Leadership Presence: What Actors Can Teach Business

Here is another killer blog post written by the talented Amy Tez! Amy is a highly-trained London-based actress, an entrepreneur, business strategist, and performance coach. Connect with Amy here and don’t forget to check out her blog!

The skills that actors use to inspire and influence have hugely powerful applications in the world of business. These skills are not just useful for leadership; they are essential. Great business leaders, like the acting greats, must communicate with conviction, convey passionate purpose and set exciting precedents. They must create meaningful connections and influence people every day. In sum, like an actor, a leader must have presence.

Yet on the face of it, the world of business and the art of acting seem diametrically opposed. Business is mostly an outside-game driven by results. We focus on our goals and must hit our targets if we want recognition and success. Failure is frowned upon, and the pressure to perform can be immense. Consequently, high-performers are reduced to operating on a mechanistic, overly-cerebral level just to fit in. The fear of making a mistake takes over and they’re left running from goal to ever-shifting goal without stopping to reflect on how to do things differently.

Such high-pressure workplaces are detrimental to leadership innovation. Leaders often feel stifled and unable to question outmoded practices. Yet without innovation, there is little room for progress. What transpires is a swath of nervous leaders who struggle to develop their presence or inspire their teams. And with such ineffective communication starting at the top, it’s no wonder anxiety trickles down and permeates the entire organisation, lowering team morale, reducing productivity and breeding mediocrity.

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