When we talk about climbing the leadership ladder, having a strong executive presence is like having a superpower.

But here’s the thing: it’s not just about getting to the top or making yourself look good. It’s about lifting up the whole team, the whole organization. Results Driven Leadership gets it – it’s about setting an example that resonates throughout the entire company.

Let’s Break Down Executive Presence

You might think executive presence is something you’re born with – like being tall or having blue eyes. But that’s not the case. It’s a skill, like learning to ride a bike or cook decent spaghetti Bolognese. It’s how you carry yourself, how you talk, how you listen, and how you connect with people on a real level.

If you’re looking to boost your leadership game, honing your executive presence is non-negotiable. It’s not just about bossing people around; it’s about building confidence, sparking engagement, and creating a space where trust and new ideas flourish. Let’s dive into some no-nonsense strategies to get you there, focusing on Emotional Management, Thought Leadership, and Leading Others.

Emotional Management

Leaders need to be in tune with their emotions – it’s key. Here’s how to keep your emotional smarts sharp

  • Check In With Yourself: A couple of times a day, just pause and ask yourself how you’re feeling. No need to do anything about it; just notice. It’s like checking the rearview mirror while driving. This isn’t about acting but about building a deeper awareness of your emotional state. Know that your state of emotion has a direct effect on your team. Are you in the right state for them?
  • Take a Breather Before Meetings: Before you step into your next meeting, take a deep breath, hold it at the door for a second, smile, and then go in. It’s a simple trick but it makes a world of difference. Put on a genuine smile. This small ritual can significantly impact your presence and approachability. Be the positive vibe that shows engagement and enthusiasm.
  • Listen Up: For the first few minutes of any chat, resist the temptation to glance at your phone or laptop. Just listen. You’ll be amazed at what you pick up. Active Listening is about Challenging yourself to remain fully engaged with the speaker for the first five minutes of any conversation, resisting the urge to check your devices. You’ll likely discover new insights and perspectives by giving your undivided attention. During discussions, allow others to speak their thoughts completely. Don’t be an interrupter!
  • Shout Out the Good Stuff: Kick off your day or any meeting by calling out something great someone on your team did. It sets a positive vibe right from the get-go. Positive Communication is rocket fuel to your teams engagement. Send a short email to your manager highlighting a recent achievement by your team. This not only showcases leadership but also fosters a culture of recognition and positivity. Start every day with a 5-minute standup check-in meeting and begin the check-in with positive recognition for the team or a member of the team.

Thought Leadership

Being a thought leader isn’t about being the smartest person in the room; it’s about steering the ship with bold ideas and an open mind.

  • Speak Up: Don’t just warm a seat in meetings. Throw in an idea or perspective that might not be on the table yet. Your voice matters.
  • Innovative Contributions: During team discussions, make it a point to offer at least one alternative idea or perspective. This encourages diversity of thought and can lead to more innovative solutions. Don’t sit on your hands and let others lead the room. You have ideas and opinions. Share them! You’ll be surprised at how spot-on and supported you will be.
  • Stay Sharp: Make it a habit to catch up on industry news every day. It keeps your ideas fresh and relevant. keeps you informed and ready to bring fresh ideas to the table. Establish a routine daily where you devote yourself to education. Be the subject matter expert.
  • Brain Dump: Regularly set aside time to just brainstorm, no holds barred. You’re looking for quantity over quality here – the golden nuggets come later. Set aside time for an unrestricted brainstorming session focused on a company-wide issue, such as enhancing collaboration. Write down as many solutions as you can without self-editing. This exercise can help break down barriers and encourage open-mindedness.

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Happy female leader communicating with group of her colleagues during a meeting in the office.

Leading Others

Leading is more than just delegating; it’s about empowering your team and working towards shared goals.

  • Prioritize with Purpose: Start your day by figuring out your top three tasks. Share these with your team and get their take. It shows you’ve got a plan and you value their input. Begin your day by listing three key tasks and prioritizing them. Share these priorities with your team in your 5-minute stand-up meeting, inviting their input. Providing clear focus is invaluable for team productivity. Set the example of being strategic and planned.
  • MBWA (Management by Walking Around): Get out there and touch base with your team informally. It shows you’re approachable and you care. Conduct Personal Check-ins: Take the time for a short, informal conversation with a team member who might need a bit of encouragement or support. Keeping it under 10 minutes can make these interactions feel more spontaneous and genuine. Manage by walking around. Go and see and be assessable and visible. You cannot manage from an office or cubicle.
  • Be a Team Player: If someone’s stuck, roll up your sleeves and help out. It shows you’re all in this together. Don’t hesitate to offer direct help to a team member facing challenges with a task or project. Your willingness to assist not only resolves bottlenecks but also strengthens team cohesion. You earn respect and cement yourself as a team player and never a manager who is:” too good” to do what you expect your team to do. Clean the break room, Mop a floor, Load a truck, whatever just do it!
  • Set Goals Together: Spend time with your team to come up with a shared short-term goal. It’s about moving forward together. Spend time with your team brainstorming a realistic short-term goal that you can pursue together. This not only aligns efforts but also enhances team spirit and collaboration.

What’s Next?

Boosting your executive presence might seem like a tall order, but it’s more about the little things – the daily habits that build up over time. Pick a couple of strategies that resonate with you and give them a go. Watch how they change the way you feel and the way others respond to you. Leadership is a journey, and these small steps can lead to big leaps.

And hey, if you’re looking to level up your collaboration game, why not check out our free assessment? It’s a quick way to see where you stand and where you could shine even brighter.

Download Our Free Assessment to Determine Your Skill Level.