Berger Leadership Blog

Oct 07, 2022

Harnessing executive presence as a leader

Have you ever heard the term ‘executive presence’? Joel Garfinkle defines it as a catchall term for the charisma, confidence, decisiveness, and boldness that leaders often present. It’s true that a leader with a strong executive presence radiates confidence and can command a room and inspire their team.

Garfinkle says it best: “Strong executive presence is what gives the best leaders their persuasive power, the respect of everyone in their company, and the ability to influence people at all levels – no matter what position they hold.”

In a recent article by Garfinkle, he outlines the three characteristics of leaders with executive presence. Based on my own experiences, I couldn’t agree more with Garfinkle on the most important things to consider when it comes to crafting your own executive presence:

  • Clearly demonstrating authority. Speaking decisively, sharing clear rationale for your ideas, and ensuring that you are highly engaging when speaking to your team will help you radiate the “aura of authority,” as he calls it.
  • Securing the confidence of those around you. Ask yourself if your team views you as a confident, bold, charismatic leader. As a leader, you should inspire confidence in your team and also create a space for others to feel confident around you.
  • Painting a picture of yourself as a compelling force. It is important as a leader to establish an ability to influence outcomes, contribute to major decisions, and drive change. This will not only boost your own confidence level, but it will also garner the respect of your peers and your team.

And personally I would add one more:  be a servant-leader.  Take care of your staff and in turn, they take care of your customers/members. It has to be done in an authentic and genuine way but it will pay huge dividends in the long run.

In the end, people will always form their own opinions about your ability to lead. It’s important to acknowledge your role in upholding your own image and shaping the appropriate narrative. Possessing the ability to harness your own executive presence can successfully label you as a leader with magnetism, as someone who grabs people’s attention and inspires them to do great things.  

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