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The Smart Techie was renamed Siliconindia India Edition starting Feb 2012 to continue the nearly two decade track record of excellence of our US edition.

September - 2011 - issue > People Manager

Executive Presence!

C. Mahalingam
Thursday, September 8, 2011
C. Mahalingam
As managers, we all would like to remain relevant, respected and valued. This involves, of course, a lot of hard work and credibility. But as smart and successful managers recognize, this also demands executive presence. There is no simple definition of what this means. Executive presence is how we are perceived holistically by those we work with, in an organizational context. This has become an essential leadership competence for effective relationships at work and for producing results. Without it, there is a significant possibility that our viewpoints may not carry impact and our ability to rally the necessary resources and support will be limited. As managers, our effectiveness can be substantially high or low based on our executive presence.

We come across colleagues and leaders in our organizations with executive presence. We recognize it when we experience the same. Executive presence plays a major role in interpersonal engagement. However, there are many misconceptions that need to be expelled and clarified on this subject. Listed below are some of them:

* Executive Presence comes with position or hierarchy. Nothing can be further from the truth. The fact is that in most organizations, several senior executives are struggling to build their executive presence, having made it to the senior levels. Commanding respect and following has become a huge challenge for them

* Executive Presence is about creating the best “first impression.” Again, this is not true. While those with excellent executive presence do create a great first impression every time, executive presence is built through long-lasting impressions and takes time to build.

*Executive Presence is an innate quality. Again, this is not true. Pundits on this subject state that in reality, most of us are not born with this attribute. This is clearly a competence that is consciously built, honed and polished all the time. Investing in time and effort helps get to a decent level of executive presence. And there lies the good news that all of us can become reasonably good at this, with practice!

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