By Meghan McGrath, Director of Marketing

Our CEO, Suzanne Bates, Author of All the Leader You Can Be, was a featured speaker at this week’s PEM CIO Event in New England. Suzanne was invited to speak to share our research on how leaders engage, inspire and align their organizations to drive strategic outcomes. Suzanne asked CIOs to identify the one priority that is mission critical for the year. She then asked them to consider two things we all have in common: these things that must be done, and we cannot do them alone. The group of CIOs lead technology in a range industries from mid-market to larger firms. They shared their views on what the strengths and gaps of their own teams are, when it comes to executive presence, and they mapped these to see if there are trends in how IT leadership teams “show up” to their organizations. Many saw gaps in the “Substance” dimension of executive presence. The discussion focused on how to help your leadership team demonstrate greater practical wisdom and vision, especially with their own teams, and other business leaders. 

The CIOs in attendance also discussed how others in their organizations might view their leadership brand. Which of the qualities of Character, Substance and Style might their peers, direct reports, CEOs and board see as their strengths? Many suggested that what is needed in their organization is a common language about what executive presence is, and a plan for developing stronger presence and impact so they can be successful in driving challenging IT initiatives.  Suzanne challenged the group to move beyond their strengths to develop themselves and become all they can be.*

Suzanne will be making two appearances next week, at the Bates ExPI Certification Program in Copenhagen on Monday March 27th, and at the Human Resources Professionals Association in Toronto on Thursday March 30th.  To inquire about a speaking event, please contact Meredith Courtney at

*All the Leader You Can Be: The Science of Achieving Extraordinary Executive Presence (McGraw Hill 2016) is the basis for this talk.  The book looks at extensive research into what executive presence is, why it matters, and what qualities enable leaders to engage, inspire, align and drive results. Read more about the book here.

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