Use The Presence Principle to Boost Your Leadership Effectiveness

BY C. Lee Smith
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Attention, managers. If you’ve succeeded in your career because of your acting skills, it’s time to change. New managers, especially those in the sales department, usually have a great acting track record. As sales reps, they were able to convince clients of their credibility.

In a management role, you won't get away with acting. Your team members will quickly figure out if you’re not authentic. That's when your leadership effectiveness will tank. One way to improve the situation is to follow the presence principle.

Cory Mosley, Gitomer Certified Advisor and business consultant, coined the phrase 'presence principle.' He discussed what the principle means in a recent ManageSmarter podcast from SalesFuel. Managers who aspire to become great leaders can’t just rely on their title to win respect from their employees. They can't act their way to success, either. They need to earn respect by focusing on likeability, credibility and bankability.


It’s important to make personal connections with each person on your team. Mosley advises you to avoid faking an interest in a topic to make these connections. If you pretend you love video gaming, but can’t name a single game you play, you’re not being authentic. Take time to get to know each person and several topics they’re interested in. You’ll be able to find one common interest and can bond over that topic.


Credibility goes hand in hand with authenticity. Too many employees, Mosley says, have a new and unknown manager presented to them. The promise from the bosses is that the new manager will save the company. Employees, rightly so, are usually skeptical. To succeed, new managers shouldn’t position themselves as perfect. Yes, they have strengths. The ideal manager, according to Mosley, is “the one who says, you know what? I have some self-​awareness where I know I need to get better.” Managers can then work on the weaknesses. As they improve on their weaknesses, their credibility will increase.


Bankability may be the most important aspect of Mosley’ presence principle. Managers need to be credible and likeable in order to engage their teams. Bankability is all about measuring how successful managers are in terms of key metrics.

If you've focused on being credible and likeable, your team should be responding. Look for improvement in personal relationships. But also look at specific metrics. For example, if you’re heading up sales, has staff turnover decreased? Have sales increased?

The answers to these questions will tell you how well you're applying the presence principle to your work process.