So many interesting discussions this week around this topic. How may times have you berated yourself for not being 'smart' or 'clever' enough. or say to yourself "I should know this!". I was utterly convinced when I started teaching that I would be 'found out' (actually most people I know still think this). If I'm really honest I still do it. You can have all the theories and facts up your sleeve but if you can't deliver it with presence and personality it goes for nought. This came from the Harvard Business School today.
Research from the Center for Talent Innovation found that executive presence rests on three pillars:
- Gravitas. This is the core characteristic, with 67% of the 268 senior executives surveyed saying that gravitas is what really matters to move to a leadership position. More than intellectual horsepower, gravitas is about signaling that you have the confidence and credibility to get your point across and create buy-in when the going gets rough.
- Communication. People know you have gravitas because you communicate the authority of a leader through your bearing, speaking skills, and ability to command a room. That’s why 28% of executives surveyed put this attribute at the top of the list of leadership materials.
- Appearance. While only 5% of leaders consider appearance key in executive presences, all recognize its power as a critical filter — and its potential for derailing talented up-and-comers.