The Value of Presence

Do you have it? Does your boss? Do you know a corporate executive without it?

Presence is the ultimate X-Factor for me. If you are going to be my boss, please make sure you bring this to the table.

I will never forget the first meeting I was in which our Chairman came to town to address the staff. He was introduced, grabbed the microphone and within seconds I was captivated. He was dressed in a three piece suit, stood over six foot four and spoke with a deep voice. No, it wasn’t the visuals of his presence, it was all these variables that he brought to the table. To me, he defined everything that “Chairman” would be defined by in the dictionary.

Presence, like many talent strengths can’t be taught. You either have it or you don’t. You can’t learn it, you have to be born with it. Expensive clothing sure can help, but I’ve seen cheap suits and old clothing still bring presence to the table. I’ve been in the company of a boss who stood under five foot two, spoke in a soft voice and asked few questions, but she could command a room with a few words and everyone knew that she was the head of the organization. Her degree from Brown and her millions of dollars may have had something to do with it too. Again, many factors lead to presence.

Recently I sat through some meetings with some people who have zero presence. It’s painful for me. If you can’t bring it, don’t show up. If you expect me to listen, give me a reason. Bring presence. Command attention, command the room, and bring presence.

If your curious if you have it, you don’t have it.

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