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Executive Presence
Cover of Executive Presence
Executive Presence
The Missing Link Between Merit and Success
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Are you "leadership material?" More importantly, do others perceive you to be? Sylvia Ann Hewlett, a noted expert on workplace power and influence, shows you how to identify and embody the Executive Presence (EP) that you need to succeed.

You can have the experience and qualifications of a leader, but without executive presence, you won't advance. EP is an amalgam of qualities that true leaders exude, a presence that telegraphs you're in charge or deserve to be. Articulating those qualities isn't easy, however.

Based on a nationwide survey of college graduates working across a range of sectors and occupations, Sylvia Hewlett and the Center for Talent Innovation discovered that EP is a dynamic, cohesive mix of appearance, communication, and gravitas. While these elements are not equal, to have true EP, you must know how to use all of them to your advantage.

Filled with eye-opening insights, analysis, and practical advice for both men and women, mixed with illustrative examples from executives learning to use the EP, Executive Presence will help you make the leap from working like an executive to feeling like an executive.

Are you "leadership material?" More importantly, do others perceive you to be? Sylvia Ann Hewlett, a noted expert on workplace power and influence, shows you how to identify and embody the Executive Presence (EP) that you need to succeed.

You can have the experience and qualifications of a leader, but without executive presence, you won't advance. EP is an amalgam of qualities that true leaders exude, a presence that telegraphs you're in charge or deserve to be. Articulating those qualities isn't easy, however.

Based on a nationwide survey of college graduates working across a range of sectors and occupations, Sylvia Hewlett and the Center for Talent Innovation discovered that EP is a dynamic, cohesive mix of appearance, communication, and gravitas. While these elements are not equal, to have true EP, you must know how to use all of them to your advantage.

Filled with eye-opening insights, analysis, and practical advice for both men and women, mixed with illustrative examples from executives learning to use the EP, Executive Presence will help you make the leap from working like an executive to feeling like an executive.

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About the Author-
  • Sylvia Ann Hewlett is the founding president of the Center for Talent Innovation, a Manhattan-based think tank where she chairs a task force of eighty-two multinational companies focused on fully realizing the new streams of labor in the global marketplace. Her book Forget a Mentor: Find a Sponsor was named one of the ten best business books of 2013 and won the Axiom Book Award.

Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    March 31, 2014
    Economist Hewlett argues that understanding the bias in the workplace against women and minorities is part of overcoming the bias, and that overcoming it can pay huge dividends to your career. Furthermore, as Hewlett notes: “When companies and leaders know how to harness and leverage gender, generation, ethnicity, race, culture, and nationality, there is a significant impact on the bottom line.” Hewlett shows how to achieve success through attention to appearance, speech, manner, and authenticity—a combination of elements that make up “executive presence.” The author describes how Margaret Thatcher moderated a voice perceived as shrill and earned the increased gravitas that helped her achieve political success. A financial analyst who switched from jeans and T-shirts to tailored slacks and blazers was given oversight over a major project. Meanwhile Marissa Meyer “showed she had the chops” when she changed Yahoo’s telecommuting policy, “but, regrettably, it also showed a leader out of touch with the realities other working parents contend with.” Hewlett argues that neither ruthlessness nor conforming to the dominant culture makes a great leader; rather, it’s most important to find comfort in your own skin. Hewlett’s approach is straightforward and anecdotal. A solid guide for those looking to take their career to the next level. Agent: Molly Friedrich, Friedrich Agency.

  • Library Journal

    July 1, 2014

    What sets leaders apart from other workers and makes people trust, promote, and listen to them? According to Hewlett (Forget a Mentor, Find a Sponsor: The New Way to Fast-Track Your Career), it is executive presence (EP). She writes that EP is a mix of gravitas, communication, and appearance, and that cracking this code is essential to being perceived as a leader. Hewlett examines each of these three components and offers practical advice, as well as a list of common gaffes that undermine a person's authority. Each chapter is filled with interviews and examples of people across multiple spheres of influence, such as political figures, company executives, and Hollywood stars. Hewlett includes a chapter specifically aimed at women, examining the narrow band of acceptability that female leaders have with the three components of EP and how to best navigate the tightrope. Similarly, for people whose identity isn't of the straight, white-male model, she discusses how to strike the balance between conformity and authenticity in a corporate world. VERDICT Though the substance is on the lighter side, this title is worthwhile for aspiring heads of institutions who seek to understand the blunders to avoid and what to focus on to curate an impactful presence.--Laurel Tacoma, Strayer Univ. Lib., Washington, DC

    Copyright 2014 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • -Publishers Weekly "A solid guide for those looking to take their career to the next level"
  • Joanna Coles, Editor-in-Chief, Cosmopolitan "Sylvia Ann Hewlett's book is essential reading for anyone striving to minimize the gap between how others perceive you and how you want to be seen. Executive Presence will transforms careers and unleash a current of previously untapped potential on the world."
  • Sallie Krawcheck, Business Leader, 85 Broads "This is a powerful and urgent book for young professionals climbing the ladder. Credentials alone will not get you the next big opportunity, you also need Executive Presence - the ability to signal confidence and credibility. "
  • Katherine W. Phillips, Paul Calello Professor of Leadership and Ethics, Columbia Business School "Sylvia Ann Hewlett has taken some of the mystery out of the claim that "you just don't have what it takes" in this groundbreaking book on Executive Presence. This book provides a simple guide that will help you crack the code to career success."
  • 'Tiger' Tyagarajan, President and CEO, Genpact "Sylvia Ann Hewlett has put together the complete play book for high potential employees eager to develop the executive presence skills that will propel them to the top. In this book Hewlett explains what EP is, and how to get it. It's real, pragmatic and brilliant!"
  • Kenji Yoshino, Chief Justice Earl Warren Professor of Constitutional Law, NYU School of Law "In this significant book, Sylvia Ann Hewlett challenges the conventional wisdom that executive presence is an innate quality that can barely be defined, much less developed. Anyone seeking to close the gap between their merit and their success could benefit from her practical, engaging, and humane advice."
  • Anré Williams, President, Global Merchant Services, American Express "Sylvia Ann Hewlett is once again leading the way by examining a critical component of business success, Executive Presence. She is a master at making a vague topic clear. She demystifies the meaning of Executive Presence and provides tangible, practical advice that readers can easily use to lift their game."
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Executive Presence
Executive Presence
The Missing Link Between Merit and Success
Sylvia Ann Hewlett
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