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  • Writer's pictureAdil Malia

Your Executive Presence is critical to building your 'SM-A-SH'

You are as successful as your brand is perceived in the segment it professionally operates. Whilst depth of subject knowledge and quality of professional experience will get recognised.....your 'Executive Presence' is your brand differentiator. To that end, my recommendation is be - 'SMASH' !!!


Everyone dreams to build a well recognised professional brand....the same way as who doesn't want a '6-pack' or a 'Size 0'. The problem is in the endeavour and effort involved in reaching that desired shape. Sustained professional brands are built on experiences and perceptions, both of which need serious investments of time and intellect.

This piece is focused on dissecting 'Executive Presence' - the brand differentiator. Idea is to understand what one could do to enhance his/her EP. Needless to stress that like any product brand that has to be backed by a superior product that has quality and ability to fulfill customer's needs, a personal brand is built on the bedrock of superior knowledge (inherited intellect and learnt intelligence) that is embellished through valuable exposures and experiences.

I define Executive Presence as the ever so smart frame of mind honed by ability and backed by wit of a Professional, that instantly enables him to react in professionally tight situations he encounters such that it turns the tight situations into distinct advantages. It reflects the depth of one's professionally perceived persona.

Three elements meet at the cross roads - 'SMartness-Alertness-SHarpness' to create the Medici Effect that provides the magical edge and build the Executive Presence of a professional.

SMART would include professional behaviors that reflect promptness and quick intelligence. It includes wit. Such an individual is socially impressive and would be perceived as being clever. A strong perception of Executive Presence is at the first level created by being generally well dressed and seen as being confident and dashing. Smart Executive clothing comes in here

Alert.. would reflect a professional's mental make-up of being ready all the time, anticipating and planning ahead. Intelligent Anticipation is the key strength of such a professional. He is well thought out and prepared ahead to give appropriate responses when such situations actually arise. When mentally rehearsed, responses pop out seamlessly and without any delay, whenever actual situations arise. He thus gets his aha moment. A high EP guy emerges as King of the Moment. He does not generally father orphaned retorts !!! His EP score goes high.

Sharp: lays out a perception of the professional giving unique and interestingly sharp and unusual turns to data, analytics, stories and conclusions which others may have not anticipated. Creativity and Innovations in interpretation of situation are his forte.

Your Executive Presence when backed up by depth of subject knowledge and quality of rich exposure gives your brand the magical distinctive brand perception that you are vying for. Is Executive Presence developable ? Of course, it is. I am a learner at heart. You can do it yourself...but if you had a serious personal brand coach, that would certainly help.

Work hard on your Executive Presence to enhance your professional perception. Your personal Brand valuation will automatically go up. Soon you will realize how easy it is to monetize you personal brand thru' high EP !!!

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