What do you look like?
No I don’t mean that in a ‘flippin’ ‘eck ark at her/him’ kind of way. But when it comes down to it in many cases, personal presence is a key factor to your success. Sad to say but it was always an issue for Ed Milliband when he was the Leader of the Labour Party. Even some of his party members could not visualise him as a Prime Minister. He may have a great mind, great ideas and vision and personally be a very nice chap much loved by his family. So what’s it about then? Is it just a shallow aesthetic thing or is there a leadership quality that is exuded by personal presence? Those things you just can’t put your finger on but it’s to do with the way the person carries them self? Boxers and other athletes certainly know about this phenomena – they really milk it sometimes and use it to psychologically impact on opponents. Sometimes someone walks into a room and you know they are no ordinary member of the crowd. Sometimes you can see a person’s confidence or lack of it like that ‘Ready Brek’ aura in the TV commercial of way back when. So personal presence is a mixture of how you look, how you move and how you sound – and so first impressions are vitally important.
Now lets be clear – power dressing is not what its about. Some of our most influential figures in history never wore a suit or black dress. Some were very casual or traditional (wearing indigenous style clothing from their homeland) like Gandhi, the Dahli Lama, Nelson Mandela and Osama Bin Laden and some were very scruffy and unkempt. They still had personal presence!
Oh and by the way have you ever met or known of a great leadership figure of current note or in history that did NOT sound like someone to be taken seriously? Me neither. Margaret Thatcher and several other Prime Ministers had voice coaches or image coaches. It matters – but don’t become obsessed with it. Live your life, have time out, relax and be you. If you are a natural born leader then you’ll only be honing what you already have! More from me on this later…..