“You might have the qualifications to be considered for your dream job, but you won´t get far unless you can signal that you´re ‘leadership material’ and that you ‘have what it takes’.” This quote struck a chord with us. By accident, we stumbled upon two books at the JWiB- Johnson Women in Business conference, hosted by the Cornell SC Johnson College of Business, that got us brooding and are must-reads for everyone in the business world. These are “Executive Presence” by Sylvia Ann Hewlett (where the quote is from) and “Great on the Job” by Jodi Glickman. The key concepts of these books are cracking the codes of becoming successful and honing your overall professionalism and business communications skills.

The books:

Executive Presence”(EP) focuses more on a dynamic mix of three things: how you act (gravitas), how you speak (communication), and how you look (appearance). Hewlett also draws on in-depth interviews with a wide selection of admired leaders to reveal how they embody and deploy key elements of EP. With a lot of practical tips and tricks, the author assists in closing the gap between merit and success. She examines the different standards in women and men, in multicultural and LGBT employees and shows how even your voice and your choice of clothes can influence other people’s impression of you. It was fascinating to read that even the smallest things can make all the difference!

Good on the Job”, on the other hand, is about understanding GIFT (generosity, initiative, forward momentum, and transparency) and implementing the LEARN (learn, excel, assist, redirect, and network) strategy into your professional life. Glickman shows that it is not typically the smartest, hardest working or most technically savvy who succeed, but the ones who have clear-cut communication skills and -strategies! The book is therefore a good addition to EP and together they form a helpful guide.

In today’s competitive and fast-paced business environment (especially in mobile marketing) it is immensely advantageous to have both communication skills and executive presence, because it can help to improve the communication with both clients and colleagues, and therefore the overall business atmosphere. Similarly, these skills can get people on your side when you need them to, and it can avoid misconceptions and misunderstandings in general – another important factor in any business environment!

So all in all, the tips and tricks from the books sure have the potential to create a more positive and fruitful working environment and can, in addition, help you to shape your own work experience the way you want it to be. Both authors are established business women with a lot of experience under their belt, so they clearly know what they are talking about! We were impressed by their ideas and implement them here at Spyke Media for sure.

About the authors:

Sylvia Ann Hewlett is an economist, consultant, and lecturer with a PhD from the University of London. She is the founder and CEO of the Center for Talent Innovation, the founder of Hewlett Consulting Partners LLC and has authored over 11 critically acclaimed books, as well as many articles for the Harvard Business Review.


Jodi Glickman is a Communication Expert, Keynote Speaker, Entrepreneur and a graduate of Cornell Johnson School of Management in Ithaca, New York. She has worked as an investment banker for Goldman and Sachs, as a policy analyst for the U.S. EPA, and currently serves on the Board of Directors of Readworks.org. Like Sylvia Ann Hewlett, she regularly contributes to the Harvard Business Review.


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