What Executive Presence Really Is

Executive Presence - What it really is.

In 2014, Sylvia Ann Hewlett and her team huddled over an extensive collection of data drawn from 14 sectors of corporate America. The goal was to identify, at the corporate level, what Executive Presence really is and why we need it.  

What the data reflected was that Executive Presence is not so much about performance. It’s not about what you do when ‘delivering the goods’ or ‘hitting the numbers’.  It’s about what you signal. 

Executive Presence or EP. What is it and where do I get some?

In the simplest terms, executive presence is about the ability to inspire confidence. It includes first impressions of appearance, interpersonal communication skills, and body language.  Executive presence consists of effective listening, effectively maneuvering through office politics and exuding authentic charisma. 

As a leader, you inspire confidence by showing that you are capable and reliable. Which is critical to being trustworthy of supporters.  By contrast, inspiring confidence with your own superiors shows that you have the potential for greater achievements in career growth.

The 3 Main Pillars of Executive Presence

As part of the 2014 study, the group singled out 3 main traits associated with EP.

#1. Gravitas

Gravitas is the projection of credibility and assertiveness with the confidence to convey a clear message.  In comparison, gravitas is the way of signaling impact in a compelling manner.

As an example, the study asked senior leaders who they saw as career role models.  Significantly, the #1 role model identified was Nelson Mandala.  A man that earned his placement through sincerity and understanding the power of symbolism.  Nelson Mandala had gravitas in spades and showed it by routinely connecting at a very human level.

#2. Communication

Communication includes the ability to read an audience. To assess a complex situation and act accordingly. This is the ability to command a room. It’s what you say, when you say it, how you say it, and to whom you say it. Communication is also portrayed through the masterful use of body language and concise speaking skills.

These skills combined show you’re able to communicate the authority of a leader.

#3. Appearance

While the data showed appearance to be the smaller piece of the puzzle, it is still worth significant attention. Appearance is commonly referred to as “looking the part.”

By taking the time to look and feel your best, it shows consideration and respect toward the people you interact with. Appearance also includes dressing appropriately for the environment and occasion which in a corporate setting carries high-level importance.

Why You Need Executive Presence

Ultimately, executive presence determines whether you gain access to opportunity.

There’s a saying in leadership, “All the important decisions about you will be made when you’re not in the room.” It’s true. In particular, whether it’s a decision about an important opportunity, a promotion to a critical role or an assignment to a high-visibility project, it’s likely that you won’t be in the room.

Therefore, the opportunities you gain access to depend on the confidence you’ve already inspired in the decision-makers. Additionally, the more significant the opportunity, the more important executive presence becomes.

How To Build Your Executive Presence

As with any other skill, some people are naturally more gifted at executive presence than others. That being said, everyone can improve their EP with focus and practice.

Cultivate a foundation of quiet confidence.

At its core, executive presence is about confidence, yet “the more confidence the better” isn’t always the way. Presence is confidence without arrogance.

Sadly, confidence is often confused with cockiness however, the truly “present” executive is one who doesn’t need to trumpet his achievements. Instead, he or she has an internal resolve driven by a solid sense of self-worth. As a result, they have learned healthy, effective ways of dealing with challenges and relationships.

Key points to focus on while developing your own executive presence:

  • Learn to operate effectively under stress.
  • Become an excellent listener. 
  • Build your communication skills.
  • Understand how others experience you.
  • Have a vision, and articulate it well.

Most importantly, find your voice as an executive.

Identify your assets and leverage them to the max. Some people are naturally gregarious and can fill a room with their personality. Others rely on their listening ability, sense of timing, and ability to maintain their composure when others get emotional.

In an increasingly diverse world, executive presence will look very different from one executive to another. Just keep building the confidence of others that can step you up as a leader if and when times get tough.

Supply Chain, Procurement and Management

supply chain management

How long is this chain?

Take a look around your current environment. What do you see? I see a cute plant in an even cuter plant pot with matching office accessories because a pretty desk makes for a happy me. I see paperwork, reading glasses, desktop, laptop, tablet, AND phone. Typical office desk, right?

All these items make up the long-line chain reaction that is supply chain, procurement, and management.

Think of these roles as compartments. Like that little cubby hole from in Grade 1. Remember those?

Step 1: Get the Goods.

Procurement, by definition, is the process of obtaining the goods and/or services required to fulfill a company’s business model. In the overall supply chain process, procurement stops once the company has possession of the goods.

Procurement process tasks include

  • Sourcing suitable suppliers
  • Connecting with necessary service providers
  • Planning purchases
  • Negotiating price
  • Developing the standards of quality
  • Managing purchase orders
  • Financing purchases, if required
  • Controlling inventory and disposal of production waste

Step 2: Mobilize the People

Supply Chain, by definition, consists of all the humans involved in getting the above-mentioned products in the hands of a customer.

