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
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.

The good news is that Holistic Executive Presence qualities live within each and every one of us in varying degrees. Exploring the nuances of Executive and Leadership Presence levels the playing field for all leaders—and it creates a very specific case for what each leader needs to do to influence and drive results.


“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 today, to Influence, Engage, Align, Mobilise  and Inspire people to Act. Thats why I also call it 'Leadership Presence'. Executive Presence does not mean transforming your fundamental personality. It is about bringing your unique talents and special abilities forward, to the task of leadership. It is about understanding how perceptions of your presence, align with your intentions and impact your leadership. Then, leveraging your strength and perhaps addressing some gaps , you will grow mature leadership skills that serve to enhance your leadership brand. 


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 is in Executive & Leadership  Coaching and previously in areas of Personal Branding, Image Management, Career Growth. 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. As we look at modern leadership through the lens of Executive Presence, we take an holistic approach that addresses -- the 'harder' driving , 'softer' emotional and social components of leadership.


The capacities of Authenticity in our 'holistic' approach, lies in evolving the 4 parts of our human-nature -- i.e. Spirit, Heart, Mind and Body -- bringing it forward to its potential and capacity, as it applies to Executive Presence. The capacities:

Spiritual:  Inner-core Capacity that Inspires Excellence

Mind:   Intellectual Capacity that Executes Vision

Heart:  Socio-Emotional Capacity that Forges Relationships

Body:   Socio-Communicative Capacity that Drives Performance

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.


Congruency, 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.

Leadership 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 developing 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.

  • Having an Executive 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. Executive Presences qualities that build trust, inspire action, forge connections and drive performance support your development as a leader.

  • Facing New and Complex Challenges:

    As leaders face new and complex challenges at work, whatever got you here—that combination of technical skill, business acumen, and drive to succeed—will only take you so far. It's here, in those new challenges like promotions, new roles, as you stand on a bigger stage— that leaders create opportunity for growth and success. The needle for developing executive presence qualities has moved from 'good to have' to 'must-have' qualities as a leader.

  • 'Softer' Qualities of Leadership matter:

    The ‘softer’ socio-emotional qualities of Executive Presence are just as important as the ‘harder’ driving ones, when it comes to achieving outcomes. The so-called soft skills, are certainly no easier to demonstrate, but they are equally wired to the bottom line of business.

  • 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. Their view of these executive presence qualities is relevant to your success as a leader. Fearlessly approach your leadership development so that you unleashed the power of your unique presence.

  • Improve your mingling quotient

    Learn to handle a variety of social and business situations such as networking events, business meetings and making presentations, etc.. 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.

Small Coaching Group enrolment for 12 month period. Safe environment created for candid sharing and learning from each other. Hot seat coaching, Client-generated topics, Experiential learning, Break-out rooms and Peer support. Curated media delivery, exercises, mentoring, with quarterly ‘Ask me Anything’ live coaching call.

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'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 40-minutes Strategy Session with us.

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