You’re preparing to present your high potential leaders at an upcoming talent review.
Anna is an effective manager with good peer relationships. She has exceptional technical skills, but you’re uncomfortable having her present to the senior team. You’re not quite sure why.
When you present your team at the talent review, there’s a lot of discussion and debate about Anna and a few other leaders. At the end of the session, the team concludes that what’s lacking is executive presence.
You may recall having heard about executive presence (or EP) recently.
Economist and author Sylvia Ann Hewlett wrote a book on the subject called Executive Presence: The Missing Link Between Merit and Success, which grew out of research examining why women don’t make it into top jobs. The research found that the main reason is that women lack senior advocates (or sponsors), and they don’t get sponsors because they lack EP.
In a related Big Think video (available on YouTube) Hewlett describes EP as what you signal to the world.
It’s the culmination of how you act, speak, and look:
- How well do you know your stuff?
- Can you get your ideas across?
- Do you look the part?
Executive presence isn’t new, but it’s become a hot topic.
Leaders need to be able to instill confidence in the face unprecedented rates change and complexity.
This is a real challenge, when you consider that in the U.S., confidence in senior leadership currently sits at 55% (according to the last Global Workforce Study by Towers Watson).
If Anna reported to you, what would you do? How would you help her change what she was signaling to the world?
In our next post, we’ll discuss some specific ways to help your leaders develop EP.
In the meantime, learn more about ECC’s Leadership and Communications Suite (including EP coaching) and give us a call +1.847.920.0190.
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