September 2013 

Imagemakers International

Creating Genuine Leaders

Your 21st Century Competitive Edge - Executive Presence 

No one has to be reminded about how intensely competitive and demanding business is today.  Everyone is being asked to produce more with less. And as a result, people are working longer days and everyone is stressed to the max!


And what are the consequences in the workplace?  Well to begin with, people are failing to acknowledge, respect and appreciate others.  Morale and motivation, therefore, is low.  Accountability is going out the window, with one person blaming another for why deadlines are missed.  Meetings are being held without clearly defined objectives and participants are forgetting about the high cost/hour of all the people in the room, by doing so.


People are flying by the seat of their pants when creating and delivering presentations without clearly defined goals and outcomes.  Everyone is rushing from one place to another and they're forgetting about the power of first impressions.  Face-to-face communication is disappearing and with that, the trust that makes relationships strong.  Together, all of these factors directly affect our ability to get heard, get ahead and get things done.


If you are guilty of any or several of these behaviours, it will impact your executive presence which in turn, will undermine your leadership abilities and your career.  In this competitive world, you can not afford to let that happen. So it's up to you to take control and change.


Here are 8 key steps that will help you do so and in turn, accelerate your success. 

 8 Key Steps to Executive Presence: 

1. Define your values and integrate them into your life.

There is a big difference between knowing your values and living them and to be happy, you have to be true to yourself.  Know who you are and what you stand for - you will gain the respect of others.


2. Live and lead from a place of compassion and respect.  Our multi-generational workplaces consist of people with diverse backgrounds and of course, ages. The common denominator is our humanity and we must treat others with respect and care about one another as people.  If you do, you will optimize productivity and improve your results.


3.  Manage first impressions.  We live in a two minute world.  You have the first minute to show people who you are and the second minute to build credibility and cultivate respect.  Make every impression count.


4.  Enhance your vocal image.  Does your voice say goodbye when you say hello?  Use your voice like a musical instrument.  Be aware of your volume, speed and tone when speaking to others, one-on-one, in meetings and during your presentations.


5.  Communicate with impact.  Clarity of thought and brevity in your speech has never been more important.  Speak in 30 second sound bites.  Edit when necessary. People will tune you in, rather than tune you out.


6.  Become an active listener.  Always remember that you were born with two ears and one mouth.  Use them proportionately.  Ask more questions.  Clarify and then ask more questions.  Ironically, you will be heard and you will improve your personal effectiveness.


7.  Be accountable for your actions.  Nothing garners more respect from others than admitting a mistake or taking responsibility for a problem.  You become a role model to others and you also keep the spirit of the team alive.


8. Strive for personal leadership and balance. All work and no play not only makes Jack and Jill dull, it impacts your personal effectiveness as well.  The degree of balance you have in your life will directly affect how you present your "self" to others - visually, vocally and in writing.  If you want to communicate with energy, excitement and enthusiasm, it has to come from within.  Exercise, eat well and make time for the people and things you love.  People will see it!


So remember, executive or leadership presence involves much more than what you see and hear.  It is the aura and confidence that emanates from someone who feels good about who they are, does the right thing and brings out the best in others.  And it all starts from within. Be the person others strive to emulate.  If you do, you'll be well-prepared to lead and succeed in the 21st Century.


Until next time, take good care and enjoy your weekend!



Kimberley Richardson

President & Co-founder

Imagemakers International



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Leadership for Life - The 7 Key Steps to Becoming a Genuine Leader

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FALL 2013

Executive Presence - Your 21st Century Competitive Edge

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