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Tip 127: Principles of Leadership Presence

People in positions of authority often struggle with their “leadership presence.” They might assume a leader must adopt authoritative body language with carefully curated messages showcasing them as “experts”. What happens, however, is these leaders become cliches because they are immediately recognized as putting on a performance rather than leading from a place of authenticity, trust, and genuine care.

Consider these principles to help you establish your unique, authentic leadership presence.

  • Show up as a whole person

  • Lead with what you care about

  • Begin a conversation that others want to continue

  • Focus through your body

  • Cultivate sustainable curiosity

  • Start by standing still

  • Find the story in everything

  • Hold something back

  • Investigate your impact

  • Build your “muscle memory”

Stated by Agnes de Mille, “There is vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you in action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is nor how valuable it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open.”

As you continue to develop your leadership presence, understand and appreciate who you are, and then intensify it in service to your larger goal. My hope is that your larger goal is always authentic leadership.

Read more about this week’s leadership tip in Annette Kramer’s article, 10 principles for leadership presence.


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