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Members polish presence at NEW NWA LPGA event

Thursday, July 3, 2014  
Posted by: Barbara Francella
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More than 450 NEW members and industry leaders learned to cultivate their executive presence to advance their careers at the NEW Northwest Arkansas fourth annual Women’s Day at the LPGA, June 26 at the John Q. Hammons Center in Rogers, Ark. The breakfast and panel discussion, sponsored by NEW platinum sponsor Kimberly-Clark Corporation, kicked off the NW Arkansas Championship LPGA tournament.

Economist Sylvia Ann Hewlett; Kristin Oliver, vice president, people, for Walmart U.S.; and Gisel Ruiz, COO and executive vice president for Walmart U.S., offered strategies for establishing executive presence.

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Hewitt, author of Executive Presence: The Missing Link Between Merit and Success, outlined three keys to executive presence: gravitas, communication and appearance. According to an audience poll, emerging female leaders are challenged most by "gravitas,” which Hewlett defined as "the ability to keep cool when things are tough.”

"When I think about executive presence, the word that comes to mind is ‘effectiveness.’ You have to find a way to be effective with people,” Oliver said.

For Ruiz, executive presence is "the courage to interject in a way that calms the situation. Find the courage and confidence within yourself to interrupt, interject and move the conversation forward.”

Communication should be concise and compelling. But don’t expect people to invite you to speak up, Ruiz warned. "Assume the invitation is the paycheck you collect. Assume the invitation is the name badge you wear.”

Ruiz encouraged attendees to focus on and spotlight the traits that make them unique. "We need to show our diversity on our sleeves, because it’s extremely valuable,” she said. "At the same time, we need tools of the trade.”

Organizations sending large delegations to the event include The Clorox Company, Kimberly-Clark Corporation, Nestlé, SC Johnson, Schreiber Foods Inc., Tyson Foods Inc., Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and WhiteWave Foods Company.
Kristin Oliver of Walmart U.S., Gisel Ruiz of Walmart U.S. and economist
Sylvia Ann Hewlett explore executive presence at the NEW Northwest
rkansas Women’s Day at the LPGA event, June 26, 2014.

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