If you’ve ever applied for a promotion or new position you’ve probably carefully reviewed your experience to justify in your mind why you should be the one. You’re ready to tell the higher-ups about your qualifications, the hard work you’ve done, your abilities, what you’ve accomplished and your knowledge of the organization as grounds for deserving a step up. But what you’ve got to know and consider is something that can be very elusive but also counts and that’s your executive presence.
Forbes reported a study of over 4,000 leaders that found that over 25% of an executive’s success can be attributed to “Executive Presence.”
What is Executive Presence?
Executive Presence isn’t easy to define. Most people recognize it when they see it and when they don’t. It’s about projecting an authentic, confident style and getting noticed. It’s about owning your role and being able to influence others in a way that wins trust, respect and hearts and minds so others get on board with your vision. It’s about knowing what your assets are, the value you bring to your company and how to leverage it. It’s about conveying a certain energy and being perceived as on top of your game.
Your executive presence is a product of how you look, how you act and something else that is rarely considered … your work environment.
As a career coach and workspace expert I help professional women gain promotions and step more powerfully into leadership roles by ensuring their environment matches the role they are pursuing.
Aligning Your Presence With the Role You Want
I worked with a highly accomplished woman who was pursuing a promotion to Vice President of her company. When I took a look at her office it was lined with beanie baby stuffed animals. Had she been a children’s therapist those stuffed animals would have been appropriate. They didn’t really send the right message about her abilities to fulfill the hard-hitting leadership role she was pursing. We changed her office to convey a readiness to step into the role she was pursuing and a couple months later she was promoted.
Check Your Presence
One way to check your executive presence is to think about how you want to be perceived. Imagine if someone walked into your office when you were out at lunch. What would they “get” about you?
Would they see and feel that someone successful, productive, and deserving of a promotion, inhabited that space? Or is your office a mess with papers and piles all over the place, a space that screams chaos, overwhelm and a lack of control?
For thousands of years, eastern cultures have practiced the ancient art of optimizing one’s environment for success. And time and again my experiences, my client’s experiences, and even science has proven that your environment can support you in being successful and it sends a message about who you are, and what’s important to you.
So, what does your office say about you? Does it enhance your executive presence and your leadership potential? Does it serve you by keeping you focused and energized? Does it showcase your positive attributes and abilities? Or, does it drain your energy, undermine your value and how you’re perceived and sabotage your effectiveness?
Find out. Contact me and schedule your complimentary Empowering Workspace Evaluation to make sure your environment conveys the message you want to send and supports your promotability.