“The key to successful leadership today is influence, not authority.”
– Ken Blanchard, Author
Being an effective leader can often mean more than just holding a position of leadership. To be a truly capable leader, one must have an influential and powerful presence. An established leadership presence can not only enhance your influence on others but also your own personal effectiveness. But what does having an effective ‘presence’ mean for those in a leadership position?
When most people think of presence they tend to lean more toward a physical presence. This is for good reason, because how you hold yourself, especially in a position of power, can be a leading factor in how your employees perceive you. Emitting a certain sort of calmness and confidence allows your people to operate with a similar sort of ease and efficiency. Calmness does not necessarily mean a lack of energy or action but rather an effort lead by controlled emotion. Having an “easy to talk to” presence can provide you a platform to have the greatest effect on your employees.
Listening is perhaps one of the most important components of leadership. A great way to enhance your listening abilities is to understand your presence in these moments. How are you showing them you are listening? Sometimes we tend to internalize our listening and do not visibly show others we are present and ready to act. Showing this presence can enhance your employees’ trust and respect for you as a leader.
At the end of the day, even with all these ideas in mind, the best thing you can do to enhance your presence is to not overthink your position. People respect genuine behavior and honest interaction. And the best thing you can do as a leader is lead by example. Listening and reacting with a controlled, effective nature can go a long way in establishing yourself as a leader.
Kelly D. Scott
The world’s leading business advisory and executive coaching organization