“What is ‘Leadership Presence’ And Have You Got It?”

In his blog The Rat Race Trap of January 2011 “Unconscious Influences On Our Behavior”, Stephen Mills commented, ”One of the most fascinating, and to me unnerving, results to come out of a lot of recent psychological research is just how much of our behavior is subject to unconscious influence.  I for one and I think most people like to believe we are acting deliberately when in fact we often are not.”

I came across this quote when researching a chapter for a book “Breaking The Barriers To Business Growth” that Right Angle Consultants have invited me to contribute to. I’m in the middle (oh gosh, how many times do I say that!) of writing a chapter:“Being The Influential Leader”. And I would love it if you were to give me some help with it.

When you are riding that bucking bronco of a high growth company at a time of maximum risk and maximum opportunity, you need to influence everyone who comes into your orbit – staff, directors, investors, customers and suppliers – and especially your spouse! You may have been technically extremely competent at what you do when the company was small and perfectly formed. Now, however, there is a scramble to keep ahead of the game. You need to keep yourself very focused on making sure you are in command and looking like the leader. Investors have been known to kick out the founder and CEO of the company if there is any hint they are not in charge at this stage, for instance.

So how do you influence people to follow things your way? By cultivating that invisible talent, “Leadership Presence”. Obvious I know but you cannot lead unless people to follow you. So how do you get people to follow you? How do you get people to buy from you, your ideas, your concepts, your argument, as well as your products or services unless you have the talent to persuade and impress? Your first “sale” will be because you are trusted – you have convinced people to believe you, believe what you have said is true, have confidence in your judgement. So how do you do it?

  1. You have unshakeable self belief
  2. You have relaxed authority
  3. You have complete focus on the task or person in front of you.
  4. You are utterly ‘present’
  5. You have energy and excitement that inspires
  6. When you come into the room, everyone turns round
  7. You have self respect and win respect from others
  8. You have self discipline and containment to be succinct in your thinking, speaking and movement
  9. You have self awareness and inner knowledge of your strengths and how to play them
  10. You have gravitas since you take what you do and what you believe (though not yourself) seriously.
  11. You have a vision for what you want that magnetises others
  12. You speak with transparent clarity so that there are no barriers between you and the listeners thinking
  13. You prioritise your time
  14. You listen intelligently
  15. You know what others are thinking since you are cannily aware of how they operate
  16. You constantly anticipate events and at times, stage manage them
  17. You LOOK like a leader
These are the characteristics I’ve observed in the leaders I admire.
So what do you admire in a good leader? And who are they? I’m aware that these are just my thoughts. I’d really appreciate your help in coming up with some more observations from your point of view. Anyone who gives me their help will be sent the finished chapter.

About anrah

Anrah is a business development consultancy specialising in helping senior women in engineering and science, their teams and doctoral students increase 'presence', improve communication and generate impact to win stakeholder buy-in at the highest level.
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2 Responses to “What is ‘Leadership Presence’ And Have You Got It?”

  1. Sarah says:

    Fascinating, Sarah – really looking forward to the finished chapter, and tot the book as a whole!

    • anrah says:

      Thanks alot for your comments, Sarah. It means alot coming from a published author and seasoned publisher yourself.

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