Executive Leadership Consultant Sara Harvey Yao Reveals the Hidden Power of Presence for Champions in the Board Room and Beyond

February 10, 2014

SEATTLE, Feb. 10, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — In the aftermath of the epic win of the Seattle Seahawks and the changing of the leadership guard at Microsoft Corporation, the power of presence is making headlines. Executive Leadership Consultant Sara Harvey Yao – author of Get Present: Simple Strategies to Get Out of Your Head and Lead More Powerfullysays being present in the moment is the single biggest contributor to achieving breakthrough results.

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“When a leader is truly present, drama, trauma, and chaos dissolve to reveal the power of calm, ease, and clarity,” Harvey Yao says. “When a team is present together, magic happens. Top performers show up at their authentic best, tune into the unspoken dynamics of the situation, and make effective and precise decisions. Rework and confusion go down. Productivity improves.”

“We are living in a time when technology and information are moving faster than the speed of light. When leaders fail to be present, they can lose footing and become reactive, overwhelmed or myopic. Costly mistakes can be made. Although it seems counterintuitive, remaining present in the moment is the most efficient and effective way to approach the challenges of business. Presence cultivates resilience and wisdom. These are traits that are the hallmark of great leaders,” she says. Harvey Yao believes it is a key skill for any leader to learn to quiet the mind to navigate the challenge ahead.

“My advice is to get out of your head and get present,” Harvey Yao says. “It can transform your leadership, career, the quality of important relationships, and your life.”

With the Seattle Seahawks’ win as inspiration, she offers insights about presence for leaders, no matter where they make their impact.

Presence Helps You Respond Effectively: Seattle Seahawks Quarterback Russell Wilson stated in a post-game interview that his secret to success is being present.

“When leaders are present, they bring calm, relaxation, and focus to every situation,” Harvey Yao says. “They are quick, agile and ready to respond to anything being thrown their way – just like Russell Wilson.”

Presence Gets Noticed: In Richard Sherman’s blog post, “10 Things I Learned After America Learned About Me,” he said, “This stage is much bigger than I thought it was.”

When you are a leader, your presence is constantly being observed. Your reactions, words, and decisions are being evaluated. It’s easy to forget that your mere presence as a leader has an impact. Sherman evaluated the impact his NFC Championship Game rant had on the world. A good leader should reflect and ask, “Is my presence having the impact I intend?”

Presence Takes Practice: Coach Pete Carroll brings in Mike Gervais, a high performance sports psychologist, to help the players develop the mental side of the game. Wilson has regular, private sessions with Gervais and says, “We talk about being in the moment and increasing chaos throughout practice, so when I go into the game, everything is relaxed.”

Harvey Yao maintains that when leaders experience so much pressure from external forces, it’s imperative they build a foundation of presence to stay calm, resourceful and objective.

Presence First, Strategy Second: When Pete Carroll was asked about how he strategized for the game, he said he didn’t really think about it as a strategy. Instead he said, “We just played the way we always play.” Carroll focused all season to train the players’ minds and muscles. Eventually he can rely on the players knowing what to do without having to think it through. That’s the hallmark of presence. When a leader is present — assuming proper preparation — that leader can walk into the room, take a deep breath and respond in the moment.

About Executive Leadership Consultant Sara Harvey Yao

Executive Leadership Consultant Sara Harvey Yao guides executives to strengthen their executive presence, improve their impact, and enhance their lives. The author of Get Present: Simple Strategies to Get Out of Your Head and Lead More Powerfully, she is also the founder of Yao Consulting. Harvey Yao has coached more than 3,500 leaders in six countries including executives from Microsoft, Marketleader and Outerwall (formerly Coinstar/Redbox). She welcomes invitations to speak about the power of presence for the media and from stages at conferences and workshops around the world. Learn more at http://www.yaoconsulting.com. Call 206-686-3670 or email.

Read more news from Sara Harvey Yao.

Contact: Nancy Juetten, 425-641-5214, Email

SOURCE Sara Harvey Yao

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