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What Is Presence?

Updated: Sep 23, 2021

Our Presence: Bite-sized wisdom for Global Leaders card deck helps you to practice global leadership in the moment and within the context of your own life. Global Leaders operate from a set of 10 principles that are based on natural laws. By operating from these principles, Global Leaders naturally develop presence. Presence is an essential capacity that is vital to leadership roles now and in the future.

Presence is a term we hear more frequently these days. But what, exactly, is presence? Global Leaders understand presence to be a state of existence in which you engage fully in the moment, as the graphic below shows. You feel alive and free.

Getting to a State of Presence

In a state of presence, you feel whole and unified inside yourself. From this wholeness, you can develop highly focused concentration, and you can experience pure awareness. You don't filter your perception of life through the distorted lenses that your personality can create. Presence brings clarity to you. You become free of delusion and connected to your individual genius.

With presence, you act with less fear. You develop compassion, which is best understood as the state of enfolding others in unconditional love. You feel timeless. As you develop your presence, you feel more connected to yourself and to others. You feel more content and deeply satisfied with your life. You experience more joy.

Presence Helps Global Leaders Be in Flow and Strive for Their Passions

Presence is reflected in Nature, where life operates in a state of continuous flow that is natural and effortless. In a state of flow, Global Leaders immerse themselves in their passions and strive for them.

Some experts suggest that the appreciation of beauty is one of the most profound benefits of presence. Through presence, we each can find the beauty of "seeing or hearing on the outside what already lives far inside us," poet David Whyte writes in his book Consolations: The Solace, Nourishment, and Underlying Meaning of Everyday Words. "Beauty is the conversation between what we think is happening outside in the world and what is just about to occur far inside."

The state of presence produces many benefits, both internally and externally, as the graphic below shows.

The Benefits of Presence

Global Leaders Operate Dynamically with Inner Calm

Many people find modern life to be inauthentic, stressful, and exhausting. Our lives can seem chaotic and meaningless. This negativity and fear causes our heart, mind, body, and soul to misalign, as body movement leader Kim Eng states. By connecting to our natural wholeness and inner balance, we can achieve an ease and flow with the present moment, Eng suggests.

This wholeness and state of presence allow you to operate dynamically in your outer world while you remain calm and peaceful internally. As a Global Leader, presence is essential to leading from a state of balance and flow. In doing so, Global Leaders achieve the most efficient and effective outcomes for themselves as individuals, as well as for their teams and organizations.

As technology evolves, the development of "soft skills" continues to be the most important for the future workforce, as a 2017 Herman Trends report suggests. "Every technology revolution has created more work for human beings, in new jobs that require the same intellectual and interpersonal skills," Joyce Gioia writes in the report. "Communication skills, teamwork, and critical thinking are the skills that are always valued, as are problem solving and social skills." Thus, the development of presence, as a soft skill essential to global leadership, will only gain in value as technology progresses.


Eng, Kim. "Presence through Movement." Accessed Sept. 28, 2018.

Gioia, Joyce. "Reskilling the World." The Herman Trend Alert, Nov. 15, 2017.

Whyte, David. Consolations: The Solace, Nourishment, and Underlying Meaning of Everyday Words. Many Rivers Press, 2017.

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