Do you have Executive Presence?
Do people notice you, listen to you, respect you, seek your advice? If the answer is ‘yes’ you have Executive Presence*. It means power, command, ‘clout’. It says that you will achieve and get things done. It is the single most important requirement for a Top Person – and for those aspiring to be Top People. We also call it Stature, an even better word. Whatever you call it, make sure you have it. Without it you will be like an Emperor without clothes.
When I acquired the Pizza Hut franchises for Singapore and Malaysia we were visited by the then CEO of Pepsico, who owned the franchise. Wayne Calloway was a tall, large, John Wayne sort of figure. We met in one of the Pizza Hut restaurants we had built. He was a man of Stature, the epitome of Executive Presence. The minute we saw each other we knew we would get on. Within five minutes we sent away our teams and sat down alone over coffee to have a long chat about Pizza Hut, Singapore, the world. Within half an hour we were friends. I needed that later on.
Leadership is about who you are rather than what you do. Who you are is, of course, an amalgam of all the things you do, not just the big things. Top People necessarily do big things. They authorise investment, buy businesses, divest unnecessary parts of their business, stimulate innovation. All these are part of their job. So are equally important jobs such as hiring and firing, reward systems and wages, tweaking the business structure. To handle all this with concentration and focus – but also some detachment – requires excellent Executive Presence.
What you need for Executive Presence falls into four categories:
[a] Communication [b] Confidence [c] Behaviour [d] Personal appearance
Executive Presence can be learned. It requires relatively little time, some tough exercises and plenty of day-to-day good practice at work and beyond. If you want to do so please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ll tell you how it works.
And I’ll tell you why my friendship with Wayne Calloway turned out to be so important. That’s a story of intrigue, lawyers, Concorde flights across the world and coffee in White Plains.
And Executive Presence par excellence.
*To learn how to acquire Executive Presence contact us at email@example.com