011: How to Develop Executive Presence | with Tom Henschel

by Jesse Lahey on November 8, 2012

©2012 Essential Communications

Tom Henschel is the president of Essential Communications, an executive development firm. Tom has been an executive coach for 20 years and for the last seven years he has also hosted the popular podcast The Look & Sound of Leadership™, a series of executive coaching tips designed to help you be perceived the way you want to be perceived in the workplace.

Jesse welcomes Tom to this episode of the Engaging Leader podcast to discuss executive presence. Together they review Tom’s “S.A.S” model for executive leadership, as well as address several questions, including:

  • What is executive presence?
  • Why is it important?
  • Is it real, or it is just about perception?
  • How does a non-executive begin to develop executive presence?

Henschel QuoteResources Mentioned in This Episode

Essential Communications

The Look & Sound of Leadership

For specific tips on being present and not highly distractible: The Distracted Executive

For specific tips on finding the right altitude: Sounding Executive

For specific tips on balancing positive relationships equally with achieving results: The Well-Balanced Executive

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  • Diane Craig

    Aligning your technical and or academic identity with presence is a must to have Executive Presence. Great podcast – thanks.

    • Diane, thanks for listening! I like how Tom said in this show, “At a certain point, perception is reality.” If people don’t think you “feel” like a leader, then the reality is you don’t yet have the presence to be a successful leader at that level in the organization, regardless of technical or academic proficiency.

  • Being present. With smart phones and such this is so important.
    As much ragging on Presidents, it was good hearing about some of the positive characteristics of President Clinton. I shared this at least twice in the last week.
    Thank you Jesse and Tom.

    K, bye

    • Christopher, I’m glad that registered for you. I like the flexibility that smartphones offer (I’m writing this on my iPhone in the woods watching an orange and purple sunrise come over the hill on the other side of the stream). But we need to be the master, and letting it distract us at moments when we should be giving our attention to people who are “live” with us makes us the slave of our smartphone (not very executive).

      • Good example as you write it on your phone.

        This spoken word track was on an album that I recently got. He preformed it at a Catalyst conference and is about him and his cell phone and distractions.

        I am reminded of people who have a smart phone, but are not heavy users of it so I am surprised when then pull out their nifty gadget. I have thought, how I want to be more of someone who people view as attached to it. I do use it a lot for podcasts and music and such, but am I always pulling it out?

        K, bye

    • Tom Henschel

      No doubt it’s a distracting world. I categorize more and more of my clients as “distracted executives” these days. They often are aware of being distracted but feel it’s what their company’s culture demands of them. And those of us with kids see it in their immediate response to an incoming text. Consequently, I think the leader who can manage that part of him/herself gains a giant advantage. They become compelling in their ability to choose their focus and manage themselves.

      • Yes. It is that balance and also that perception of “is this person always distracted.”
        Texts are a bit hard, I guess just silencing the ringer is one thing. For immediate family and close friends I have unique text tones for them so I know whether it something to check when I make a chance or whether it is fine for a few hours. But meetings and things, silence that sucker. Work environments vary, but still do I want to be the one who is perceived to have a constant distraction.
        Thank you Tom.

        K, bye

        • I just saw this new study that found (among other interesting things) that executive
          presence accounts for 26% of what it takes to get the next promotion. http://www.prweb.com/releases/2012/10/prweb10050433.htm

          • Just read through it. Thank you. The presentation of the research could be better presented better, but it is important. Carnegie had it right with “How to Win Friends…”

            K, bye

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