Explore these key steps to developing or rebuilding your executive presence as an entrepreneur.
“Executive presence,” while not necessarily a household term, it’s one that entrepreneurs everywhere are getting familiar with. For business owners, your presence among team members, business partners, stakeholders, and the like needs to be indicative of the confidence and leadership you possess.
One of the most challenging aspects of being a leader is inspiring and motivating your team to make the right choices and take the right actions. As the driving force behind the operation that everyone looks to for guidance, your ability to lead, engage, inspire, empathize, and command respect is critical. But if you are not 100% confident in your ability to effectively do so, it doesn’t quite make you a bad entrepreneur; it just means there’s a good chance you’re falling short on your executive presence.
The good news is we shouldn’t think of executive presence as a talent you’re born with but instead, a skill that can be cultivated and built with the right strategies, focus, and practice. And the longer you play the game, the more important it becomes to stay on top of it. So even if you believe you have a good grasp of the concept, it’s always a good idea to continuously improve.
Let’s explore a few key steps to developing or rebuilding your executive presence as an entrepreneur.
Build Your Communication and Listening Skills
Communication is the cornerstone to successful leadership. Whether it’s communicating your vision, your expectations, or your questions, being able to articulate your point in a compelling way will certainly elevate your executive presence. But of course, there are two sides to every coin. Being an effective communicator involves not only speaking your mind but properly engaging by your ability to listen. Giving people your full attention and encouraging them to express their ideas or concerns will also demonstrate self-confidence and effective leadership.
An early sign of someone with an entrepreneurial spirit, as seen in many of the greats, is an open and curious mind. However, all too often do successful entrepreneurs lose the innate playfulness and inquisitiveness they started with. Leaders with a solid executive presence know the importance of cultivating sustainable curiosity. Curiosity is a natural element of human nature, and those with a competitive spirit are no stranger to it. The thrill you get from a new discovery or reading someone’s behaviour can be infectious and, at times, inspiring to others. By tapping into your curious mind and being open to new ideas, people around you will begin to sense your confidence and executive presence.
Learn to Thrive Under Stress
It can be easy to present yourself as a competent leader when things are going well, but how do you respond when the going gets tough? If your response when the stakes are high becomes temperamental, or worse, flustered, your executive presence goes out the window. No one feels confident in a leader who becomes easily overwhelmed or who unsuccessfully hides behind charisma as a coping mechanism. Staying calm, composed, and collected even during the direst of situations shows your team you’re well-equipped and in control. This inspires a sense of trust in your capabilities as a leader.
Self Awareness and Reflection
Developing executive presence results from careful analysis, self-reflection, and the development of one’s authentic self. Leaders with a great deal of self-awareness and emotional intelligence are more likely to exude executive presence. The path to this begins by being honest with yourself and understanding what areas leave room for improvement. Ask yourself questions like:
- What words do others use to describe me?
- What words do I think accurately describe me?
- Are there conflicts between my view and others’ views?
- What are the strengths of my current brand?
- What are the areas that need to improve?
Executive presence is a highly effective leadership tool that can be beneficial to any entrepreneur looking to enhance their abilities as a leader.
Being an entrepreneur can take a lot out of you. From facilitating networking events to connecting you with business coaches to taking care of the little things, let Modern Concierge help bring out your inner executive. Contact us today to learn how.