Often referred to as the “it” or “x” factor, “executive presence” is often described but not often defined, making it hard to develop. Executive presence is the ability to inspire confidence in others – that you are worthy of following, are capable of delivering, and have the potential to do great things over time.

Certain visible personality factors contribute to it, e.g., being well adjusted, sufficiently ambitious, or reasonably interpersonally sensitive. Certain personality-driven, stress-induced behaviors detract from it, e.g., emotional reactivity and other avoidant behaviors, narcissism and other dominating behaviors, and micro-management and other conforming behaviors. Managing personality factors comes with recognition and practice and can form a solid base. Exceptional Executive Presence, however, comes from identifying and developing specific enabling competencies.