One of the most reoccurring questions I receive as an Executive Presence trainer is the difference between Leadership and Executive Presence (EP). It is very common for people to confuse the two terms because they share many characteristics. Let us first explore and identify the difference between the two.
I found great work written by private researcher, executive coach and psychologist, Dr. Gavin Dagley. He explained that the main difference between the two is that effective leadership causes people to act; effective executive presence causes people to listen.
Must it be one or the other? As a manager, executive, or business owner, wouldn't you want your employees to act but also actively listen? Sally Williamson, a specialist in executive coaching, clarified in her book called 'The Hidden Factor' that Executive Presence is an essential element to leadership and is often the reason someone gets noticed and people start paying attention to and taking note of his/her capabilities.
From my experience and study, I find that EP paves the way for a great first impression. EP provides the power and confidence for any leader to decide how others will encounter them and which mental image will be formed of them. EP is an essential element under the umbrella of leadership qualifications since they influence how we are viewed and treated by others in many contexts of everyday life.
The importance of EP can be summarized by the ability to influence your audience by managing your image, behavior, and vocabulary. At the end of the day, leaders aim to communicate with others in order to sell their ideas and achieve the results they want.
What do you think? Can one be achieved without the other? Or do you agree that leadership and EP has to be in parallel?
Share your thoughts with me @RimaArab