Harnessing Leadership Presence: Lessons from Fictional Icons

I recommend watching any episode of the TV show Game of Thrones if you have ever wondered what we mean when we talk about leadership presence.

No one typifies this as much as Charles Dance in his role of Tywin Lannister, the head of the Lannister family. The way he walks, talks, and even looks at people commands respect and shows the power and influence that he has.

While his character might not have the integrity that we would all look for in a leader, he does have a leadership presence.

Even when you see him in a room with the king, it’s clear who is in charge; it’s through his demeanour and his confidence, not the position that he holds, that his power comes from within.

If, as leaders, we can create that type of leadership presence, it can help elevate our leadership to the next level.

While there is more than one way to skin a cat, and even the humblest of us can become a great leader, leadership presence can help enhance our leadership skills and increase our influence.

Another great fictional character with a great leadership presence is Captain Jean-Luc Picard, played by Patrick Stewart, a fellow Yorkshireman.

However, if you watch the first few episodes, his character actually came across as quite weak and lacking in presence, which, given that he’d taken over a very well-known role is quite understandable.

After a few episodes, though, he did stand up and become a great leader; it seemed as if he’d found his own confidence, which then allowed the rest of us to see his confidence. Leadership presence comes from within, and it starts with us believing in ourselves; if we don’t, then why should anyone else?

Both of them have commanding voices, probably from their Shakespearean training, and their voices seem to convey power and have the ability to inspire.

Listen to this speech from Charles Dance as he promotes the 2015 Rugby World Cup, it’s almost impossible to not get caught up in the passion and emotion of his speech.


Wouldn’t you like to be able to inspire people with a presence like this?

If so, maybe you need to go and get some speaker training. Create a voice that can communicate your vision and passion in a way that will inspire your teams, not only through your thoughts and ideas but also through your leadership presence.

If you want to learn more about creating highly engaged teams or being a better leader click the link to view our course.