“Your hand opens and closes, opens and closes. If it were always a fist or always stretched open, you would be paralyzed. Your deepest presence is in every small contracting and expanding, the two as beautifully balanced and coordinated as birds’ wings.” ~ Jelaluddin Rumi , The Essential Rumi
Would the word “leader” be used to describe you? Do you feel like a leader when you walk into the room? Do your family, friends, coworkers, and colleagues comment on your leadership?
If you’re uncertain, don’t write yourself off as someone who’ll never be taken seriously as a leader. A person doesn’t develop a powerful leadership presence overnight.
Developing a leadership presence is our passion, because we believe that when women work together we can make a positive difference in our future. As Melinda Gates recently said, “I tell my daughters to have their voice in this world, and it became clear I needed to role-model that.”
To support each woman grow and develop as a leader we’ve created a process called the PADLE model. In our last few blog posts, we’ve been giving you a glimpse into each step. (Primal Core; Awareness; Declaration; and Leadership.)
The last step is Extension. Extension has to do with how you show up in the world; how you extend the work you have done on and with yourself into your professional and personal life. Extension is the way you bring your gifts into the world. You manifest it in the way you interact with others, the way you take care of yourself, and the way you live with integrity. It stems from how you think, make decisions, behave, manage your emotional state, and communicate. It is your leadership presence!
Leadership presence is a balanced blending of personal and interpersonal skills that sends all the right signals. It’s how you show up, how you make others feel, and how effectively you communicate both verbally and non-verbally. It gives you the “wow” factor. Ask yourself:
- Do I show up as a leader, with clear communication, strong empathy, and follow up on requests in a timely manner?
- Do I recognize the increased value I bring to others when I pause to take care of my own needs?
- Am I clear with the direction I want to go, who I want to impact and how?
People will be drawn to, and persuaded by, your leadership presence if you:
Radiate self-confidence. Remember, the expression you see on someone’s face is about them, not you. Keep your cool and don’t let them hijack your moment to shine!
Shift your focus to serving others. To create and deepen relationships, constantly look for ways that you can be of assistance to others.
Communicate well. When you balance excellent verbal skills with nonverbal cues of confidence, power and warmth, you will have the most impact.
Your presence in the world is an ongoing endeavor. It is the result of your inner work, knowing your strengths, weaknesses, talents and biases. This requires awareness, consistency, self-motivation, practices/routines, values, and a personal mission.
Those who have excellent leadership presence always have great human support, too. We’d love to support you. We encourage you to take the first step and work through our PADLE questionnaire. This free questionnaire has been designed to provide you an honest assessment of where your leadership skills are right now and where you want to be.