Humans involved:

  • raw material gatherers
  • manufacturers
  • transportation companies
  • wholesale warehouses
  •  in-house staff,
  • stock rooms
  • and the teenager at the register.

It also includes the tasks and functions that contribute to moving that product, such as quality control, market research, and strategic sourcing.

Procurement is the process of getting the goods you need, while supply chain is the infrastructure needed to get you those goods.

To use a basic analogy, supply chain is the entire chair, while procurement and sourcing are parts of the chair. A simple picture that worked or me.

Step 3: Now Make it Flow.

Supply Chain Management or SCM

At its core, supply chain management is the act of overseeing and managing the above mentioned, supply chain. Amongst other things, this means ensuring all suppliers and manufacturers are maintaining quality and that everyone is practicing ethical business.

Yes, including ethical business practices.

There is no doubt, this is a significant issue faced by many organizations today. If a portion of a supply chain is not functioning in an ethical manner (think child labor or environmental damage) then the organization receiving goods from that supply chain can suffer negative repercussions as a result.

All the jobs.

All things considered, it’s an easy conclusion to make that the job be aplenty.  Job seekers can find ample posting seeking employees at all levels in the chain.

jobs available get the jobs

With this in mind, whether your education is rooted in management, machine manufacturing, business strategy, transportation, customer experience, R&D or even data analysis, chances are likely that Supply Chain, Procurement or SCM are potential hiring prospects.

Our team at PWU has worked extensively with professionals at all levels in the above-mentioned industries.

Connect with us when you’re looking to update the resume to reflect your current education and experiences. We offer a free consultation, resume review and will work with you to deliver an ideal resume that passes ATS and Recruiter processes.

Good Timing for Big Momentum in your Sales Career

We’ve recently seen a surge in resume requests for professionals seeking sales promotion and career momentum which got us thinking about the specific requirements recruiters and executives are seeking. As resume writers, it’s always interesting to connect skills on paper to what really motivates personnel to seek higher positions.

So what’s going on out there that sparked this current career momentum?

There’s potential we’re seeing the increase as a result of more companies making the connection between the marketing and sales departments which in turn is driving in-house competitiveness in both departments.

Are you familiar with the term smarketing?

The concept was first introduced by the masterminds at Hubspot in 2008 and is only now becoming more widely implemented. The idea is to create a hybrid role evolving from the amplified skills of both marketing and sales professionals.

Smarketing Goal: Create a common integrated approach to streamline strategy, communication, and realtime workflow efforts.

Read more on specifics of Smarketing here: https://www.superoffice.com/blog/
sales-marketing-

So, how do you ready yourself to make a move?

Step 1: Hire a really really REALLY
amazing resume writer (like us!) who spends all day immersed in multi-industry verbiage and stays updated on current ATS requirements.

More often, at the higher career levels, unless you’re changing structures within your current company, you’re going to need a powerful resume to make it past modern-day applicant tracking systems or ATS’s.

What the heck is ATS? In short, ATS is a software that manages the recruiting and hiring process. Learn the details here. If you’re in the game at higher career levels, these tracking systems must be your ally.

Not feeling the need to hire resume professionals? No problemo. You’ve always got the option to go-it solo. Check out these helpful career tips offered by the good folks at Top Resume

Speaking from our perspective, the #1 client feedback received on why our clients looked to hire a professional resume writer is that they are not gaining traction on recent application processes.

“I have a diverse background but am having difficulties explaining my skills on paper.”

“The current resume, I wrote, and have sent over 50 applications but i’m not getting interviews”

“I believe the resume is the issue.”

“How do I frame my diverse experiences and accomplishments to capture the interest of hiring managers?”

Step 2: Evaluate your current skills.

Quote: There's a good chance you already have the skills to gain sales career momentum.

Now, we could list a million key skills required to succeed in sales,
but none of it would be anything new-to-you. If you’re currently succeeding in sales,
you already have what it takes to keep building out your path.

Advancing in sales is more than doing a good job and waiting in line for the next opportunity. It’s about understanding where your company is growing and
identifying how to serve the needs of the business before those needs become
problems or major initiatives.

That’s how you become a person people are excited to work with AND walk the path to exponential career growth.

Fun fact tho: Sometimes to get the growth, you may find yourself in a financially less-fulfilling role, on-route to your target position. This type of growth won’t always feel like progress. Yes, it’s sticky and uncomfortable. And you may make a few perceived steps backward to gain traction on a major step forward.

Planning momentum in sales career with notebook and mac computer.

In summary, we learned that when it comes to sales promotions, the world is your oyster – there are countless career paths to choose from in sales. It’s just a matter of discovering what you enjoy doing most and where you want to end up.