Executive Presence continues to top the list of skills needed to be promoted

You might be asking yourself just how important it is for you to be able to exhibit executive presence. Senior executives and high-level decision makers are a tough audience.  Executive Presence remains at the top of the list of how they judge you. In fact, senior executives said executive presence counts for 26% of what it takes to get promoted. If you lack this skill you only have 74% of what you need. In most schools 74 is still a C, making you only average. With executive presence, you can differentiate yourself. Senior leaders will see that you can interact with high-level decision makers and executives in both your and your customer’s organization.

There has never been a more uncertain time in our world. Nor has there been a more tumultuous time in the world of business. Your ability to face these times with dignity and calm that is born of self-confidence can be the difference between success and failure. I believe that confidence is the basis of executive presence.

I’ve had the privilege, challenge, and joy of working with thousands of business professionals to help them develop the broad set of skills that comprise executive presence. In fact, executive presence includes at least fifty skills! Executive presence is not presentation skills, it isn’t a way of conducting yourself to be seen as promotable, it’s not a soft skill or a hard skill. No, it is all of these and more. The funny thing about executive presence is that it is hard to define—but easy to see when an individual has it and even more so when one does not.

My Journey to Understanding the Foundation of Executive Presence

I faced the first of many significant life challenges when I was eighteen years old. My dad sat me down to have a talk. What I really needed was for him to tell me that everything was going to be alright. I needed him to be strong for me.

When we sat down, my dad said something very different. He asked me one question. My dad asked, “Are you going to let this thing beat you?”

Whoa! Not what I expected, or wanted to hear, or thought I needed. So, I sat there quietly and thought about his question. Something stirred deep within me. Then I looked at him and said, “No dad. I’m not. In fact, I don’t know exactly how, but I’m going to be fine. Actually, I’m going to be great.”

That was the first time I understood the importance of self-confidence. Having confidence in yourself impacts how you manage each situation you face in life. Having confidence in yourself can enable you to walk tall in the face of adversity. It can enable you to remain calm in times of uncertainty. This is true in our personal and professional lives.

I’ve done hundreds of training programs, coached global leaders, CEOs, account managers and entry level employees in a variety of industries. I can affirm that confidence can make or break you. I’m not talking about false bravado, ego, or cockiness. I’m talking about confidence in yourself and your capabilities so that you can exhibit calm self-assurance that you can handle anything that arises.

I invite you to look at our Executive Presence Mastery Kit here:

It’s a collection of tips and tools that I have accumulated throughout the past twenty-eight years. You should know that entire books have been written on many of the individual topics in this Mastery Kit. You could build a nice sized library if you collected all the books written on all of the topics and skills addressed in this Mastery Kit. My intent is to give you enough to be highly effective but not overwhelm you.

I wish you success on your journey. Don’t settle for average. Relax into the process of developing these important skills. Armed with executive presence you can be strategically important and hard to replace.

Colleen Bevenour

  • Business Strategies and Execution
  • Business Management
  • Start-up and Scaling for Growth
  • Operational Excellence
  • Pitch Prep
  • Executive Presence