The Headhunters hosted a webinar with guest speaker Lisa Martin on the topic of building leadership presence. Lisa discussed five ways to unleash your leadership confidence, influence and performance.


We learned a lot from Lisa during this webinar! Here are some of the key take-aways:

  • People who possess leadership presence exude credibility and confidence. They’ve got both the sizzle and the steak!
  • People with presence magnetize a room. They leave a lasting impression and inspire a sense of trust in others. They are credible, confident and decisive, and are able to build strong relationships. They are able to communicate effectively and to be graceful under pressure.
  • People believe in their own potential for greatness when they are around those who possess solid presence.
  • Presence is not a superficial attribute. It’s not necessarily about flashiness, extroversion or having a “big” personality. Anyone can develop presence and remain authentic to their true nature.
  • Why does presence matter? People with strong presence often get promoted faster, make the sale, get new assignments or opportunities for advancement and inspire others to action. Research shows that leadership presence accounts for 26% of what it takes to get promoted.
  • What are the 5 elements of presence? Watch the webinar for a full explanation of each!
    1. Substance
    2. Relational Authenticity
    3. Style
    4. Communication
    5. Situational Agility
  • Substance is at the core of this model; it holds up all of the other elements. Some people have a lot of sizzle but may not have the substance… the steak!
  • Sometimes people think they have presence when what they actual exude is obnoxiousness. No one wants to believe they are obnoxious, but it’s important to self-reflect and pay attention to how others respond to us. Lisa proposes a self-check system that includes five questions to ask yourself. She also suggests that filming yourself in meetings or presentations can offer additional insight.
  • Strive to remove the word “just” from your vocabulary—it takes away some of the power from what you are about to say!
  • Presence-building strategies:
    1. Build your relational intelligence
    2. Make eye contact
    3. Find your power pose (watch this TED Talk by Amy Cuddy)
    4. Train your brain and improve your situational agility (check out Backwards Bicycle by Destin Sandlin)
    5. Focus on feedforward, which is similar to feedback but focuses on the present and looking to the future, rather than looking back on the past (developed by Marshall Goldsmith)
  • Recommended reading:
    • Lead Advanced: 6 Skills to Be The Ultimate Executive by Lisa Martin
    • An Everyone Culture by Lisa Laskow Lahey, Matthew L. Miller and Robert Kegan

Lisa Martin is a Professional Certified Coach (PCC) who helps people discover how to be high-impact, thriving leaders. In addition to having authored 5 leadership books, she writes a leadership blog, coaches leaders 1:1, offers online leadership courses, keynotes on leadership, and licenses her Lead + Live Better™ leadership development programs to organizations.