All the Leader You Can Be: The Science of Achieving Extraordinary Executive Presence
March 28, 2016
Suzanne Bates and her team at Bates communications reveal the qualities you need to develop to be all the leader you can be.
Executive presence. It is indispensable to those that wish to advance up the leadership ladder, yet almost impossible to define. That is the task Suzanne Bates and her team at Bates Communications set for themselves in All the Leader You Can Be. They offer a research-based model of executive presence and an assessment tool (or rather, index, which they call the Bates ExPI) to measure it. It is a different kind of assessment than most, in that it does not assign a specific leadership style to participants. That is largely because their aim is making leaders more self-aware of their strengths and weaknesses—and helping them evolve and grow over time—and they want to allow for and work on personal development rather than pigeon-hole people into a specific type they come to identify and limit themselves with.
What they have come up with is a holistic view of the whole leader. Most leadership books today focus on character over charisma, substance over style. In All the Leader You Can Be, rather than focusing on substance over style, they focus on substance alongside style. Add in a foundational core of character, and you have what Bates and her team have found are the three dimensions of leadership: Character, Substance, and Style. Within each of those dimensions, they've found five distinct features, from authenticity to appearance, that together make up 15 facets of behavior that you must develop to be all the leader you can be. Unfortunately, the leadership course of life has left most of us with an unbalanced array of these qualities. The good news is we all have access to them:
[K]now that all 15 of these qualities of executive presence live within each and every one of us in varying degrees. But we are not born knowing how to use them.
Simply put, none of us are born leaders. Even the best, "most natural" leaders have to work continuously on their development. And that is what Suzanne Bates has devoted her career and her company to—helping leaders see themselves (and how others see them) more fully, from the super deep to the superficial, and develop in ways that allow them to take the next step in their career. If you're interested in taking that step yourself, in being all the leader you an be, we have 20 copies of her new book available.