Leadership is about results and positive outcomes, and so leaders want the hearts and minds of others directed toward a unified purpose. Presence is one way the leader can engage the energies and commitment of others to a common goal. Authenticity and effective communication skills are key to successful leadership.
The most successful leaders, visionaries and entrepreneurs have a leadership presence. These leaders make others feel that they are an important part of their teams. Presence is all about connecting to engage in a positive way. After all, leaders must project good confidence and emotional intelligence to build trust and build a culture with their teams.
Leadership presence allows the leader and the led to connect with something bigger than themselves. Cultivating a positive leadership presence allows leaders to better relate to their teams. When you lead with warmth and infectious positive attitude, you gain trust and guide with subtle, but effective influence.
Belle Linda Halpern and Kathy Lubar in their book “Leadership Presence” define Leadership Presence as “the ability to connect authentically with the thoughts and feelings of others in order to motivate and inspire them to achieve a desired outcome.” This ability to connect is essential for all people who lead or motivate others, whether you are a leader of a company or a volunteer in the community.
People are drawn to and influenced by leaders who communicate authentically, connect easily with people, and have a positive impact. People become more energetic and engaged with the common mission, positively impacting the team growth and performance.
So how do you become one of them?
Leadership presence requires positive confidence and self-knowledge. Leaders must communicate what matters to them in way that connects with what matters to others. One way to do that is by sharing stories about your challenges and how you overcame them instead of reflecting an all-powerful authority figure.
Leadership presence is not about exercising your power and influence; but rather the ability to make others feel your engaged presence in a safe environment. For those that desire to intimidate others with their power; their executive role and influence will be short-lived.
What does it take to have a leadership presence?
Leadership presence is about being a good listener and the ability to quickly connect the patterns of conversation in order to detect other people’s interests, leadership style and professional needs.
Leadership presence is about earning the right from others to explore a more meaningful and purposeful relationship. Leadership presence is not about you; it’s about others.
Leadership presence is about having impactful, long-lasting presence that inspires others to want to know more.
Leaders who have presence display genuine connection with the people around them through honesty, listening, clarity, appreciation for others and empathy. They create a comforting sense that allows people to trust and follow them.