3 Components Of Executive Presence Every Leader Should Know

Professional woman / seasoned executive learns about the components of executive presence

If you're an executive or somebody in a leadership position, you have an executive presence. Your executive presence is your reputation. It's what people think when you walk into a room, and what they say about you when you're not in the room.

As a leader, actively maintaining your executive presence builds credibility, trust, and, ultimately, a following. It gives you a competitive advantage over other job candidates, allowing you to gain access to better career opportunities.

Every executive needs to think about their presence. But before you can effectively build a strategy to grow your executive presence and create tools that support it, you need to understand what your executive presence is. To start, here are three components of executive presence every leader should know...

1. Gravitas

Professional man learns about the components of executive presence


Gravitas is the first component of executive presence. It's your chosen value. It's how you like to create value in the world, and how you save or make an organization money to justify the cost of hiring you.

One of the factors of executive presence that corresponds with gravitas is your depth of knowledge. As an executive, you've gotten to where you are today because you've thought through a lot of situations. Developing gravitas happens naturally in your career as you gain more experience and climb the corporate ladder.

Some traits related to gravitas include practical knowledge, composure, confidence, resonance, and vision.

2. Communication

Executive thinks about her executive presence while communicating during a meeting


The second (and most important) component of executive presence is communication. How do you deliver on your value? Communication also includes things like your personality and your approach. These are the things that are going to convey your executive presence.

A factor of executive presence that corresponds with communication is your delivery of knowledge. After thinking through a lot of situations in your career, you've been able to communicate that evolution of thought. You've taken those experiences and learned and grown from them. This is the most important component of executive presence because, for leaders with an effective executive presence, communication makes up 51% of it. In other words, the effectiveness of your executive presence depends on your delivery of knowledge.

Some traits related to communication include authenticity, constraint, integrity, concern, and humility.

3. Appearance

Executive effectively conveys his executive presence during a team work meeting presentation


The last component of your executive presence is your appearance. This is how your value is interpreted. It can be physical appearance (how you dress) or it can be body language like facial expressions and hand gestures.

The final factor of executive presence that corresponds with appearance is your style of delivery. As an executive, you've thought through a lot of situations in your career and communicated that evolution of thought, and now appearance is the type of representation you choose to convey that message.

Some traits related to appearance include personal style, intentionality, inclusiveness, interactivity, and assertiveness.

As a leader in your industry, you have an executive presence. When others are assessing your executive presence (your reputation), they're taking into account your gravitas, communication, and appearance. Understanding the three components of executive presence is the first step to building an effective executive presence strategy, one that will give you access to better career opportunities.

To learn more about how to build your executive presence, download our eBook, 4-Step Process for Creating Your Executive Presence Online, written by J.T. O'Donnell, founder and CEO of Work It DAILY.

Want To Build Your Executive Presence?

Work It DAILY's LinkedIn executive presence webinar hosted by J.T. O'Donnell

If you're an executive looking to advance in your career, you need to make your executive presence a priority. This includes your online executive presence. Failing to consistently contribute online in a meaningful way will put you on the fast track to being irrelevant and forgotten.

It's time to take control of your professional reputation. We invite you to sign up for a FREE workshop with J.T. O'Donnell, a LinkedIn Top Voice. In this 45-minute workshop, J.T. will share the five things all executives should be doing on LinkedIn right now to ensure they remain at the top of their fields.

J.T. will explain:

  • How LinkedIn is evolving and what you need to know to stay relevant and in demand.
  • Simple changes to your LinkedIn profile settings that will yield immediate results.
  • How to get more of the right people asking to connect with you on the platform.
  • The secret weapon that will ensure you make the most of LinkedIn's recent algorithm changes.
  • And a lot more!

Can’t attend live? No worries.

Sign up and we’ll send you the recording after the event.

We hope to see you there!

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