Do you know what your personal brand is? Like it or not, you have one. The bigger question is: Did you create it? Or did you let other people’s perceptions create it for you? At ELC, we have this conversation with many of our executive coaching clients. You can anchor the root of your executive presence in your personal brand to accelerate your leadership influence and results.
Some of our clients get the importance of a personal brand right away, and others find it uncomfortable. If personal branding feels uncomfortable to you, it might be because you have a misconception about what it is.
What Is Executive Presence?
Executive presence refers to the combination of qualities and characteristics that enable an individual to lead and inspire confidence in others. This includes physical demeanor, communication skills, personal brand, and overall professional image. It is the perception that one projects their ability to lead and make decisions at a high level.
An individual with a strong executive presence is seen as confident, charismatic, and knowledgeable. They are able to articulate their ideas clearly and effectively, and they possess a strong sense of self-awareness that allows them to adapt to different situations and audiences. Additionally, they have a commanding presence and a professional image that reflects their personal brand and the values of their organization.
Another perspective you can take is that your executive presence is directly related to your WHY.
Your WHY is who you are at your core – both personal and professional – and forms the driving force behind fulfilling your meaningful vision. Connecting to your WHY is the first step to transforming your personal brand, motivating your team and boosting company performance.
Why Is Executive Presence Important?
Executive presence is not just about looking the part, but also about having a deep understanding of one’s strengths, weaknesses, and values. It involves a commitment to continuous self-improvement and personal growth, and a willingness to take calculated risks and make tough decisions. This combination of skills and qualities enables individuals to earn the respect of their colleagues and to effectively lead teams and organizations.
In today’s competitive business environment, executive presence is increasingly important for success. Organizations are looking for leaders who are not only knowledgeable and experienced, but who can also inspire and motivate others. A strong executive presence and clearly defined WHY can help individuals advance their careers, build their personal brand, and leave a lasting impact on their organization.
3 Simple Tips To Improving Executive Presence
Enhance Communication Skills
Strong communication skills are critical for building executive presence. This includes the ability to articulate ideas clearly and concisely, listen actively, and respond appropriately in different situations. Improving public speaking skills, developing effective presentations for the right audience level, and learning to handle difficult conversations can all contribute to enhancing executive presence.
Develop Confidence and Self-Awareness
Confidence is key to projecting executive presence, but it’s also important to be self-aware. This means having a clear understanding of one’s strengths, challenges, and values, and the ability to adapt to different situations and audiences. Engaging in self-reflection, seeking feedback from others, and taking calculated risks can all help to build confidence and self-awareness.
Build Personal Brand
Developing a strong personal brand is essential for projecting confidence and competence. This involves identifying unique strengths, values, and qualities, and incorporating them into personal and professional image. Building a professional network, engaging in mentorship and professional development opportunities, and being active on social media can all help build a strong personal brand.
What is a personal brand?
Frank McKinney, author of Aspire, calls personal branding “the art of amplifying your essence.”
Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, is widely quoted as saying, “Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room.”
Bottom line – your personal brand is your reputation, how you’re perceived.
Most people who are uncomfortable with the concept of personal branding think of it as manufactured – trying to be someone they’re not – but it’s quite the opposite.
You can intentionally create your personal brand based on your authentic essence, or you can let others do it for you. And sometimes, when you let others do it for you, they get it all wrong.
Your personal brand should focus on what makes you YOU. We call it your “OS” – Your Operating System.
How does your personal brand elevate your executive presence?
When we begin an executive coaching engagement, we often hear that a leader needs more “executive presence” to progress in their career or increase their influence. And the very next question we get is: “What does executive presence mean?”
Many leaders know executive presence when they see it, but they have a hard time explaining what it is in tangible terms. In short, it’s a leadership skill – a set of learned behaviors – that enables others to want to follow you.
Sylvia Ann Hewlett, author of Executive Presence: The Missing Link Between Merit and Success, defines executive presence as how a leader acts (gravitas), speaks (communication), and looks (appearance).
All three of these qualities connect to your personal brand – they’re all about how you’re perceived.
How do you create a personal brand?
If as McKinney says, your personal brand amplifies your essence – How do you find or define your essence?
When it comes to personal branding, like with everything we do at ELC, we start with unleashing the superpower of your WHY-the essence that drives your personal brand. Finding your WHY is the first step to crafting a personal brand that resonates with your team and company.
Our Why Connection Session was meticulously crafted with the help of our executive coaches to enable you, your team, and your organization to swiftly uncover and nurture their WHY.
Once your WHY is uncovered, we can then move on to the next step which involves identifying and leveraging your HOW – how you bring your WHY to life – and your WHAT – what others can expect from you.
Once these are recognized, you can start evoking passion, purpose, and power into your personal brand and the teams around you.
Elevate Your Executive Presence With Professional Executive Coaching
Executive Leadership Consulting differs from other executive coaches by developing your executive presence on the foundation of your WHY. Identifying and living out your unique purpose will enable you to build a powerful personal brand that will influence those around you.
If you haven’t already, take the time to discover your WHY and see how it will elevate your executive presence.