Sylvia Ann Hewlett's "Executive Presence" Demystifies the Overlooked Trait That's Essential To Climbing the Career Ladder

NEW YORK, N.Y., June 3, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Research reveals that the top jobs often elude women and professionals of color because they lack "executive presence" or underestimate its importance. These findings underpin the premise of economist and thought leader Sylvia Ann Hewlett's new book EXECUTIVE PRESENCE: The Missing Link Between Merit and Success (HarperBusiness; June 3, 2014), which defines and unpacks executive presence in all of its nuances and offers guidance to individuals seeking to improve opportunities for advancement.

Using a wealth of hard data, including findings from a nationwide survey and dozens of focus groups, Hewlett reveals executive presence to be a dynamic mix of three things: gravitas (how you act), communication (how you speak) and appearance (how you look). She also draws on personal stories of her own executive presence and journey, and in-depth interviews with a wide selection of admired leaders like Sallie Krawcheck, Joanna Coles, and Cornel West to reveal how they embody and deploy key elements of executive presence.

"No man or woman attains a top job, lands an extraordinary deal, or develops a significant following without this heady combination of confidence, poise, and authenticity that convinces the rest of us that we're in the presence of someone who's going places," Hewlett explains. Just witness how far "executive presence" has propelled the careers of Barack Obama, Christine Lagarde, Steve Jobs, Angela Merkel, and Angelina Jolie.

"Executive presence will not earn you promotion after promotion, but lack of executive presence will impede your ability to get as far as you want to go," states Hewlett. "Quite simply, promotions are not just functions of ability, values, or the numbers you hit, but also rest critically on how you are perceived."

In addition to an in depth exploration of the pillars of executive presence and tactics on how best to navigate and overcome hurdles, chapters in the book also explore:

  • the varying executive presence standards for men, women, multicultural and LGBT employees;
  • how to get actionable feedback from politically correct bosses intent on avoiding discussions about appearance or communication blunders;
  • the tangible behaviors and traits that endow aspiring leaders with executive presence; and,
  • authenticity versus conformity

"Learning how to command a room or read a client, figuring out how to "use" silence to punctuate a speech, finding the perfect skirt or suit for your body type. None of this is easy," warns Hewlett "and will require hours of painstaking effort. But you can count on the results being transformative. Cracking the executive presence code will close the gap between where you are right now, and where you could be…"


SYLVIA ANN HEWLETT is the founding president of the Center for Talent Innovation, a Manhattan-based think-tank focused on helping companies and professionals to fully realize their talent potential. She is the author of several acclaimed books and has appeared on "Oprah," "The View," "The Charlie Rose Show," "60 Minutes", CNN, CNBC and many others, and has been profiled in The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times. Her book Forget a Mentor: Find a Sponsor was named one of the ten best business books of 2013.


EXECUTIVE PRESENCE: The Missing Link Between Merit and Success
By Sylvia Ann Hewlett
$26.99 Hardcover (also available as an ebook); 256 pages; ISBN 9780062246899
U.S. publication date: June 3, 2014; U.K. publication date: July 3, 2014; and also available in Asia and the UK.

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CONTACT: Tai Green 1-212-315-2333 Saunders Robinson 1-917-836-8987 Tara Gilbride 1-917-246-9125 tara@fortierpr.comSource:Sylvia Ann Hewlett