The power and impact of executive presence

Using the ExPI™ to develop senior leaders


Published on: February 2023

Written by: Meghan McGrath

Executive presence has long been acknowledged as a critical factor in leadership. However, its definition has often been mysterious and subject to diverse perspectives. The often-written about default assumption is to equate presence with appearance and presentation skills. While these factors are important, they make up only a small piece of the “executive presence puzzle” that helps leaders sustain goal-directed action in an organization. As a result, leaders have received feedback on presence without a roadmap for action that connects clearly to business objectives.

To connect leadership impact to business outcomes, BTS undertook the task of doing extensive research to develop the Bates ExPI™ (Executive Presence Index) which remains the first and only research-based, scientifically validated assessment to measure executive presence and leadership influence. Now, we know – scientifically – that it is much more than how you show up in the room. Executive Presence is the qualities of leaders that engage, align, inspire and mobilize people to take action. And it is fundamental to driving business results.

To bring to life the power of the model, we share the case of Jane, just one real-world example of a talented leader on her way up. As you will see, despite her compelling performance history and business savvy, top management worries that what has gotten her this far is not enough to ensure her continued success.

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