Executives need more than presence to be present

Everywhere we turn we hear people talk about executive presence.

From business to politics, people who lead look for a secret sauce to stand out in a crowd or take command of a room. This may be why, according to the Conference Board, developing presence is the top reason executives in the U.S. hire coaches.

As we will learn at the iabcheritageconference.com this fall, however, it takes more than presence for an executive to be present. As those of us in communications experience every day, leaders need more than charisma to inspire people to follow.

That magic only happens when executives add three essential ingredients to their communications:

  • Authentically share substantive content to help people understand
  • Willingly listen (and do something with what is heard) to give people reason to believe, and
  • Bring calm to trauma to assure people that it’s okay to follow how a leader inspires.

In any organization, at any given moment, each executive plays a role. Communicators prepare executives for what’s scripted as well as unscripted. And this requires more than presence, by anyone’s definition.

At the @IABCHRCONF conference this fall, we will take a deep dive into what it takes for an executive to be present in the moment and how communicators can help.

See you there.

Executive Communication Coach, Communication Consultant and Clinician, Professor of Communication