Five Ways for Security Professionals to Exhibit Executive Presence

Five Ways for Security Professionals to Exhibit Executive Presence

 By David Lammert | Pinnacle Placements February 3rd, 2021



“No man or woman attains a top job, lands an extraordinary deal, or develops a significant following without this heady combination of confidence, poise, and authenticity that convinces the rest of us we’re in the presence of someone who’s the real deal.”

Sylvia Ann Hewlett


We all have been in that situation where someone walks into the room, all eyes turn toward him or her. They have an unmistakable presence. Projecting confidence and people instinctively are drawn to them. They speak with authority.


As images of the individual and the traits I describe fill your mind, ask yourself this question: Where do I stand? What do I do well? What needs improvement?


If you have an executive presence, you have an appeal, star-quality, or charisma that draws others to you. You’re a compelling individual inside your organization or professional working group. When you speak, people listen, feel influenced, and energized. Your perspective is sought after and you convey confidence, are respected as an authority, know how to create impact, and provide value.


Think about your peers, your bosses, other executive leaders, famous people, and your friends. Who exudes a presence like this and who doesn’t? Developing an executive presence to complement your security management and leadership skill is a major key to future success. Don’t run from your gifts. Recognize them and build upon them. Maximize your true potential.


You can develop executive presence through learning and practice. You’ll know you’re making progress when you consistently:


  1. See the Broad Perspective

You’re a strategic, “big picture” thinker who doesn’t become fixated on policy and procedure. You think beyond the typical default position and take an enterprise-wide perspective when solving security-related challenges. You’re able to communicate about security issues in business terms to show your worth where it matters most – how to effectively help the organization meet its goals.


  1. Develop Strong Interpersonal (soft) Skills and Emotional Intelligence

In 2020, the COVID-19 Pandemic, and civil unrest during the summer months provided a crash course on how we must be able to manage ourselves before being a leader to others. As a result, Emotional Intelligence (EI) in leadership has emerged as the critical skill set for leaders at every level of the organization. You are on track to a strong executive presence if you incorporate interpersonal skills and emotional intelligence with your security management expertise. As a leader, you’ll inspire and motivate others by advocating what’s best for the organization, not just the most convenient or expedient position for the security function. And, when you’re successful, you recognize others and share the credit.


  1. Determine Priorities and Goals

You improve your productivity, influence, and reputation for high-level achievement when you focus on the things that matter most. The impetus for peak performance is a committed decision to achieve a particular goal or outcome. You can’t achieve a vision if you don’t have one! Decide what success is to you and commit to working towards it. When peak performers in all fields are analyzed, it is the difference in their actions, not their intelligence, sex, race, or another factor, that makes the most difference in explaining their results.


  1. Seek Professional Development & Personal Growth

You find individual fulfillment and professional success by capitalizing on your strengths and minimizing your missteps. You encourage honest feedback to fuel your passion for self-development and desire to contribute to your organization’s success. You have an annual plan in writing detailing your professional and personal growth goals and action steps that you review and track regularly. Commit to investing in the most important asset you possess – yourself.


  1. View Risks as an Opportunity

You are not paralyzed by ambiguity, change, and challenge. Instead, you capitalize on it. Leaders are revealed and careers are made for those who embrace crisis and navigate a smooth landing. You challenge yourself and stretch your capabilities. You’re able to conquer self-doubt and breakthrough self-imposed limitations by seeking out opportunities to expand your comfort zone.


Developing your executive presence may seem like a daunting task. Admittedly, there is a lot of work and commitment involved, but it is the kind of personal commitment that will have extensive, lifelong benefits. You will become more motivated; you will learn how to recognize and improve your own value and you’ll develop a fulfilling and impactful career path. These are all benefits you can attain on your way to becoming a better leader, security professional, and sought-after job candidate.


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