A positive executive presence is a quality women must cultivate to advance in their careers. It takes a combination of grit, grace, and gravitas to do this. Grit means having an uncompromising commitment to performance excellence and strategic focus. There are five ways strong-minded women show up when grit is present:
1. Being strategic. This means focusing on long-term objectives as well as the short term ones, and calculating both the risks and returns on these objectives. Strategic women know when to stop talking and take action.
2. Adapting to negative conditions and challenges. Notice how strong-minded women seem to have a well-thought-out vision and plan. They are focused, looking at risks realistically, foreseeing any problems before they arise, and knowing how to deal with them. These women confront resistance and embrace challenges.
3. Are decisive and assertive. This means developing steps to deal effectively with problems and decisions, knowing who to turn to for help when needed, and confidently following through on the decisions.
4. Modeling responsibility and accountability. Strong-minded women talk straight and communicate clearly. They ensure things get done, and when other people are involved, they hold them accountable for their responsibilities. They also uphold standards of quality and excellence in what gets done.
5. Demonstrating persistence. When met with resistance from others, strong-minded people listen and look for ways to achieve their objectives in another way. There are always alternative pathways to reach a result successfully. Perhaps your goal was not clear because it was really a tactic to reach the goal. For example, having a goal to get a colleague to give you information isn’t really a goal. What is the real goal? If it’s to get information you need, then perhaps there is another way to achieve it without that colleague’s involvement.
None of these qualities work, however, without grace. Grace is having a command of Relationship Intelligence and considerate communication that invites collaboration and partnership. Strong-minded women know that grace plays a critical role in empowering people and elevating performance. Self-awareness and constructive approaches to getting things done is the secret to success.
The book Grit, Grace and Gravitas by Jane Firth and Andrea Zintz will be coming out by the end of 2017. Stay tuned!