Executive Women in Leadership: Developing Executive Presence for Women Leaders


Developing Executive Presence for Women Leaders

The concept of “authentic leadership” has become very popular in recent times. In addition, much has been written about executive presence and how to cultivate it in yourself. Both of these things are affiliated with rising to the top.

There is an inherent dilemma for women trying to apply these concepts. Everyone expects that to move up in leadership they will have to display the “right” professional identity and work style – ones that “fit” with expectations.

But what is right and fits is heavily influenced by the majority culture of the organization, which in most cases has been established by men (mostly white, mostly older). So on the one hand, the professional identity needed to succeed includes behaviors more prominent in male culture. On the other hand when women go too far in exhibiting those behaviors, they get pushback. As a result, in certain very traditional masculinized settings, women learn to alter, repress, or hide some of the characteristics of their identities (being a mom, caregiver, acting communally). In essence, some women in certain contexts find they have to restrain their personal style in order to fit in.

In this course, designed for women in leadership positions, learners will examine strategies for incorporating being self-aware and genuine without suppressing their unique personal style.

Key Course Takeaways

Define "executive presence" within your particular context

Assess yourself and a role model for behaviors that support an executive presence (or undermine it)

Practice carrying yourself with authenticity and gravitas that draw from your sources of power

Make conscious decisions about when and how to show emotion effectively in support of a strong executive presence

Plan the behavioral changes that will help you reinforce others' perceptions of you as a capable executive

Refine your executive presence so that you can improve your interactions with people at higher power levels

Applies Toward the Following Certificates
  • Executive Women in Leadership


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