Over and over again, the people I coach ask me “what is it?” and “do I need it?” It is not unusual for an individual entering into coaching to identify one of her goals as wanting to develop executive presence. So I decided to simplify the term, and I named it The Seven Ups, an easy way to define executive presence, and the buzz word that encompassed what people were seeing as a polished, knowledgeable and successful executive: someone who inspires, who listens, and who is confident. More importantly, someone who you want to follow.

Because most of what I heard when I asked what people meant by executive presence was something to the effect of, “You know it when you see it,” I did some research to try to succinctly and simply identify the characteristics and behaviors that make up executive presence.

Her are my “seven ups”:

Dress Up – Do you look your best for the audience of the day?
Show Up – Are you on time and prepared?
Stand Up – Can you inspire? Are you confident?
Speak Up – Do you ennunciate? Ask? Make your point and be heard?
Listen Up – Are you open to what those around you have to say?
Lighten Up – Do you take EVERYTHING too seriously? SMILE.
Follow Up – Do you keep to the 24-hour rule?

Take a look at yourself. Are you practicing the seven ups? I guarantee if you do, you will stand out from the competition. Yes, it takes time, discipline, and PRACTICE. If you are already on the path to executive presence: KUDOS! If you need help figuring it out, find yourself a coach who can help. It just may be the thing that changes the path you are on and allows you to stand out from the crowd.