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When you hear the word “rockstar,” what comes to mind?  If you think of all the greats, from Mick Jagger and Freddie Mercury to Lady Gaga and Beyonce, they all have two things in common… sure, they are all crazy talented, but more importantly, they had/have an amazing energy. Every single one of them has a larger-than-life, charismatic command-of-a-room-when- they-enter presence.  Now, what do you think of when you hear the word “leader?” Hopefully, the same adjectives come to mind. A good leader must command attention, connect with their team, inspire people to take action, and stand as a strong example for team members to emulate.  Why is it so important to have that “rockstar” presence in the business world? A research study by Tracom Group found that 51% of respondents said that executive presence is an accelerator that propels a career forward by differentiating individuals from others. Regarding what exactly made up executive presence, 51% of respondents said it is difficult to define, but only 19% said it is difficult to spot. Further, 77% of respondents agreed that those with high executive presence progress quickly in their careers. In essence, this is the kind of leader you want to be. Is it really that hard to identify the traits that make up a “rockstar” or “executive presence?” Not if we look to the music industry!  The Five Traits of Rockstar Presence While many characteristics make a good leader, these five are most important for creating that “it factor” or the rockstar presence you’re shooting for.  Confident—Whether they feel it or not, musicians (and headliners especially), portray confidence when they get on stage. Because of this, we (audience members) trust that they are going to entertain us and take us on a journey, safely delivering us back home when they’ve finished.  Your employees expect the same from you. Whether you lead a company with tens of thousands of employees or a small department with just a handful, they are looking to you for guidance and to deliver them from point A to point B. Show them you are capable of doing so, and you will garner trust and loyalty.  Decisive – Have you ever seen a rockstar stopping fans on the street to ask them what to do next? No! They have a vision and while they may take advice or feedback from their manager, record label, or bandmates, ultimately, they are comfortable making a decision and setting the path for their band.  As a business leader, you must be confident and comfortable to make decisions on a daily basis. You can consult with your board of directors, management team, employees, and even customers. However, at the end of the day, the decision (and the responsibility surrounding it) is all yours.  Authentic – James Hetfield, lead singer of Metallica, once said, “Everyone’s different. If everyone were the same, it would be boring as s**t.” Rock stars have to be authentic to stand out. Think of the Beatles’ long, hippy hair when everyone else was clean and proper. Or Alice Cooper, Marilyn Manson, Madonna… the examples are endless. They weren’t afraid to be different, and it’s why they became household names. As a leader, you need to be yourself. Your employees will spot inauthenticity a mile away and you’ll lose their respect if they don’t see you being real. Be you… only professional.  Professional—Yes, rockstars are themselves, but when they are on stage or in front of fans, a certain level of professionalism is expected and appreciated. Showing up three hours late to a concert, canceling at the last minute for no good reason, or punching a fan mid-concert (yes, this has happened) is frowned upon… and will definitely have negative repercussions.  As a business leader, you must act professionally in all your dealings with staff, customers, media, etc. This means showing up on time, ready, dressed properly, speaking respectfully, leaving your personal opinions at the door, and keeping your hands to yourself (your HR department will thank you).   Charismatic – If you’ve ever been to a live show (or even watched one on TV), it’s nearly impossible not to be transfixed by a good frontman. You find yourself leaning in and hanging on every word.  A good business leader knows how to captivate and motivate with stories, evoking emotion and inspiring their team members to take action towards a common goal. If you aren’t a strong storyteller, it’s time to take a class, hire a coach, and up your game.  Musicians are often learning and perfecting their art. Whether it’s learning a new instrument, a new type of dance, or practicing to keep their voice at optimal performance, rockstars know they can always be better. Do you? A leader with true executive presence constantly improves personally and professionally. They take courses, hire coaches, and work with mentors to become better versions of themselves. Your team will see this and will often follow suit.  Conclusion Once again, the best way to understand the business world is to look closely at our friends, the rock stars. If you want to have “executive presence,” you need to have “rockstar presence” and be Confident, Decisive, Authentic, Professional, and Charismatic.  For more tips on leadership, teamwork, and becoming a rockstar, visit https://marvellessmark.com.  

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