How Impactful is your Leadership Presence
Authentic leadership presence, or charisma is one of the most common characteristics people use to describe leaders who inspire their following.
It is that quality that enables some leaders to leave their audiences mesmerised while others have you reaching for your phones to check the latest Facebook update. It is also a quality that magically opens the doors of opportunity, influence, and success for some, while closing the same doors to others.
Unfortunately for a lot of people the concept of 'leadership presence' is an elusive one. Those lacking it often feel invisible and unheard within organisations, failing to take advantage of opportunities, or realise their true worth.
So what is leadership presence?
During the course of my career working with some of Australia's top leadership teams I have come to define leadership presence as “the ability to show up in a way that is distinctive, consistent and congruent with who we are." In very simple terms all the elements we recognise as 'having presence' coalesce around the key concept of authenticity, or your 'signature voice' as it is sometimes referred to.
Without knowing, embracing, and effectively communicating who you are and what you stand for, it is almost impossible for others to know, accept, and embrace you, much less trust and follow you. Leadership presence then is about being clear on who you are, and what you stand for, and communicating those unique points in a way that stands out from the crowd through a range of visual, verbal and non verbal cues.
So how do you create an effective leadership presence?
1. Understanding the self
The belief system that you operate within is the very thing that can propel you to greatness or hold you back. Your beliefs permeate your life and drive every interaction you have with the people around you. Therefore, it is critical that you understand your beliefs and their roots and do a regular audit to ensure the ones you are working to are serving you well.
The three critical beliefs every leader needs to review regularly are:
Framing these beliefs in a positive and collaborative way will immediately elevate your leadership presence.
2. What are you saying and how are you saying it?
Authentic and effective communication is a skill that requires thought and practice. There are so many ways communication can go awry, and so many channels that can be used, that it is important to begin with a very clear understanding of your message as well as your audience.
Effective communication is based on:
Framing the discussion
Using the correct platform
Connecting with your audience
3. Looking the part!
Our personal style has a singular power to make us look, feel, and act like the best version of ourselves. When we look good, we feel good, which in turn significantly alters our self-view and the way we interact with those around us. It brings a level of confidence and energy that allows us to understand, and accept our own worth and open ourselves to experiences and opportunities that may otherwise have remained out of reach.
4. Energising those around you
Because actions speak louder than words, your body language and mood have the ability to affect your audiences either amplifying, or silencing, your message. Non-verbal behaviour sends all manner of subtle, and not so subtle cues to your audience, therefore, it is important that you are sending the correct ones.
Addressing these key elements provides personal congruence to your leadership style which in turn is what drives your ability to lead from a place of confidence and strength, inspiring your audiences to not only join you, but follow you in good times, and bad. Taking the time to regularly reflect on, and understand what your leadership presence is saying to those around you, and the impact it is having on them, is key to your ongoing leadership success.
Author: Deidre Dattoli
Deidre is highly experienced in the fields of executive coaching and leadership development, team dynamics and performance, offering a range of personal and group leadership training programs, customized training solutions, consultancy and coaching services.
Deidre is one of Griffith Consulting's key program facilitators.
For more information about Deidre, please contact us, today.