Leadership is about making others better because of your presence. When someone looks at you, they should be able to gain confidence; they should be inspired to be more than they are.
But how do you know if you have the presence to even influence another? Here are some of the elements that make up a leadership presence.
1. Develop your character: Your character should never be silent. It needs to have a voice that reflects your heart and soul. When you lead with character, you give the essence of your identity.
2. Mind your attitude: Your attitude as a leader influences those around you, whether it’s negative or positive. It will be felt by those around you more quickly than your actions. A great leadership presence is practiced not so much in words as in attitudes and in actions.
3. Everything you wear has an expression: How you look and how you dress are important. Appearances make the first impression, so make sure your outward appearance reflects who you are inwardly. Don’t put on pretenses; the aim is to represent yourself authentically and appropriately.
4. Respect is the presence of everything: Great leaders build presence by practicing respect in three ways: respect for self, respect for others, and responsibility for actions. Without respect and responsibility true leadership presence is impossible.
5. Master competency: Great leaders they don’t end up telling people what they know but showing them how it is done. You have to be proficient in your field and an expert with your skills to have a presence in your leadership.
6. Cultivate communication: You need the skills to inform others, engage with others, and advise others in a clear and concise way that can be implemented and followed. The art of communication is the language of leadership.
7. Pay attention, your body is speaking. People may not always tell you how they feel, but they will always show you what they are thinking—you just have to pay attention to their presence. Body language sends clear message, even when people aren’t speaking. Make sure your own body language is consistent with what you say; don’t contradict yourself.
8. Emotional intelligence. Intelligence is important, but emotional intelligence matters more. It gives you the ability to understand yourself and others, a critical component of creating presence.
9. Accountability is your responsibility: To have presence is to accept responsibility for your actions and be accountable for your results. Without accountability there is no presence in leadership. This is your leadership and you are 100 percent responsible for it, so be accountable.
10. Motivation comes from within: A true leadership presence motivates and inspires others—to take initiative, to walk toward, a common purpose, and to work together to accomplish tasks and to achieve goals. Be close enough to relate but be far enough to keep people moving forward.
11. Integrity is always the purpose: Some people think leadership is all about power, but actually it is all about having integrity. Having integrity means choosing your thoughts and actions based on your values and not on your personal gain. The supreme leadership quality is unquestionably integrity.
12. Reputation builds perception: When you have a leadership presence, it becomes a central part of your reputation. When your reputation is built on your character, it’s who you really are that defines how others see you.
If you don’t yet have the leadership presence you want, keep working through these 12 elements until you have discovered the influence that belongs to you.
Lead from Within: Presence is much more than just being there, it’s about adding value and making a difference for yourself and those around you.
N A T I O N A L B E S T S E L L E R
The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness
After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.
Additional Reading you might enjoy:
- 12 Successful Leadership Principles That Never Grow Old
- A Leadership Manifesto: A Guide To Greatness
- How to Succeed as A New Leader
- 12 of The Most Common Lies Leaders Tell Themselves
- 4 Proven Reasons Why Intuitive Leaders Make Great Leaders
- The One Quality Every Leader Needs To Succeed
- The Deception Trap of Leadership
Photo Credit: Getty Images
Of Lolly’s many awards and accolades, Lolly was designated a Top-50 Leadership and Management Expert by Inc. magazine. Huffington Post honored Lolly with the title of The Most Inspiring Woman in the World. Her writing has appeared in HBR, Inc.com, Fast Company (Ask The Expert), Huffington Post, and Psychology Today, and others. Her newest book, The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness has become a national bestseller.