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Own the Room: Discover Your Signature Voice to Master Your Leadership Presence Hardcover – April 9, 2013

4.6 out of 5 stars 52 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“… great advice for communicating authentically and connecting more easily with employees in a positive way.” — Washington Post

“The skills, drills and devices in the book are based on Isis Associates’ Signature Voice workshops. If you can’t take the workshop, the book offers a sound alternative.” — SUCCESS Magazine

“There are few, practical roadmaps to leadership that teach by example; Own the Room: Discover Your Signature Voice to Master Your Leadership Presence by Amy Jen Su and Muriel M Wilkins is definitely one of them.” — CareerBright.com

“The book is chock full of tables, quizzes and charts to help readers visualize and create action plans.”— 800 CEO READ

“This is a book that is as applicable to small business owners who sell to more corporate clients as well as to employees who are looking to move into leadership positions.” — Small Business Trends (smallbiztrends.com)

ADVANCE PRAISE for Own the Room:

Jane Brock-Wilson, Managing Director, Berkshire Partners—
Own the Room is a must-read for all emerging and experienced leaders who aspire to authentically connect with others, forge relationships, and increase their influence. The authors have provided a practical roadmap and toolkit for building leadership presence from the inside out.”

Mary Ellen Joyce, PhD, Senior Director, Brookings Executive Education—
“At last! For years Amy Jen Su and Muriel Maignan Wilkins have been helping leaders at Brookings Executive Education to transform their ‘presence.’ This book brings their critically important leadership concepts and tools to a broad audience in terms that are clear, concise, and actionable.”

Suzanne Richards, Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion, Freddie Mac—
“Amy Jen Su and Muriel Maignan Wilkins have finally given a descriptive voice—a signature voice—to what has been a frustratingly elusive concept. This book provides step-by-step guidance and a fresh, workable approach to identifying and making the most of one’s authentic self.”

Joel von Ranson, Partner, Spencer Stuart—
“This is a unique and powerful book that explains the major components of leadership and effective business communication. What’s special about the authors’ approach is that it links professional success to accessing the unique formula in each of us . . . our signature voice.”

Bob Raidt, Executive Vice President and Worldwide Account Head, Leo Burnett USA—
Own the Room demystifies the notion of executive leadership ‘presence.’ Using a practical model and instructive case examples, the authors prove that developing presence doesn’t require becoming someone else; it’s a unique, signature voice that can be accessed from within.”

Tim Gray, CFO, MedImmune—
“I often think about my leadership presence—where I stand today and how I want to be perceived in the future. Own the Room helped me develop a clear roadmap to reach a higher level. This book is a valuable resource for all leaders.”

Scott Burger, President, Pandora North America—
Own the Room is a must-read for anyone transitioning into, or aspiring toward, an enterprise-wide leadership position. There is an undeniable link between self-awareness and leadership. The authors’ practical model and real-world examples provide an invaluable tool to transition self-awareness to self-improvement.”

About the Author

Amy Jen Su is managing partner and cofounder of Isis Associates, an executive training and coaching firm. She is a frequently sought-after executive coach and speaker on issues of leadership presence, communications excellence, and executive endurance—factors critical to a leader’s performance success. She has a proven track record helping senior leaders clearly articulate their personal and organizational vision, maintain their personal best amid change and complexity, and influence key constituencies.

Muriel Maignan Wilkins is managing partner and cofounder of Isis Associates. Muriel is an executive coach, a strategy expert, and a frequent speaker on issues of leadership communication. She specializes in helping leaders develop in the areas of executive presence, role transitions, and relationship management. She has served senior-level clients across a number of industries including management consulting, private equity, biotech, and financial services. Muriel was recognized by the Washington Business Journal as one of the metro-DC area’s “Top Minority Business Leaders.”

