Executive Presence: “Gravitas”, Communication…and Appearance?

Executive Presence is considered essential to effectively perform in leadership roles. Professional advancement to executive roles requires demonstrated knowledge, skill, and competence, coupled with less quantifiable “authenticity,” “cultural fit,” and “executive presence.” Sylvia Ann Hewlett, CEO of Center for Talent Innovation, conducted 18 focus groups and 60 interviews to systematically investigate behavioral and attitudinal aspects […]

Defining Elusive Elements of “Executive Presence”

Fewer researchers have empirically investigated behaviors and characteristics associated with “Executive Presence” than the number of consultants offering recommendations on how to develop this quality and its potential association with career advancement. Communication, “Gravitas”, and Appearance were associated with “executive presence” in a study by Sylvia Ann Hewlett of the Center for Talent Innovation Interviews with […]

“Derailing” Executive Personality Measures Predict Leadership Mishaps

“Executive Derailment” occurs when a person with an executive-level position is seen by others to “fail” in achieving the most important goals for the role, including business outcomes and interpersonal relationships. Ellen Van Velsor and Jean Brittain Leslie of The Center for Creative Leadership’s reassessed and confirmed their earlier findings on derailment dynamics. Executive derailment can occur when: An […]

“Self-Packaging” as Personal Brand: Implicit Requirements for Personal Appearance?

During the Depression of the 1930s in the US, motivational writer Napoleon Hill laid the foundation for “personal positioning,” described nearly forty-five years later by marketing executives Al Ries and Jack Trout in Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind. By 1997, business writer Tom Peters introduced “personal branding” as self-packaging that communicates an individual’s accomplishments and characteristics, including […]

Attractive Men May Appear More Competent, But May Not Be Hired

Previous blog posts documented bias in favor of attractive people for hiring, venture funding decisions, and positive impressions by others. In contrast, capable yet less attractive individuals may encounter “workplace attractiveness discrimination,” reported Sun Young Lee of University College London, University of Maryland’s Marko Pitesa, Madan Pillutla of London Business School, and INSEAD’s Stefan Thau. Their […]

Plastic Surgery Changes Perceived Personality Traits

People often evaluate others using facial profiling — making inferences of personality attributes by visual observation, according to Georgetown University Hospital’s Michael J. Reilly, Jaclyn A. Tomsic and Steven P. Davison, collaborating with Stephen J. Fernandez of MedStar Health Research Institute. This cognitive shortcut can lead to biased impressions and limited opportunities for those unfavorably judged. Photographs of 30 women […]

Acknowledge Potential Employer “Concerns” about Gender, Attractiveness to Get Job Offer

Although attractive people enjoy many advantages, attractive women applying for jobs in traditionally male jobs face a double disadvantage: gender and appearance. The “beauty is beastly effect” is a hiring bias favoring men or less attractive women for “masculine” jobs, first described by Yale University’s Madeline E. Heilman and Lois R. Saruwatari. They found that attractiveness was an advantage for […]

When Do Women Talk More than Men?

Women talk more than men. Women talk less than men. -*Which is true? It depends. Context and expectations of the individual and others determine when females talk more than males, according to NYU’s Kay Deaux and Brenda Major of University of California Santa Barbara. Participants equipped with digital “sociometers” recorded identities of people nearby and talk […]

Developing “Big 8” Job Competencies

Better job performance is associated with eight capabilities known as “The Big 8”, according to Korn-Ferry International’s George Hallenbeck, in the Leadership Architect® Library of Competencies: • Dealing with Ambiguity, • Creativity, • Innovation Management, • Strategic Agility, • Planning, • Motivating Others, • Building Effective Teams, • Managing Vision & Purpose. He analyzed more than 1500 ratings […]

Career “Planning” = Career “Improvisation”

Planning is most suited to relatively certain circumstances in which processes and decisions are typically linear, argued Stanford’s Kathleen Eisenhardt and Behnam Tabrizi in their analysis of global computer product innovation. In contrast, frequently-changing or uncertain conditions with many iterative modifications require improvisation coupled with frequent testing. In “VUCA world,” described by the U.S. Army War College […]