How the Most Successful Leaders Build Their Presence


This is the second part of a series on Purpose, Presence and Power: three key areas that get results — like raises and promotions — again and again for my executive coaching clients. Last time, we talked about leading with Purpose. Today, I'll share three strategies that successful leaders use to build a confident, authentic Presence that makes them more effective:

  1. Tastefully toot your own horn in a way that's relevant and fits who you are. Many people hesitate when it comes to self-promotion because they view it as self-centered. When done correctly, it can have a big impact. Your boss is responsible for leveraging your talent for the company and helping you develop. To do those things, she needs to hear about your strengths, talents and successes. They key is to focus on information that's relevant and useful to others as you self-promote. For tips, check out my videos on tasteful self-promotion.

    1. Proactively manage your energy to stay productive and avoid burnout.Being reactive and stressed out (or, on the other hand, disengaged and unenthusiastic) doesn't do much for your effectiveness or executive presence (two big reasons why leaders have to be vigilant about managing their energy). When things are crazy-busy, you might be tempted to just power through, but it typically has the opposite effect, diminishing your productivity and how others perceive you. Be more intentional about infusing energy into each day. This could be as simple as taking more breaks during the day, going to sleep even 15 minutes earlier if you are sleep-deprived, or taking a quick walk after a draining meeting or conversation. Focus on the quality of the activity, not the quantity of time you spend on it.

    2. Consistently connect your ideas to the bigger picture.Remember that others will draw conclusions about what you say and do using their own filters – and they may take away something different than you intend. Even if something seems obvious to you, take a moment to explain the connection between your words or actions and how they advance business goals.

Proactively focusing on your Presence will help you build more credibility and ultimately help you achieve better results. This week, choose one of the three key facets of presence to focus on. And be sure to stay tuned to for the third part of this series, where we'll talk about Power.