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press; 1 edition (April 9, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1422183939
  • ISBN-13: 978-1422183939
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #54,956 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
As a senior executive for a leading consumer products company, the highest praise I can give "Own The Room" is that it is making me constantly reassess my role as a manager and leader. In a business environment where team members include Generation Y-ers alongside baby boomers and strategic goals are updated quarterly, the authors have reinforced to me that there is no "standard" recipe for managerial and organizational success.

Instead, Su and Wilkins talk about the authenticity of knowing who you are as a person and leader. Evaluate your own tendencies and find the comfortable balance between first-person driver and compassionate bridge-builder. Balance is important but equally critical is that the balance fits your personal style; authenticity (or the lack thereof) shows its fit like the finest suit.

In this sense I view Su and Wilkins like great golf teachers. Instead of showing me a picture of a perfect swing and saying " swing like this" they ask me to evaluate my strengths and weaknesses and show me the path to success using the "swing" tendencies I already own. The longest lasting success is truly authentic; not based on some cookie cutter approach but rooted in our fundamental make-up.

This book has made me a better leader. Not by telling me how to lead but by making me think about how I need to lead.
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Format: Hardcover
In their Introduction, Amy Jen Su and Muriel Maignan Wilkins reject three common but remarkably durable myths about developing a leadership presence:

Myth #1: You Are Who You Are. "This is probably the most pernicious myth out there: presence is something you either have or don't." In fact, [begin italics] anyone [end italics] can develop leadership presence.

Myth#2: One Size Fits All. "This myth is the opposite of the first, but just as pernicious. Instead of resigning themselves to be who they are and giving up on the prospect of change, leaders try to alter their presence to emulate someone else." In fact, as Wilde suggests, each person should develop a leadership presence that is [begin italics] uniquely theirs [end italics].

Myth #3: "If It Ain't Broke, Don't Fix It" In fact, "an effective presence is dynamic...Being conscious of who you are and where you are in your career and in your organization's pipeline is paramount to ensuring you adapt your presence accordingly." This is how Marshall Goldsmith would explain it: "What got you here won't get you there." Continuous improvement and, especially nourishment of leadership presence, is imperative.

With regard to developing a Signature Voice, it is important to keep in mind that more than 80% of the impact of each "message" we send to others is non-verbal. That is, the power of a Signature Voice will be determined by tone and body language.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Increasingly I find myself coaching executives for whom the development need identified, either by them or their superiors, is executive or leadership presence. While a number of books have been written on the subject most offer suggestions on managing the "window dressing" aspects of presence i.e. posture, clothing and use of voice.

Own the Room: Discover your Signature Voice to Master your Leadership Presence by Amy Jen Su and Muriel Maignan Wilkins offers something different. The authors define leadership presence as the ability to consistently and clearly articulate your value proposition while influencing and connecting with others. They believe that leaders with an effective presence have developed a `signature voice' which they define as a leadership presence that is confident, authentic and effective across a variety of situations and with diverse audiences.

The book begins by addressing three myths (or to my mind three excuses for not taking action): "You are who you are"; "One size fits all" and; "If it ain't broke, don't fix it". The authors point out, quite rightly, that the skills and ways of being that got you to this level in your career may not be those needed at the next level.

Myths dispensed with, the authors go on to introduce a four-quadrant model (they are consultants after all) to enable you to assess your current effectiveness, including which quadrant you are currently most comfortable in, and guide the development of your signature voice. They follow this up with what they term as ACE conditioning which stands for assumptions, communication and energy - the three areas which need to be addressed in order to build a signature voice.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I came across Own the Room through a webinar the writers conducted on the Harvard Business Review website. The presentation was dynamic, they are both wonderful speakers and the examples they gave really resonated with me. However, I was disappointed that the book did not live up to the webinar. The contents are still very helpful and insightful. However, this information is not really meant for a book as much as it is for workshops/webinars/etc. It fell completely flat for me because some of the concepts were very drawn out and there were way too many sports references where there could have been an opportunity to introduce additional business scenarios.
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