SOURCE: Bates Communications

Bates Communications

March 28, 2014 02:30 ET

Bates Announces First-Ever Research-Based, Scientifically Validated Assessment Tool for Identifying Executive Presence and Influence

WELLESLEY, MA--(Marketwired - Mar 28, 2014) - The first-ever research-based assessment tool to define and measure one of the most elusive factors in leadership, "executive presence," has just been released. After a notably successful pilot in 20 companies, the Bates ExPI™ (Bates Executive Presence Index) has been validated as a tool that truly defines the "science" of influence. The model for executive presence, conceptualized and extensively researched, measures how leaders can make a positive and powerful impact on their companies and the world around them. 

"Executive presence remains a hot topic in leadership because it's been impossible to define -- up to now," says Suzanne Bates, CEO of Bates. "Yet companies from the Fortune 100 to entrepreneurial start-ups know that it is the vital 'x-factor' when it comes to leadership success -- from inspiring commitment, to mobilizing above-and-beyond effort, and lifting organizational performance."

Executive presence has been acknowledged by companies for decades as a significant factor in leadership effectiveness. Yet until now, describing and measuring it has been difficult, if not impossible. The Bates model and accompanying ExPI™ assessment is a revolutionary step forward in describing executive presence in three dimensions: Character, Substance and Style. It is comprehensive and deep enough to get to the heart of those distinctive qualities that characterize communicative, transformational leadership at the top. 

The Bates ExPI™ takes on the intangibles of executive presence and makes them visible and concrete, including but not focusing exclusively on commonly discussed aspects such as executive image or presentation skill. 

"Those aspects of presence really just scratch the surface," says David Casullo, President of Bates. "You don't have to oversimplify executive presence to define and measure it." This assessment breaks new ground by allowing leaders to appreciate how beyond technical excellence, they can begin to develop and amplify some of the less obvious qualities of leadership. Casullo adds that these include qualities such as resonance, authenticity, humility, practical wisdom and concern. "The end result is a rich, unique, individual portrait of the 'right stuff.'"

The Bates ExPI™ pilot validated the underlying, research-based model and its capacity to highlight compelling and actionable themes for individual executives' development. Design of the Bates ExPI™ ensured, right from the beginning, that the output would be business relevant and easily related to the leader's goals and objectives. The multi-rater feedback survey measures 15 facets of executive presence and influence, comparing the executive's own self-perceptions to perceptions of others in the organization. Pilot study results indicate robust "content validity" and face validity, as well was very good reliability -- it measures the "right stuff" and does so consistently.

William Macaux, Ph.D., Vice President of Executive Development for Bates, who led the research, design, and piloting of the Bates ExPI™, says, "Executive presence is a social-organizational phenomenon. It is what the leader makes visible to others, which may not always be the same as what the leader intends to convey." Macaux went on to say, "The Bates ExPI™ fills a vital gap when leaders are preparing to step onto a larger stage. It speaks to their ability to mobilize widespread and purposeful action, to drive change and elevate engagement, and to generate a sustainable culture of business success."

Macaux adds that the Bates ExPI™ does not compete with the leadership competency models that are so prevalent today, rather, it complements and completes them. Through its comprehensive design it assesses facets of character and substance that give people reason to believe in their leaders and their mission, and to find more meaning in their work. Both factors are known to be associated with "organizational citizenship" (going above and beyond). Moreover, the Bates ExPI™ links these qualities of presence, which affect mindset and motivation, to the active, iterative facets of style that create a culture of disciplined execution. 

In summary, the Bates ExPI™ eliminates the need to rely on armchair speculation when it comes to describing executive presence. Companies no longer need to fumble for words to describe what it "might" be. Firms and teams can now make use of a well-researched model that defines executive presence, offers a proven tool to measure it, and, given those results, puts them in a position to guide development of executive presence, whether through coaching, action learning, team development, or leadership programs.

Bates has already been invited to share its research and proprietary model at such industry events in 2014 as the Conference Board's Leadership Development Conference and the Human Capital Institute's Learning & Leadership Development Conference.

For more information or to interview a Bates representative, contact Meredith Courtney at mcourtney@bates-communications.com

Bates is a Wellesley, Mass. based coaching and consulting firm that helps leaders influence the world.

Bates clients are global companies and top executives who have the desire and ability to make an impact on business and society. Through their unique lens on leadership, executive presence, and communication, Bates helps leaders translate vision into exceptional results. Through executive coaching, organizational consulting, and learning programs, Bates clients maximize their ability to assert influence, inspire commitment, and ignite action.

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