Leadership is much more an art, a belief, a condition of the heart, than a set of things to do. The visible signs of artful leadership are expressed, ultimately, in its practice.
~ Max Depree

“Leadership presence” – it’s one of those recent buzzphrases you hear tossed around lately. It sounds fairly straightforward, but what does it mean exactly? It’s one of those nebulous concepts people use and sometimes you wonder if they know really what is involved. In addition to learning what leadership presence is, more importantly, we talk about how to get this elusive quality.

Leadership Presence: What is It?

Although on the surface leadership presence is exactly what the name implies – the unique presence effective leaders have – it goes so much further than just that. Although it can be referred to as that certain je ne sais quoi a charismatic leader has, there are specific qualities that all leaders with true leadership presence personify. These qualities include:

  • Self confidence,

  • Genuineness and the ability to be candid,

  • The ability to convey a vision and garner support for this vision,

  • Active listener,

  • Effective speaking skills,

  • Openness to new ideas,

  • Motivational and inspirational,

  • Empowers others to succeed,

  • Risk taker, and

  • Actively works at branding themselves as an organizational leader.

Leadership Presence: How Do You Get It?

When you have all of the qualities listed above and, perhaps most importantly, actively use these to brand yourself as an organizational leader, you are on your way to developing leadership presence. Some of these qualities are items you can train to master. Others will require you to discover and uncover your innate abilities.

Becoming an active listener is a skill you can learn, as an example. There are lots of resources (including articles on this site!) to help you hone your listening skills. If you’re not an effective speaker, there are resources, seminars and organizations who can help you in this area too. Visit the “topics” section of my website, www.bouncebackhigher.com/topics, where I offer presentation skills training, as well as one-on-one speech coaching. In contrast to these learned skills, some will need you to simply consciously make an effort to express these qualities.

Being open to new ideas, for instance, may be difficult for you, if you’re used to being in charge and making most of the decisions for your organization. Risk taking may also be a challenge, if you’re naturally more conservative. However, in these instances, sometimes you may have to “fake it until you make it.” When others start to buy into your leadership presence, you’ll find qualities like “self confidence” that you have been pretending to have eventually come naturally.

About Colleen Kettenhofen, Leadership Expert

CREDENTIALS: Colleen Kettenhofen is an international workplace and employee management expert, award-winning corporate trainer, and conference keynote speaker. A media veteran, she has appeared on numerous radio shows around the country and has written more than 40 popular articles on diverse workplace issues. Colleen has delivered more than 1,100 entertaining programs in 48 states and five countries. She is the author of 10 published audio programs and two books including SECRETS YOUR BOSS ISN’T TELLING YOU.

Colleen Kettenhofen is available for keynotes, breakout sessions, and seminars by calling (623)340-7690.