Executive Presence and Your Company Morale
Leadership at the top level of any company is very often a critical factor in morale among employees. By extension, morale is a critical factor in determining the company's overall success. When the leader at the top has executive presence and exudes the kind of confidence and charisma that naturally makes employees want to follow and give their best effort, morale can be very high, and that can easily translate into business success. Not all company leaders have those qualities, however, so developing a better professional presence is something that can be very important to the future of a company.
What is Executive Presence?
While the term itself might seem a little vague, the qualities which comprise executive presence are not. There is a solid consensus among business executives about what it is and how important it is to any leader. At the top of the list is self-confidence and a commanding presence in the face of pressure. A leader with executive presence is decisive and poised when confronted with obstacles, and is seemingly eager to vanquish all difficulties hindering the achievement of success.
A leader who has executive presence is also well-spoken and commands a room from the moment he or she walks into it. Speaking skills are just one talent that this kind of leader has. It is almost a sixth sense among leaders with executive presence to be able to determine the mood of a room. However, this doesn't mean that leaders are born with all the necessary qualities, because much of it involves being authoritative and decisive, using confident body language, and speaking in commandingly clear tones. In other words, much of what is considered to be executive presence can be learned by a leader.
Impact on Morale
Most people form nearly a dozen impressions about you within the first ten seconds of meeting you, according to a study published in Nature Neuroscience. This means that your appearance, your actions, and how you speak are all being unconsciously evaluated by everyone you come in contact with throughout a business day, even when moments of contact are brief.
While you may not interact with every employee in the company, you will certainly interact with management level people, who will form those lightning-quick impressions of you by what they see and hear. In turn, those managers will communicate with supervisors, and supervisors will communicate with employees, and impressions of the company leader will be disseminated throughout the entire cadre of company followers.
People follow a strong leader, and they are highly motivated to perform at their best for a leader who exhibits the qualities that make up executive presence. This being the case, any leader, wishing to fully engage the work force and inspire them to give their best effort, would be well-advised to become a leader who has that quality.
Personal magnetism can certainly help, but many of the collective behaviors which comprise executive presence can be learned by an executive. With regular feedback and practice, they can also become a natural part of any executive's demeanor. From a beginning point of simple self-confidence and a willingness to learn whatever is necessary, an ordinary leader can become a leader with true executive presence.
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