Over the last 20 years, I have been assessed on my command presence. I have been given vague guidance about what this elusive presence is. I’ve even been told a few times that I don’t have it. Other times I have been complimented on it. But what is this thing, this so called “command presence?”
It’s one of those nebulous concept that doesn’t really have a concrete definition. Command itself refers to concepts like coordination, direction and control. Presence, in this case, refers to one’s force of personality. When I combine these two concepts in my mind, my imagination produces someone 12 feet tall. Unfortunately, I haven’t come across any of these commanding behemoths in my travels, so I guess it’s back to the drawing board. Or is it?
John Baldoni’s recent blog for the Harvard Business Review was all about this very thing – leadership presence. He breaks it down nicely into manageable chunks that serve to reduce my mental image down to a human of average height. He concentrates on some broad areas: situational awareness, confidence, humility, and hope.
Have a read of John’s post. Close your eyes and see if you can conjure up a mental image. Let me know what you see.