Coolness Under Fire

I was just reading a research study from the Center for Talent Innovation that says it takes a 9 to 18 month program to develop a long-term sustainable executive presence. I was reminded of how long I have spent studying the art and science of Pilates. Read Joe’s quote (with his picture) attached. It just plain takes a long time for the body to learn and embody anything.

We accept that with athletics. We don’t expect to go to the Olympics after two months of tennis instruction. But when it comes to social skills or presentation skills or the ability to be cool under fire we think it should happen in a two day workshop. Maybe we will accept it might take longer than a workshop but certainly not a year or a lifetime of practice.

Executive presence is tricky because every organization’s culture has its own definition. However, it is pretty standard to have certain core similarities. How you look, what you say and how you say what you say and staying calm when dealing with problems are commonly accepted qualities. So if you can command a room, remain self-aware and socially conscious, and grounded you have the basics. Believe it or not the best way you can do that is through the body and the body learns slowly through practice.

Be sure to check out Linda’s new white paper: Leadership at the Edge of Business.

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