Executive Presence in your Absence? - Cherian Kuruvila

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"When your Absence is felt more than your Presence" was an instantaneous response I gave during a session at a conclave when the facilitator asked the audience their views on Executive Presence. I think it struck a chord :)

There are many views on Executive Presence that define the aura, the Emotional Intelligence, the communication style, the power dressing, the confidence, the quiet authority, the compelling power of a leader who carries himself or herself with élan.

All this in the moment when they are living it. I look at it from a different lens here to explore what makes one leader or entrepreneur stand out from the crowd over the years.

I see a couple of other critical factors that count and come to mind.

  • Do people remember how good you made them feel after an interaction?
  • Have you left a legacy behind wherever you spent time at work?
  • If your colleagues or team were to pick a role model leader would you be in the race?
  • Are you aware what they say about you behind your back? Two timing is common.
  • Do you treat everyone with respect or only those who matter for your selfish needs?
  • Do you listen patiently and with empathy or only want your voice to be heard because of your seniority or authority?
  • Do you say or do things without being sensitive to the audience?
  • Does the size of your wardrobe, the cars you drive, the money power you try to transmit count as much as your humility?
  • Does being a subject matter expert in your field necessarily translate to creating right perceptions that finally matter in career or business growth
  • Do you unknowingly sabotage yourself with your behaviour, style, etiquette or reactions under pressure as a leader or as a person?

And the list goes on. 

Executive Presence is about being there in the moment, being genuine, being authentic, sensitive, consistent, being who you are... and not the mask you put on for the external world. 

Will you please all? Certainly not. Do you need to? Certainly not.

Your Executive Presence and personal brand are what you make and sustain over the years and is not something driven by some quick fix social media burst. It works best when its inside out and not outside in as depicted in the picture below.

As Holistic Coaches working with senior leaders and entrepreneurs, we see how so many of them lose out on their Executive Presence due to their own self-image or self-awareness gaps or with their leadership behaviours, style, etiquette or reactions. And it’s so easy to fix and make it life changing :)

Make both your Presence and Absence count.

 

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