Tell-Tale Signs

Emperor No ClothesKate Thome wrote a three-part series on Executive Presence on LinkedIn recently. She discussed three kinds of observable behaviours which would indicate whether or not a person has that X-factor commonly known as Executive Presence. I call them tell-tale signs.

Uptalk. This is when every statement you make sounds like a question from someone with a very callow perspective:

Maintaining your composure. This is a little elaboration about the adage that leaders should not allow their people to see them sweat:

Adopting a posture that exudes power

Knowing how we are designed in principle, it would be quite obvious that our observable behaviours are actually expressions of our inner states of being. We may try to project Executive Presence. On the other hand, we may be trying not to, for whatever reasons. In either case, we cannot help but show that we either do have Executive Presence or show that we are not very comfortable in the rarefied atmosphere where Executive Presence likes to dwell. We will exhibit tell-tale signs and no matter what some other people say, I submit to you that we are not able to hide these tell-tale signs completely. So what do we do if we want to have Executive Presence?

Thai formal wearThe first step is to ask why you want Executive Presence. Be absolutely honest, now. If it is because you genuinely wish to serve and help others, well and good. However, if it has anything at all to do with personal ambition, forget it. You will try to display Executive Presence, but you will never rise above the stature of a hated tyrant. Work on improving yourself first of all.

If, however, you are genuine in wanting to serve and help others succeed, you would not have any problems exuding Executive Presence. In fact, you would be hard put to hide it! If this describes you, then you just need to pay a little more attention to what Kate Thome and others are saying about presentation skills, upgrading the level of your decisiveness and paying more attention to your posture, which is also affected by your level of fitness and health.

The second step and beyond then fall into place. Simple, right? Great! Call me for a chat over coffee or tea. No need to tell me how you’ve achieved Executive Presence. I’ll know. Tell-tale signs.

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