Over the last few years, I’ve challenged you to examine your business habits in the realm of your presentation and appearance. It’s been a corporate person’s glimpse into understanding the je ne sais quoi of executive presence, and serves to highlight the type of “polish” you’ll need to exude if you want to get ahead in the business world.
Now, let’s look deeper into executive presence, and explore the importance of what I like to call True Presence— a mastery of the habits necessary for effective networking, relationship building, and crafting the charisma that’s vital to upward career mobility. This time, the focus is Reliability.
That Old Cliché
It goes a little something like “If you say you’re going to do something, do it”….easy to say, right? Putting thought into action, well— that’s something entirely different. Somehow, there is a follow-through deficit in our society, but it can be easily remedied once we identify the point of disconnect. The following are some models for lack of follow-through. Be mindful of how often you put yourself in these situations, and make a conscious effort to correct them:
-The horse is out of the barn before you realize it. Your lips are moving, and your brain isn’t connected. Take a syncopated breath before you offer to do something, and avert the next self-imposed jam.
-Sometimes we say things in passing that the other person takes as a “done deal”. But it never even registered from our lips to our brain. When we don’t write it down, it tends to get lost in a jumble of other priorities. Your new habit: Put pen to paper.
-Ah, the best of intentions— where you intend to do something but it keeps getting pushed off. The solution: Come clean. It’s as simple as emailing a note to explain what got in the way of your intentions. A small request for forgiveness will go a long way.
Something so simple can be the most fundamental way to build and maintain a good reputation: Don’t be the one to cancel an appointment! I’m perpetually disappointed with how many people postpone lunch or coffee appointments with me. Each time I think of that person from that day forward, the cancellation sticks to their profile in my mind. Of course, life does happen. But I also know that people today take more and more liberties to make excuses. When the time, logistics and correspondence involved just go to waste, the person moves down a notch in the reliability ranks. Make your best effort not to be that person!
I have spent enough time in business to know the importance of the corporate virtue of reliability, and to sense when someone lacks in this department. You’d be surprised how good you and others are at the same sort of detection. Keeping your executive presence in check will arm you with a strategy for success and effective networking, keeping your rank high in the eyes of others, and advancement at your fingertips.
Where do you feel you rank on this spectrum? Share your thoughts with me and feel free to tap my brain for solutions.