10 Ways to Develop Your Leadership Presence

Leadership presence / executive presence is not solely about a job title or position; it is about the impact a leader has on others through their demeanour, communication style, and overall aura. It refers to the intangible qualities and attributes that make a leader stand out and command attention, respect, and influence. It’s about confidence, credibility and authenticity, which captivates and engages others, making them receptive to the leader’s vision, ideas, and direction. 

Leadership Presence – the facts

Very few people are natural born leaders and even the few that are must hone their skills and commit to continuous learning in order to continually engage all their stakeholders.

10 Ways to Develop Leadership Presence

  1. Become more self-aware: Understand your strengths, weaknesses, values, and leadership style. Regularly reflect on your actions and the impact these have on others. Seek feedback from colleagues, mentors, or coaches to gain insights into how you are perceived as a leader.​
  2.  Build your self-confidence: Engage in activities that boost your esteem by taking on new challenges to expand your comfort zone. Equally important is taking the time to celebrate your successes, too. The more confident you feel in your abilities, the more it will reflect in your presence.​
  3.  Develop your communication skills: Effective communication is vital for leadership presence. Practice public speaking, and take a course if you need to hone your skills further, so that you can clearly articulate your ideas to suit different audiences and situations. ​
  4.  Be aware of your body language and presence: Pay attention to your body language. Stand tall, make eye contact, and use gestures purposefully to convey confidence and openness. Practice maintaining composure in stressful situations.​
  5.  Cultivate you emotional and social intelligence: Be in-tune with the feelings and opinions of your people. Listen and engage with them one-to-one to learn what is important to them and what makes them tick. Learn to understand and manage your emotions, and invest in an emotional / social intelligence training programme if you need to develop this key skill further.​
  6. Network and build relationships: Connect with others in your organisation and industry. Build strong relationships based on trust and respect. Networking can expand your circle of influence and provide valuable insights. Consider being a mentor to others, too​
  7. Don’t hide away from conflict: Conflict and disagreements are one of the hardest parts of leadership, but addressing situations quickly reduces stress for all parties. Look for win-win resolutions whenever possible – this free conflict resolution guide provides some great advice.​​
  8. Lead by example: Demonstrate the values and behaviours you expect from your team. Integrity and authenticity in leadership foster trust and respect.
  9. Create a clear vision and purpose: Communicate your purpose and inspire others to align with your shared goals.​​
  10. Continually learn: Never stop learning and growing as a leader. Attend workshops, seminars, or read books on leadership and related topics. Seek guidance from experienced leaders or invest in leadership coaching. Mentors and coaches can offer valuable advice and support, and can help you identify areas for improvement.