What We Are Reading
June 2021

Executive Presence: The Missing Link Between Merit and Success by Sylvia Ann Hewlett

As an executive coaching company, the most common request WJM Associates gets from customers is to help a leader develop his/her “executive presence”. Indeed, many executives have the experience and skills of a leader, and yet are not perceived as one. This stops people, even those who are terrific at their jobs, from advancing. What exactly is this thing, executive presence? Author Sylvia Ann Hewlett reveals “EP” to be a dynamic mix of three things: how you act (gravitas), how you speak (communication), and how you look (appearance). Hewlett gives good, actionable advice to improve EP in all three areas, and then concludes the book with a (somewhat silly and skippable) EP self-assessment.

HIGHLIGHT(S): A female President on the subject of the likeability of women leaders: “There are people who absolutely don’t like me. But I also know they respect me. I’m someone with whom they’d want to be in a foxhole. That’s how we talk about leadership: Who do you take into the foxhole? You don’t take people you like, you take someone who is going to save your life in a really bad situation. You don’t want a whiner. You don’t want someone who panics. And you certainly don’t want fake optimism. You want brutal optimism. Great leaders are brutally optimistic.”

Link: https://www.amazon.com/Executive-Presence-Missing-Between-Success/dp/0062246895/ref=sr_1_3?crid=3MEL28S5H7OUK&keywords=executive+presence&qid=1571084098&s=books&sprefix=execu%2Cstripbooks%2C155&sr=1-3

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