same thing. They come to me saying, “I want to improve my executive presence and I want to improve my leadership presence.”

And so today, I want to share with you the three major components, the three pillars to executive presence, because when you can get clear on what those three are, you can start to create a developmental plan to grow your abilities in those areas and thus increase your executive presence. 

This is a topic I work with clients often.  They are asking how do I show up as my best self. How do I show up with confidence and with executive presence? 

Presence is everything and how you show up and how you present yourself and how you hold yourself can really change the outcome of the interactions with people. 

So if you're interacting with people, your presence is important.

Okay, so what are the three pillars to executive presence? 

The first one is be present. And when I talk about being present, there's a lot more to it than just staying off your cell phone. That might be part of it. 

There's an inner and an outer component to being present. Outer presence looks like not being on your phone, you're not in your head thinking about a meeting you have coming up an hour from now or a meeting you just had that didn't go well, instead you're very present. 

And if you're with somebody else, you're engaged in what we call active listening, right? 

What that means is, you're not in your head thinking about how you're going to respond, what you're going to ask them next or what you want to say next, you're literally open and actively listening to what they have to say. Responding to them and staying very present with their response.

So that's what I mean by outer presence.

You know, and you're grounded. You're, you're here, you know, the this the saying is be here now that's outer presence,

but then what about inner presence?

So inner presence is interesting because inner presence is also being present with yourself that you're that self right and in present with your thoughts, feelings and emotions, like what's going on in you, as you're interacting with the other person and This becomes very crucial in a negotiation or maybe a heated argument with your child. Maybe it's not a heated argument, but it's about to become one if somebody doesn't become more present.

But there's this inner presence of

what are the thoughts feelings and emotions going on. And you're you're paying attention to maybe some buttons that might be pushed, we all have buttons that can be pushed that can trigger, maybe some more aggressive communication styles, or stress or anxiety or fear or worry, right, or self doubt. And so being very aware, internally of what's going on with you in the moment, so that you can start to choose how you do respond. Because if you're not aware, you're going to react knee jerk react, say something you don't want to say. furrow your brow, you're going to you're going to send off some sort of flare that say, send a message that maybe you didn't want to send executive presence, presence in general, you don't want that to happen. You want to be very aware of yourself, so that you You can manage yourself and portray the message that ultimately you want to express and portray. So make sense. So this idea here is being present, is you want to be both the observer and the participant in whatever's happening, the observer and the partition participant that's inner and outer presence. Cool. So that was the first one. The second one, for executive presence, you know, the three pillars. The second one is stay open. This one, you know, I'm going to start with what is it? What's the opposite look like? What would it look like if you were to stay closed?

Closed would look like this. I already know the answer. You're wrong. I'm right. Maybe it's somebody that comes from a different background or belief than you and so you automatically put them in a stereotype. You put them in a box and don't really acknowledge them, right. That's staying close like it’s already known. I have the answer. You're wrong. I'm right. Can we just move on already? Right, that’s what close looks like? I already know what we need to do. But I'm just going to go ahead and ask the team here. What do you guys think, you know, we'll play this game but already know what we're going to do. So let's just get this out of the way because that's what a leader needs to do is ask his team but we're doing what I want to do, ultimately, that would be staying closed. Okay, so we're talking about staying open here. And there are a few key things to remember when it comes to staying open. One you cannot stay open while there are judgments occurring within you. So your ability to be open is directly correlated to your lack of judgment of the situation of the other individual. So what this means is, there is no such thing in these in these situations, there is no such thing as good or bad. Only what is okay? So you, you don't judge this thing as good or bad or right or wrong.

There is no judgment. It's just what is because when you're there, you're now open to where do we go from here?

Right? Where do we grow from here? What's the opportunity here? 

It's a powerful thing that successful executives have this ability to stay completely open-minded and unfazed by what oftentimes can be viewed as a bad situation. 

They can just sit with it and look at it and be like, okay, it is what it is. What do we do next? Where do we go from here? 

