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Eric Schmuttenmaer: Building Executive Presence for Technical Professionals

Eric Schmuttenmaer, Associate Vice President of Digital, Technology and Innovation at AMITA Health, met with us to share why it is important for technical professionals to build their executive presence.

In this discussion Eric shares:

  • The value of being trustworthy. 
  • Listening with complete attention and without distraction.
  • Being able to clearly communicate your message so that your stakeholders can receive it.
  • Aligning your goals with the company’s bottom-line goals. 
  • Your circle of colleagues can help identify your successes.

Questions that Eric answers:

  • [07:38] How is presenting to a leadership team related to building trust?
  • [12:56] What do you looking for in new team members as it relates to their professional presence?
  • [18:24] What can introverts do to have better executive presence?
  • [25:08] How does having executive presence align with an organization’s bottom line goals?
  • [28:41] What tips do you have for the individual trying to build their executive presence?
  • [34:48] How did you transition from being a programmer to a leadership role?
  • [47:55] How did you overcome pain points related to moving from a technical role to a managerial role?
  • [58:32] How do I present myself as a strong candidate?

Excerpt from the Interview:

Wylie Blanchard: What tips do you have for individuals who are new in their career, transitioning in their career or just interested in building their executive presence?  What tips do you have on how they can build their personal branding and their executive presence?

Eric Schmuttenmaer: The first one that comes to me is listening… It is a combination of listening and learning. So if you’re coming new into something,.. find the people that are in the area that you want to be in or that you want to improve upon and get notes on them. Find out where they have succeeded and replicate those in your world or, work to replicate those in the world and find out, more importantly, where they failed and why they failed… Learn where those common pitfalls are for where you want to be from individuals who are already there and then avoid those as much as you can. It’s not gonna be a hundred percent but do your best to do that. It takes a level of listening and slowly learning. You’re not going to boil the ocean but take those little key moments, those little tiny moments, of takeaways from other people’s lives.

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Special thanks to the students, alumni and faculty from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign for their help in making this episode a success.

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