Do You Have Executive Presence?

Sometimes referred to as the “it” factor, the “wow” factor, or even the “charisma” factor, executive presence makes great leaders stand out.

If you are aspiring to be a great leader or to move to the next level in your career you need to know how to increase your executive presence. Your body language, appearance, and your behavior says more about you and who you are than anything you may verbalize. It takes 90 seconds or less to create a lasting impression and sometimes a career lifetime to undo a negative 1st impression.

Answer true or false for the following list of attributes, and determine which areas you need to focus on to increase your personal executive presence:

* You are able to attract positive attention when you enter a room, a meeting, or a group setting. People naturally gravitate towards you.

* You have a strong personal brand which has developed over time and is based on other people’s positive experiences with you

* People trust you and you have built a large and loyal following

* You have a high degree of speaking, presenting, and writing ability

* You are smart, highly competent, have a great degree of substance, and perhaps you are even considered an expert in your field

* You have a strong physical presence and a sense of style in the way you dress and in the way you present yourself

* You have an air of confidence bordering but not crossing arrogance with an energy about you that draws people in

* You have strong communication skills with an ability to speak clearly, concisely, and easily get your point across.

* You have high emotional intelligence with the ability to read a room, read between the lines, read people and situations, and adjust your own communication or behavior to the situation

* You have the ability to move between high levels of strategic communication and get down into the details when necessary

* You are courageous, unafraid of taking risks, sometimes even described as “bold”

* Your manners are impeccable, you are charming, socially appropriate and gracious to all people regardless of status or position

* You are a really good active listener knowing when to speak vs when to listen. You correctly pick your moments.

When you are finished taking this quiz, ask someone close to you to retake this quiz with you in mind. Review their answers against your own. Really look closely at any gaps.

Executive presence is in the eye of the beholder. How others see you and experience you is the essence of executive presence.

According to a study conducted by Dr. Gavin R. Dagley and the Australian Human Resources Institute (2009) of 34 leaders, the following important distinction was made between leadership and executive presence. “Effective leadership causes people to act; effective executive presence causes people to listen.

People aren’t born with executive presence; they learn or develop it over time. If you are looking to increase your “it” factor then consider hiring an executive coach. A coach can help you identify the gap between where you are right now and where you want to be, and help you close that gap.

For more information on executive presence and closing the gap, contact Linda at or call 416-617-0734.

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