Do you exude confidence and credibility? Can you command a room? Sylvia Ann Hewlett, one of the world's most influential business thinkers, cracks the code of Executive Presence (EP) for men and women intent on winning the next plum assignment and doing something extraordinary with their lives.
You might have the qualifications to be considered for your dream job, but you won't get far unless you can signal that you're "leadership material" and that you "have what it takes". Professionals are judged on presence as well as on performance.
Using a wealth of hard data - including a new nationwide survey and dozens of focus groups - Hewlett reveals EP to be a dynamic mix of three things: How you act (gravitas), how you speak (communication), and how you look (appearance). She also draws on in-depth interviews with a wide selection of admired leaders to reveal how they embody and deploy key elements of EP.
This book is immensely practical. Hewlett teases out tactics that can help you raise your game and close the gap between merit and success. She offers the unvarnished advice you won't get from supportive friends and tackles head-on such touchy subjects as too-tight clothing and too-shrill voices. She shows how the standards for EP vary for men, women, multicultural, and LGBT employees, and she shares how to get meaningful feedback from politically correct bosses intent on avoiding the real issues.
The good news is that EP is eminently teachable. You can learn how to "show teeth" while remaining likable, and you can teach yourself how to dress appropriately while staying true to yourself. You don't have to be born with the voice of James Earl Jones or the looks of Angelina Jolie to hurdle the EP bar. With hard facts and vivid examples, Hewlett shows you how to ace EP and fully realize your unique potential - no matter who you are, no matter where you work.
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- C'Ella Clayton