Energy is the Future Content Hub

View the latest updates, best practices, and insights from Anese Cavanaugh and the ACI Team


What if someone I work with does not agree that self-care is a leadership skill?

We often hear from enthusiasts of the IEP Method® how they wholeheartedly believe in self-care as a leadership skill. However, a common question we receive is how to respond when those you work with do not agree. Read on for insights from Anese Cavanaugh, culture-change expert and founder of the IEP Methodology.

ACI Data Deck

Relevant Culture Data

Discover the 5 attributes of a toxic culture, the percentage of employees who are engaged, the percentage of employees + C-Suite who say that improving their well-being is more important than advancing their career, why up to 79% of people quit their job, how to increase business productivity by 31%, and so much more. Click here to receive a copy of the data.

Anese Insights

Equipping Your Leaders and Employees for Inevitable Disruptions

What responsibility do you have as a senior leader to help your workforce understand and navigate the stress that they experience from change? How do you encourage a culture of resilience and healthy stress management — while still meeting goals and mission-critical objectives? Hear insights from Anese.

What is the IEP Method? Video

What is the IEP Method®?

Are you curious how to grow your leadership and workplace culture? Looking for tools to build your resilience and create an impact in today’s world?

The IEP Method® (Intentional Energetic Presence®) is ACI’s proprietary methodology and impact model at the heart of our leadership and training programs. View this 2-minute video to learn more

Untangle Podcast

Untangle Podcast: Show Up As The Most Powerful Version of Yourself

How does self awareness, honest reflection and being more present and intentional help you in your role as a leader? Listen to an inspiring conversation with Anese Cavanaugh and Patricia Karpas with Untangle Podcast as they explore how your intentions, energy, and presence can have a positive OR negative impact, depending on the choices you make. Listen on your favorite platform here.

How Your IEP (Intentional Energetic Presence®) Can Impact a Meeting

How Your IEP (Intentional Energetic Presence®) Can Impact a Meeting

Have you ever been in a meeting where one person seems to drain the energy from the entire room? Discover how you can unlock the power to shift the energy in the room by using The IEP Method® (Intentions, Energy, and Presence) to create a successful and productive session! View the 4-minute video here.

IEP Heart in circle arrows

Leadership Presence: A Definition

“Leadership Presence is the ability to show up in a manner that creates more space and connection, inspires one to follow you because they want to (versus have to), and invites authentic presence in others. A solid leadership presence creates impact without saying a word, evokes courage to engage, empowers others to lead, creates safety in connection, and leaves others feeling better for being in your presence — all via the simple art of being.”

Your leadership presence is yours for the designing.

It can be cultivated, strengthened, and expanded.

It can be positive or negative.

And it is all contagious.

Anese Cavanaugh Signature

Anese Cavanaugh

Leadership & Culture Advisor
Creator of Intentional Energetic Presence® and The IEP Method®
Author of Contagious Culture, Contagious You, and The Leader You Will Be

The Top 3 Leadership & Culture Myths

Myth #1: Leadership is about the “doing.”

People often think that leadership is about our skills, behaviors, background, credentials, capabilities, roles, and actions.  However, while these are all important, leadership is most deeply impacted by the way we show up. People are responding to how we make them feel, the energy we bring to the table, the kind of space we hold, our “way of being” in creating impact, and whether or not we create trust, safety, and inspiration with them. Consider the leader who has great credentials, holds a high-level position, or generates great revenue or results for the company, however, they’re exhausted, burnt out, unhealthy, relationship-compromised, disorganized, impatient, and/or leading harshly — leaving people confused, careful, frustrated, unappreciated, and burnt out.  This is not a sustainable leadership model (and is why 50% of people leaving organizations cite their manager as the reason). Diffused throughout this impact — like food coloring in water coloring everything — are our intentions, energy, and presence (our IEP). Our presence IS our impact. When we take the time to get clear about our intentions, manage and nourish our energy, and optimize our presence with ourselves and each other, not only do we create more energy and stamina for OURSELVES (and our families), we make the leadership skills, experience, and communication of our day-to-day even more powerful. 

Myth #2: Culture is created “out there.”

