You Don’t Have to Be a Captain to Be a Leader: An Exploration in Executive Presence

We’ve all had the experience of being on a team where the person at the front of the room wasn’t who we would’ve naturally envisioned at the podium. At Arden, our coaches have gotten to see leadership evolve in countless forms, including the direct outspoken translation we always think of, more quiet, supportive leadership, and many types that are a mix of the two.

The truth is, you can be a leader from any part of the room! Keep reading as we continue to define the many forms that executive presence can take in the scope of defining your own custom portfolio of leadership traits.

You don’t have to be a captain to be a leader, but you do need the following:

Responsibility: If you’re going to lead, you need to take responsibility for your actions. Someone who’s responsible not only knows that progress is ultimately up to them, they also know what to do when they drop the ball. They’re able to take a step back, acknowledge that the team didn’t meet its goal, and instantly assume responsibility by saying, “What did I do wrong?” and “What can I do better next time?”

Accountability: In addition to personal responsibility, accountability to others is one trait of executive presence that an effective leader can’t do without. Being someone who team members can count on to do what you promised builds trust, which happens to be one of the fundamental elements of relationship building.

Motivation: Whether your enthusiasm is quiet or outspoken has more to do with how one’s personality plays into their leadership. Leaders need to take initiative and be motivated about the project they’re supporting in order to motivate others to do the same.

Redefining Leadership Roles

We often think of leading as pulling or guiding, but leaders can push! Leaders who tend to fall on the quiet side of the scale might translate their passions into volunteering to sponsor an initiative or lead even a small portion of a project. That definitely qualifies as leadership too!

Taking Your Leadership to the Next Level

If you feel as though you’re more of a quiet leader, you don’t need to change yourself. Leading by example can be an extremely potent form of leadership. What you do need to do is acknowledge who you are and seek help in the areas that you might consider to be your weaknesses.

Leaders of all kinds have a place in business. 360 leadership tools can be extremely helpful for deriving meaningful insights about your personal leadership style and tendencies so you can use your strengths to your advantage and seek help for the areas that you might not be as confident in.

Ready to get started? Check out our blog post “How to Find the 360 Leadership Assessment Tool That’s Right for You” to get to know the 360 tools that are at your disposal.