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What is Presence Anyway?

I’m glad you opened this today because I’m talking about a hot topic in leadership development.

Presence (aka executive presence, leadership presence, professional presence) 

Let’s get right down to business, shall we? What it is and why does it matter

First, know that there’s no official definition of  *executive* presence.

(Go ahead, ask Google…I’ll wait)

There’s a lot of definitions, but you’re reading this because you want mine.

Well, after years of studying,  teaching,  and coaching professionals on presence,  here’s how I define it.

Presence is your unique combination of style, skills, and standards that allow you to show up with confidence, not arrogance.

Why does it matter? 

Here’s what the research tells us.

We’re judged on our competence within 100 milliseconds of meeting someone.  That’s according to Deborah Grunfeld, researcher, and professor at Stanford University.

Can we agree that the more confident we are when we meet someone, the better the impression?

If that doesn’t hit your sweet spot, think about this…

The Center for Talent Innovation surveyed 268 senior executives and concluded that  “executive presence” counts for 26% of what it takes to get promoted.

Think about that for a moment.

Let’s say you want a promotion, and as it stands right now, you’ve got a 50/50 chance of getting it based on job performance alone. If you do nothing to work on your presence, you keep your 50/50 shot.

But, if you spend time working on your presence, you increase your chance of getting that promotion by up to 76%.   That hits home differently.  That says your presence isn’t just affecting how confident you feel; it’s impacting your wallet.

What’s the bottom line here?

Your presence matters.

If you haven’t given thought to how you’re showing up in the world, maybe you should.



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