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The importance of leadership presence

20160914 giving giftLeadership presence, what is it?  We hear about the importance of leadership presence, however, as a client asked me recently “What actually is it and why is it important?”.

We know when we see leadership presence in someone, it makes them stand out as a leader and you will most likely be truly engaged with what they are doing. They gave you a ‘present’, as they made you feel special.

Building your leadership presence

Leadership presence is not something you just ‘get’ when you take on a leadership role, it is the essence of who you want to be as a leader, and how you want others to perceive you as a leader.  In our last Leadership Update, we discussed the importance of knowing your Genius Zone, and this is important when focusing on your leadership presence.

Leadership presence has links to another similar word – present.

Leadership presence is about being present

Present in knowing who you want to be as a leader.  Which means who do you want to be every day at work, in every meeting, in every interaction you have?  It is even knowing who do you want to be at home.  When you know who you want to be, then it is about being present in your delivery.

Present in knowing how you want others to see you and perceive you.  Which is challenging, as you need to have an appreciation of how others perceive you now, and having a heightened level of emotional intelligence.

Present to those around you and what they are seeking from you and what is important to them, and to actively listen to them.  To actively listen, you need to be present, and hold off any judgements, wandering thoughts, or your need to provide the answer.

Lastly, you need to be present in your actions. Your actions need to support what you are saying, and how you want to be perceived.  Which means your actions need to be authentic, as does your leadership presence.  Our body language can express confidence, empathy and show that we are listening.  In the same way, our body language can give us ‘away’, if we are not truly being present.

Spending time on your leadership presence, is challenging and valuable, not only to you, but also the people you want to lead.

Can you define your leadership presence?

Cheers, Andrea



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