Reaching the Pinnacle of Leadership Presence

Many leaders strive to be at the top of their organization. They may think, “Once I reach the top, I’ll be a success.” Often, this is accompanied by a sense of complacency or asking themselves, “Now what? What else is there?”

I experienced this firsthand when I achieved my first master’s rating as a figure skating coach. I remember receiving the news upon completing my oral exam in front of three master-rated coaches, one of whom was a friend, now deceased. “Congratulations, Byron! You’ve now accomplished your first master rating.” I recall being somewhat petrified at the news, wondering when everyone would figure out that I had no idea how I’d become a master of my craft. I spent the next several years trying to live up to the new title. It took that long for me to settle into the fact that I truly had mastered the ability to teach skaters at the pinnacle of excellence in skating and mentor other coaches to the same degree.

How do you define reaching the pinnacle of success?  Is it when you reach the CEO position or is it an intangible feeling? 

Possessing a title does not make you an effective leader.  The ability to connect, engage and inspire those you lead along your visionary path is achieved through leadership presence. 

Leadership presence refers to the ability of a leader to project a sense of confidence, authenticity, and authority when interacting with those they lead.  It’s a leader’s impression and impact on their team, colleagues, and other stakeholders. Leadership presence goes beyond having a title or position of authority; it’s about how a leader carries themselves and influences those around them.

In the past months, we’ve explored unique characteristics that lead to leadership presence, including intentionality, your speaking voice, how open you are, how you engage with your teams, and how consistent you are. 

We will explore what it means to reach the pinnacle of leadership presence and how you can strive to get there.