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What exactly is leadership presence?

What exactly is leadership presence?

Most of my clients want to become better leaders. They are ambitious, focused, and work hard to make a difference on their teams.

But no one is born as a perfectly formed leader.

To build more presence we probably need to stretch into new ways of showing up, speaking and leading with our team. Leadership requires a level of mindfulness and self-awareness that may be a new practice for many people. Can we investigate our strengths and also acknowledge our areas of growth with kindness and compassion? Can we be committed to finding the right support with a coach or mentor to help us see our blindspots and build new habits? Over time, you can quickly develop leadership presence in ways that feel authentic to you.

So what are the skills required to be a good leader? I’ll share what I see as four important skills along with questions you can ask yourself about where you’re demonstrating these skills and where you want to improve.


A leader with presence exudes confidence in their actions and their communication. They are comfortable in their own skin and exude a sense of ease and self-assurance. In day-to-day life, this might manifest as a leader who speaks clearly and with conviction, who takes decisive action, and who is unafraid to speak up and take risks.

  • Do I feel comfortable and at ease in my skin?
  • Do I feel empowered to speak up clearly to represent my thoughts?
  • Do I regularly take risks with a sense of optimism and readiness to learn?


Being genuine and authentic in their interactions with others is important. Good leaders are true to themselves and their values, and they show up as their authentic selves in all situations. In day-to-day life, this might manifest as a leader who is honest and transparent, who acknowledges their mistakes and limitations, and who actively seeks feedback from others.

  • Do I share transparently the wins and the learnings?
  • Do I acknowledge where I’m strong and where I need feedback and support?
  • Am I open to feedback or have I given the impression I am not interested in anyone’s feedback to me?


Charisma feels like a quality some people have and some people don’t. But consider that having a strong sense of purpose and vision, and being able to communicate that in a way that is compelling and inspiring to others are the basics of charisma. Any leader who believes in what they are doing and can clearly speak about why it is important can inspire others to follow them. In day-to-day life, this might manifest as a leader who is passionate about their work, who communicates with energy and enthusiasm, and who is able to inspire others to action.

  • What am I genuinely excited about creating in my role?
  • When I’ve expressed that excitement and vision, do I see others getting inspired?
  • If people don’t share my excitement, why? Am I conveying something that matters to them? What’s another approach or angle I could try?


A leader with deep understanding of their role and responsibilities can exude gravitas. Good leaders carry themselves with a sense of dignity and poise. They don’t back away from the power that leadership imbues. In day-to-day life, this might manifest as a leader who is calm and composed under pressure, who is able to handle difficult situations with grace, and who exudes a sense of professionalism and gravitas in all their interactions.

  • Do I acknowledge my power?
  • Do I use my power in a just and constructive way that benefits the team and our initiatives?  

Developing leadership presence with authenticity and integrity can create a fulfilling professional life. Ease and confidence increases as your work delivers compounding results.

I work with leaders everyday on these skills.

Let's talk about how we can work to grow yours. Set up a call here.

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