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N. Elizabeth Fried, Ph.D.

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The Executive Coaching Corner:  Executive Presence Series

December 4, 2014  Blog Series 9 of 9:  Executive Presence Resources:  Books and Articles


Throughout this series I’ve quoted resources and studies. I hope that I’ve stimulated you sufficiently to dig in and learn more. In this section, I’m going to share several of my favorite books and provide a brief review. I’ve read many more books than these, but in my opinion, these are the best on the topics of executive presence and presentation skills, and they’ll serve you well. Good luck in your journey, and congratulations for reading this far. I’d love nothing more than for you to share your success in earning your seat at the table. When you do, please send me a photo of you sitting proudly, and tell me your story!

 Goldsmith, Marshall, What Got You Here Won’t Get You There: How Successful People Become Even More Successful, New York: Hyperion, 2007. 

Marshall helps you identify what may be holding you back and gives you practical advice for developing your career. His concepts of feedback and feedforward are critical to success. This is a must read for those who want to advance their careers. 

Heath, Chip and Heath, Dan, Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die, New York: Random House, 2007.  

As I described earlier, this is a staple for your bookshelf. It’s easy to read and contains numerous examples to help you develop a compelling, engaging presentation. Both my clients and I have used the authors’ advice with great success. Required reading for anyone who makes presentations. 

Hedges, Kristi, The Power of Presence: Unlock Your Potential to Influence and Engage     Others, New York: AMACOM, 2012. 

Well written with solid documentation, thoughtful examples, and specific actions to drive her points home. It’s a keeper! A well-deserved 5-star Amazon rating.  

Hewlett, Sylvia Ann, Executive Presence: The Missing Link Between Merit and Success, New York: Harper Collins, 2014. 

Hot off the presses on June 3, 2014, I preordered this book and read it the day it came out. Hewlett reports solid research that identified the three pillars of executive presence. This well-written book takes a fresh perspective and adds new information to the body of knowledge. While it’s shorter than other books I reviewed, it’s no less compelling and well worth the read. 

Parker, Lisa, Managing the Moment: A Leader’s Guide to Building Executive Presence, South Carolina: Advantage Media Group, 2013. 

Parker writes an easy-to-read book with solid information to help you boost your career. This book gets my vote for containing the most practical advice of the lot. It contains a variety of career boosting tips, exercises, and activities. This one also belongs on your shelf.  

Sandberg, Sheryl, Lean In: Women Work, and the Will to Lead, New York: Knopf, 2013. 

Sandberg is the COO of Google. While this is not about executive presence, per se, she makes many good points that lend themselves to developing gravitas for women. It’s well written, well researched, entertaining, and very inspiring—a little preachy at the end, but overall a terrific book. 

Other books and research studies referenced in this series 

Cuddy, Amy, “Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are,” TED, June 2012. 

Pillay, Srinivason S., Your Brain and Business, Upper Saddle River, NJ: FT Press, 2011. 

Rock, David, Your Brain at Work, New York: HarperCollins, 2009. 

Etcoff, Nancy,, “Cosmetics as a Feature of Extended Human Phenotype: Modulations of the Perception of Biologically Important Facial Signals,” PLoS ONE 6, no. 10, 2011. 

Sutton, Robert, “How Often Do You Look at Your Boss? Baboons Do It Every 20 or 30 Seconds,” Work Matters, May 30, 2010.

Stay tuned: Be on the lookout for a return of my original series of conversations with executives.

For additional one to two-minute sessions on other topics,  go to the Executive Coaching Corner Archive.