- On October 1, 2017
Employers regularly ask me to find them people with executive presence. This trait is essential because senior lawyers need to persuade clients and present to the executive team. I agree with this pre-eminent career coach’s checklist of confident leaders with executive presence, who are “immediately effective, highly regarded, and heeded”. The good news is it’s not simply a “gift from the gods” (the very definition of charisma), but instead something that can be acquired. Be your best self, and especially be:
- Well-prepared and in possession of the facts of all sides. This is easy for lawyers since that’s our job!
- Effective with language (this part is easy), “including metaphor, vocabulary, examples and inflection to convey ideas” (this part is harder for lawyers to speak with color and in plain English).
- Brief. Lawyers, work on this! You need to tell people what they need to know and not everything you know.
- Effective story-telling. Be self-effacing, and use humor and adept details to make a point.
- Generous. Share credit, accept blame, and always offer to pick up the check!
- Rational. Show you have perspective. Use global frames of reference and avoid polarization.
- Confident. Exude grace. Smile.