Go Deep, Be
Courageous, Emerge a Winner!
Serving the Business and Professional
Community since 1983!
N. Elizabeth Fried, Ph.D.
Coaching Corner: Executive Presence Series
August 19, 2014 Blog Series 2 of 9: Executive Presence: Your
Your Personal Brand
the last issue I discussed the current research on executive presence. The
researchers determined there were three universal components of executive
How you act (gravitas)
How you speak (communication)
How you look (appearance)
Based on this research, where
should you begin your individual development plan for learning the right skills?
A good place to start is to identify your own personal brand and ask yourself
the following questions: Who do I want to become? How do I want to be seen? What
do I want people to think of when they think about me as a person? For example,
as an executive coach, my personal brand is to be known as a trusted
professional, who is insightful, authentic, and compassionate. Those qualities
drive my everyday actions.
Take a moment and think about
yourself and who you want to become. Begin by listing as many qualities as you
can. As you review your list, you may find there are some redundancies or
subsets of a broader quality. For example, if you listed professional and
ethical, typically someone who is a professional is ethical (at
least one would hope that would be the case.) So youíll want to combine any
duplicates. Take a moment to review and combine your items. Next, select the top
three or four.
Now that you have your top
items, you have a framework to develop and expand your executive presence. In
other words, you now have a track to run on to build your skills. You can select
courses to study, get mentors to help you, or do whatever is necessary to move
forward. Thatís the good news. Hereís the bad news.
Even though you have a track
to run on, unfortunately you could encounter obstacles that could throw you off
Most of us know what to do, but
we donít always do what we know. For example, we all know that eating
junk food is unhealthy, but many of us still eat it. We know that exercise is
good for us, but we may not do it. Why? Itís either not that important to us, or
because change is hardóplain and simple.
What can you do to overcome your
natural reaction to resist facing your challenges head on? One way is to ask for
feedback and have someone hold you accountable who genuinely cares about your
success. I often have my clients read Marshall Goldsmithís book What Got You
Here Wonít Get You There (2007). Goldsmithís premise is that your
current skills brought you to where you are, but if you want to move further,
you need to develop new skills. And, the way to do that is to not only ask for
feedback, but also ask for feedforward so you know what to do to get
How does feedback help you? You
need to know what you donít know, because what you donít know can stunt and even
derail your career. So, to overcome this obstacle, find an accountability
partner. You can hire a coach, but you donít have to. Consider finding some
trusted colleagues. When they provide feedback and feedforward, itís critical
that you check your ego at the door and be open and non-defensive. Try to see
this through the lens of feedback as a gift. Be grateful, because others are
putting themselves out there to be helpful. They could choose to say nothing and
just let you restrict your career progression on your own.
In the next insertion we'll discuss some additional derailers. Stay
For additional one to two-minute sessions on other topics, go to the
Coaching Corner Archive.