When Executive Presence Isn’t Present

I’ve written a lot about my journey into digital marketing (I mean, I did dedicate a blog to it!). And I’m thankful to have discovered the field when it was in its relative infancy. I think I’ve done well over these past 10 years, but something is missing. There’s an invisible barrier that I feel like I’m hitting. And about a month ago it dawned on me – my executive presence isn’t present.

I’ve always thought that all you need is smarts in order to succeed. It’s true to an extent, but as I’ve grown in my career, politics and navigating politics has taken the driver’s seat. This is not Amazon-specific; I have friends in other companies whom are coming to this realization. And part of navigating politics is having a strong executive presence. In a survey by Gartner, it was second on the list of the top 20 leadership traits that make a difference.

What is it?

It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what it is, but if you’re in corporate America, you surely know someone who exudes presence. It’s the ability to walk into a room and own it, it’s charisma, it’s composure, it’s opening your mouth and a symphony of intelligent and witty thoughts come out (but not too many, because executive presence it’s all about being succinct). In other words, not exactly me.

So I’ve decided to become my own executive coach and share my journey. I’m putting myself in a vulnerable position by doing so – co-workers, friends and future employers may read this. But I think it’s important because there are others in a similar position and I want to share this in hopes that I can help others.

That’s not to say this experiment will work, but we’ll see.

I’m starting with this article as my guide and my first step will be to take a open and honest self-calibration based on the traits of executive presence. Stay tuned…

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