That is a great example of staying open. What if you were to reframe anything that you see as a problem or a challenge, as an opportunity? Yeah. Because when you do that, it removes the judgment from it. It's no longer bad. It's no longer wrong. It just is. And then it's your choice now to create an opportunity to take a next step that gets you a little bit closer to what you do want. Cool? 

So that's the second area of executive presence, there's three. So the third is do what matters. 

And this one becomes very important and there's some things to unpack here. 

There are two components of doing what matters notice. It's not just doing but it's doing what matters. 

And let's start with what matters. How do you know what matters? And this is where I think this is the number one thing that separates great leaders, great executives, great parents, great human beings, from everyone else, and these are the people they know their values, they know what they're about.

It's not that they know their company's values and they try to make them their own. They first check-in like well what are my values and maybe what resonates in my company's values with me and if you're the owner, or the leader, you kind of get a create some of those values and pull them out of your team. 

But what's most important is the intrinsic values that you hold, what are they? 

And values really inform the quality of action that you take it values describe how you desire to show up in life. Right? 

And so for example, my values, my top three values are curiosity, faith, and growth. And so what does that mean to me? 

Well, curiosity means I'm going to intentionally stay open, I'm going to be curious, because when I'm curious, everything changes for me when I stay curious, I stay productive, and, and, and, and very present. And that's, that's a key thing for me. So curiosity, I'm always going to be curious. 

The second one is faith. And for me, when I say faith, really, it's just this general hope that and knowing that I have a purpose, I'm here for a reason. And that there's always an opportunity and everything. And because I'm here, I'm here for an impact. I'm here to make a difference someway some how. And so faith allows me to continue to lean into that and look for the opportunity. 

And the last one is growth.I believe for myself, always challenging myself always growing is extremely important to me because I know when I stopped challenging myself, I stopped growing, then, well, if you're not growing, you're dying, right? 

I lose interest really fast. If I don't feel challenged if I don't feel there's an element of learning and growth. That's me, but what are you, what's your top three values? 

Because when you get those three values, three to five values, and you take those in, and you intentionally express them every day and in the work you do, life gets a lot brighter, you come alive, you experience more energy, you're more energized, you're more vibrant, and everything just gets a little more effortless. Everything becomes more effortless. I don't know if that goes together, less effort. 

You know, and those values are huge. And so when it comes to doing what matters, which is the third component of executive presence, right, if you think of any successful person, they're going to always do what matters they're going to stay in integrity with their values. 

And so the second part of that is you got your values the second part is taking committed action you're committed because you know your values. values are really nothing if you don't bring them alongside the action, right?

values that have no action beside them are like the values you see in some businesses, the placard of the bald eagle flying through the sky with the words courage below, right. You know, and people just plaster those on their walls, but nobody lives them out. 

That's what we joke about when we walk into a business and we're like oh values, but you know it when you see it, you know, a company when they have values and they're true to them because there's action there's it's congruent, right? And so Values alone aren't worth much values paired with action committed action, our game changer. And what I mean by committed action here is its action that you're willing to take. 

Even if it's uncomfortable, even if there are unpleasant feelings and emotions, maybe there is some fear, maybe there is some stress or anxiety. Taking committed action is choosing your values over your fear, instead of responding to a fear and running away from it or avoiding it or or not taking any action, you know that because of your values and who you are, you have no other choice but to lean into it and move and take that committed action.

So that's it. I mean, really, if you really think about it, executive presence, what is it? Well, executives that are president, presidents of those are executives, presidents in general that that presence that that charisma that that ability to really show up and people have to take pause, have three, three elements, right, you're present, you're open, and you're consistently doing what matters. And when you can bring all three of those in alignment, you become a very powerful leader, a leader that has a lot of influence with his team, a leader that can create a lot of opportunities, because they're so in alignment with who they are. And they remain out of judgment, they stay open, and they stay present. And when you can do that, a lot can change for you. And again, like I said early, earlier, these are three themes that we focus around on with a lot of my clients I work with is as they're trying to increase their leadership presence or executive presence, become better communicators. This is a great place to start and you know, and one of the areas I want to share right below this video. There's a link are a signup form to my executive morning plan. 

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