Two of the four powers in 4 Power Leadership are the Power of Poise and the Power of Presence. The Power of Poise is defined as ownership of the inner you – having command of your emotions and your personal moral code. The Power of Presence is how you consciously project your positive leadership image externally to others.
Whether we consciously or unconsciously project our image, we are still always putting forward some representation of ourselves to others. The Power of Presence is about intentionally casting the best possible image in the context of leadership. Does this mean your goal is to be a big phony? Not at all. Because when you carry the right thoughts and feelings inside, your best qualities tend to naturally shine through to the outside.
However, even the best leaders can succumb to the powerful allure of an inauthentic presence they can create. Success can give rise to a phenomenon of the false leadership persona. Famed psychiatrist, Carl Jung described the persona as, “the mask or façade presented to satisfy the demands of the situation or the environment and not representing the inner personality of the individual.” Does this sound like the true Power of Presence at all?
The Power of Presence is actually about truly embodying what you want others to see; not some false persona. Authenticity – imagine that! Imagine all our leaders actually being authentic. Do you think we would have a much different world if that were the case?
If you find that instead of Presence you’re growing a persona that is drifting far away from you the real person, have the courage to jump back to square one and work on your Power of Poise. Examine your values and character.
In leadership, are we willing to take a daily teaspoon of humility as the antidote to arrogance? I hope so, because the alternative is that life will deliver humility through a fire hose when we least expect it. Humility keeps the persona in check and focuses our efforts on developing authentic presence.
Ah – those pesky virtues, they just may have a role in great leadership.