Executive Presence

“It is executive presence—and no man or woman attains a top job, lands an extraordinary deal, or develops a significant following without this heady combination of confidence, poise, and authenticity that convinces the rest of us we’re in the presence of someone who’s the real deal.” ― Sylvia Ann Hewlett, Executive Presence: The Missing Link Between Merit and Success

“A person exhibiting executive presence is someone who, by virtue of the effect he or she has on an audience, exerts influence beyond that conferred by formal authority.” ___ Gavin Dagley.

Having an effective “Executive Presence” is a determining factor in the ability to grow your career and influence others. Presence is an increasingly big part of what it means to be a leader, in the boardroom, at the dinner table or on LinkedIn. Executive Presence does not mean transforming your fundamental personality. It is about adopting specific practices that fit in with the personality you already have – i.e. tapping our personal resources, to achieve a “presence” that helps reflect confidence, poise, character, competence and authenticity.


Executive Presence is an evolving concept and there is also a lot of ongoing research and study around putting this concept together. My own experience and professional training has been in area of Personal Branding, Image Management, Career Growth and now Executive Coaching. I see a lot of relationship between the recent Executive Presence concept, and what I have been practising since last 10+ years. Based on my own experience, I have developed a simple and practical 4 x 3 model in defining executive presence qualities which I would like to share here – I call it the A.C.E model.


A.C.E. Executive Presence model consists of unique interaction of two main dimensions — Authenticity and Congruency — which go into creating an Executive Presence for Impact, Influence and Inspiration.


is in the ‘Full-person’ approach: that lies in evolving the 4 parts of our human-nature — i.e. Spirit, Heart, Mind and Body — to its potential and capacity, as it applies to Executive Presence:

Spiritual:  Awareness and Purpose

Mental:    Vision and Credibility

Emotional:  Relationships and Trust

Physical: Communication and Impression

From the above, it is clear – that the ability to produce long-term executive presence has a lot to do with “who we are”, “how we make others feel”, in addition to a “set of behaviours” -– which when combined, send all the right signals.


is how the 4A dimensions Relate, Interact, Align and Build upon each other at different levels of Executive Presence :

Situational Presence: is about creating the desired ‘impact’ in short-duration communication situations, like meetings, presentations, network events, giving feedback, etc.

Personal Brand Presence: creates the desired perception in the hearts and minds of your target audience to broaden your sphere of ‘influence.’ It is the overall qualities of mature leadership that speak to credibility, empowerment, and shared-vision that makes people compelled to listen, admire and take account of your views.

The Inner Presence: ‘inspires’ people do what you ask of them because they believe in you even more than your words. It is your inner core—the personal traits and values that define you — which come into play as values-in-action and ability to lead with purpose, trust, authenticity, and openness.

While ‘Authenticity’ creates a solid foundation for exuding executive presence, ‘Congruency’ creates movement and interaction to exude ‘Executive Presence’ with an intention to Inspire, Influence and/or make an Impact.

“You demonstrate executive presence with communication and embodied behavior that; connects easily with people, paves the path for working together, reads the room, signals empathy, builds trust, and demonstrate decisiveness.”

It is in these small changes that make big differences to that X-factor in leadership.

ACE Executive Presence Online Small-Group Coaching Program
Executive Presence strongly influences other people’s perception of your trustworthiness and intelligence. For an effective Executive Voice; the development of an authentic executive presence, must start from the inside. This "inside-out” executive presence , is essentially your message, your communication to the world and it is important to know the science and the art of creating a lasting positive impact.
  • Having an Executive Brand Presence is a leadership requirement:

    Be proactive, take control and define what you represent as a leader and how this will shape the manner in which you will serve others.

  • Communicate effectively:

    Hold attention of your audience when speaking, be totally present in a conversation or in a meeting, and learn the art of being perceived as being of value to others around you.

  • First Impressions matter:

    Making a great first impression is imperative to becoming an influential leader. 30 seconds is all it takes… so, it makes sense to present one’s self in precisely the way we would like to be perceived.

  • Be the leader you want to be:

    Your behaviour must be congruent with what people know and believe about you and your role in the organization. If there is dissonance, people judge you as ineffective.

  • Improve your mingling quotient

    Learn to handle a variety of social and business situations such as networking events, business meetings and fine dining etiquette skills


'Executive Presence' Program is available in the PREMIUM category (i.e. 1-to-1 coaching). If you are ready to commit to taking your career to the next level... Schedule a free 30-minutes Strategy Session with us.

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