Influence Blog :: Executive Presence

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  • What You Can Learn from the Presence of Prince

    You only needed to scroll through the photos of iconic buildings bathed in purple on the days following Price's death to see evidence of his presence. From the Eiffel Tower to the Superdome, the world glowed his signature color. As we ponder his death and the outpouring of grief and tributes, I offer this thought: your presence is what remains in your absence. Not only when you leave the planet, but just as importantly to your leadership, every time you leave the room. Nearly every leader underestimates the impact that their presence has upon their ability to lead. They don't understand what presence is. They don't realize that it follows them everywhere and directly influences how whether their leadership will be successful or fail miserably. They think it's an undefined "X" factor and leave it to the rumor mill to decide how others define them. Crucial mistake. I'd like to offer five qualities of an influential presence that I've culled from Prince's legacy:

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  • The One to Watch: What You Can Learn From Mary Barra, Chairman and CEO of General Motors

    This quick read pinpoints why Mary Barra's presence is influential and what you can learn from her growth. Senior executive advisor Connie Dieken demystifies how Barra sharpened her presence and gained gravitas to deliver messages that reverberate around the globe.

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  • The World Demands Perfection, Yet Craves Authenticity

    Think about the paradoxes in your life. You want to exude executive presence—yet still be genuine. You want to hone your speaking and influence skills—but not appear manipulative. You want to inspire top performance from others—yet not drive away top talent with your demands. You want to be—and to be seen as—the real deal. How do you balance the polarities of perfection and authenticity to lead at your peak level?

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  • How to Influence Fellow Senior Leaders

    Membership on a senior leadership team gives you immense cachet. You’re in a circle of highly visible, powerful leaders. Your role is complex. You simultaneously manage your own business unit, function, or division while serving on a senior team that creates the organization’s future. To boot, you may be vying with those peers for a higher spot in the succession plan. As an executive coach, I’ve noticed that many of you are grappling with some loaded questions: Do I have influence with my peers? How do I add value? And how do I handle the conflicts that arise when strong-willed leaders butt heads? Here are a few ideas to ponder:

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  • Leader, Teleprompted: Why Executives Must Master the Machine

    As an executive, you're called upon to deliver important messages to your organization and the marketplace. People look to you to set the tone in public speaking. You want to come across as a strong leader, but natural. To complicate matters, your busy schedule doesn't allow a minute to spare. That's why you need to master the Teleprompter. Man and the machine are converging in today's media-centric world. If you're a leader, you're now a broadcaster. Or at least a narrowcaster with consequences. Soon, you'll be called upon to record crisp messages for both your organization's intranet and the broader Internet.

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  • Are You Boring or Fascinating?

    Do you feel boring? Or fascinating? I promise that no matter how run-of-the-mill you may feel most days, you possess a leadership quality that others find fascinating. I see this unfold every day in my executive coaching practice. Every leader has a unique asset, an inner strength that defines their executive presence.

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  • What Your Executive Presence is - and is Not

    In this edition of "Connie off the Cuff," Connie shares the truth behind what your Executive Presence is - and is not.

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  • Harnessing the Power of Total Confidence

    Tim Sanders is a confidence guru. A New York Times bestselling author, riveting keynote speaker and former Yahoo executive, Tim has written a compelling new book called Today We Are Rich: Harnessing the Power of Total Confidence that's loaded with insights on how to develop unshakable confidence in a shaky world.

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  • Are you Influential - or Just Popular?

    Interesting question, isn't it? When you were in high school, influence and popularity were one and the same.

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  • How to Conquer Criticism

    Goldman Sachs executives were skewered on Capitol Hill this week. They were sach-ed. The men faced blistering cross examination by the Senate on the firm's mortgage market and its role in the country's financial collapse.

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  • Is Your Voice Undermining Your Success?

    The difference between winning and losing may come down to how people perceive the sound of your voice.

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  • Conquer Criticism: Tips to Overcome It

    We're living in a harsh, harsh world. I'm sure you've noticed that you can now get a daily dose of cheap shots here on the Internet. Follow the comment section after most web entries and you'll find boatloads of hyper-critical, snarky comments.

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  • Are You a Communicator-in-Chief?

    Out with the old, in with the new. As we say goodbye to George Bush and his colorful, sometimes mangled communications, (can you say misunderestimated?) we usher in a new era of oratory.

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  • Leaders Who Can’t Communicate…Aren’t Leaders

    Game over. Cleveland Browns owner Randy Lerner moved swiftly to fire his front office following the final, crushing loss of the season. He cut general manager Phil Savage loose by phone after Sunday's defeat, and then sacked coach Romeo Crennel the next morning.

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  • National Security and the Phone Book

    As I watched President-Elect Obama's news conference announcing his national security team nominees this morning, it reminded me of why I sat on a phone book behind the anchor desk.

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  • Top 5 Bad Vibes That Undercut Your Message

    How do you undercut your message without opening your mouth? Leadership means managing your energy level as well as your words in order to influence peoples' decisions, behaviors and actions. Want to trigger a positive response? Radiate positive energy when your mouth is shut. Want a negative reaction? You'll soon learn how to spread bad vibes.

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