What Is an Executive Presence?

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  • Written By: K.C. Bruning
  • Edited By: John Allen
  • Last Modified Date: 02 January 2019
  • Copyright Protected:
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Executive presence is a term used to describe a person who inspires confidence and loyalty in others. It is typically used in professional settings. The overall idea is that the person has sufficient polish, skills, and self-confidence to thrive in a leadership position.

There are many interpretations of the term executive presence. One of the most common is that it is the way in which individuals present themselves professionally. This can include demonstrating poise, self-confidence, and ability. The term may also include physical appearance, including wardrobe and grooming. Some also use the term to indicate that a professional has desirable professional attributes such as influence, highly-developed strategic skills, and candor.

Executive presence may encompass all of these attributes, from the physical to the intellectual. While a person may attempt to attain these attributes to achieve executive presence, it is ultimately a quality that is determined by the opinions of others. In many cases it is an inborn quality which can be nurtured, but not created. The description is often applied to people in leadership positions, but it can describe both a person in an influential position and someone who has the qualities to ascend to that level.


One of the key factors of executive presence is strong personal presentation. A person with this quality will tend to be accessible, honest, and warm. Other important traits include the ability to communicate clearly, confidently, and with passion for the subject matter. People with executive presence are also often positive and open-minded as well.

The confidence that an individual with this kind of executive profile has can help an organization to run more effectively. People with this quality will often be able to solve problems and implement new ideas quickly. This is partially because people tend to work more efficiently if they believe in their leader, not just because their position requires them to accomplish certain things.

There is no standard profile for a person with executive presence. While there are many common qualities attributed to the term, it is the effect these kinds of people have on others that defines it. There have been several successful executives with executive presence who possess very few, if any of the common attributes believed to characterize this kind of professional. Part of the appeal of many people with this quality is that they break the mold and draw support with a new image or way of working.



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