People often think that culture is created “out there” — the CEO, the C-Suite, the people around us, the “they” create the culture. Or that culture is created by foosball tables, free lunches, group activities, and days off. However, while people around us have an impact and perks are wonderful, culture is not a “they” thing, and no amount of perks can override an unhealthy culture. The truth is that we ALL create the culture we want to be a part of (or not) by how we show up.  We emanate culture through our intentions, energy, presence (IEP), and actions. And we’re contagious (not just physically, but in our emotions, attitudes, behaviors, and energy as well.) When we take the time to clarify our intentions, manage our energy well, and show up in ways that we want to show up together — we create a healthier culture.  And while we have zero control of anyone else, we have control of ourselves and making active choices for who we want to be. Culture starts here.

Myth #3: SELF-care and people skills are the “soft” or “fluffy” stuff.

People often think they do not have time for the “soft stuff” in business and getting things done. When actually that “soft stuff” is platinum and not only helps us get things done more effectively but saves us time, energy, money, and drama in the long run, as well as produces greater well-being, creativity, connection, collaboration, stamina, and results.  The solutions to myths #1 and #2 exist in myth #3. When we tend to our self-care, build our capacity to connect and hold space, and show up well for ourselves and each other, we build our personal sustainability and presence enabling us to create healthier personal, business, and financial outcomes. (For more stats on this, ask us for our stat sheet or see the introduction in Contagious You (which also spends Chapter 8 on the “Science of Showing Up.”)

Leadership Resources

You’ll find lots of articles and resources on Leadership Presence throughout the site. Here are some of our most popular by topic:

The 3 Principles of Leadership Presence

I’ve worked with human beings who want to have more impact, perform better, create solid positive results, inspire more leaders, and feel good while doing so for as long as I can remember.

Over the last twenty(+) years, I’ve worked with athletes to be better in their mindset and sport. With professionals and executives to enhance their health, productivity, and performance. With doctors and healthcare staff to show up more effectively and bring even better care to their patients (and themselves). With business leaders and organizations to create healthier impact by cultivating cultures of accountability, collaboration, and authentic effective leadership throughout. And human beings in general, of all kinds of industries, who simply wanted to show up better AND feel good doing so.

In our work together we are always focusing on IEP (Intentions/Energy/Presence) and how it effects performance. I’ve found it inescapable.

What I’ve also found inescapable are the three essential principles of presence that add up to creating impact, cultivating safety and authenticity, and having a solid and inspiring leadership presence.


Principle 1: Our presence is our impact.

People often think that leadership is about our skills, our credentials, and what we do — yes, these are all important. AND, people respond to who we be, how we show up, and how we make them feel. It’s the “soft stuff,” the intangibles that often create the greatest impact.

You may know people like this. They’re brilliant, well credentialed, crushing it with their results — but they’re either burnt out, “leaving dead bodies wherever they go,” sucking the energy out of the room with their very presence, “winning” by diminishing others, and/or leaving you tired (or on guard or spinning), just for being next to them. This is an example of a leader who’s got the “tangible” stuff down, but their presence and how they make people feel (that pesky soft stuff), makes them a leader who people follow because they HAVE to vs WANT to, and who people will NOT give their best creativity, thinking, or energy too. No good.

Now, consider this leader (who you likely know as well)… They walk into a room and the atmosphere shifts – it feels great just to have them there. They sit with you in a conversation, if only for a minute, and you feel more inspired, clear, and seen just for being in their presence. They command presence, create safety, and inspire best thinking just by showing up. For these people, their skills and leadership prowess maybe lovely, however, how they make people feel in how they show up and regard them is what truly creates their impact — kind of impact that unlocks ones’ greatest creativity, contribution, and devotion.

We are always creating impact. We either create a reaction of expansion OR contraction, responsiveness OR resistance, safety and inspiration OR fear and carefulness through our presence and how we show up. The difference between leading by invitation and inspiration or force and demand, is in how we show up.

How do these magical leaders with phenomenal life giving presence create this impact? Well, this brings me to number two…

Principle 2: Our intentions, energy, and presence drive our impact.

At the core of a solid leadership presence are our intentions, our energy, and our presence, or what I call our IEP.

I look at IEP in two ways.

IEP is our Intentional Energetic Presence® — being intentional about the energetic presence I bring to everything I do. Our IEP is like “food coloring in water” — it colors everything, we cannot take it out. Everything we do, how we show up, what we say, who we be… our intentions, energy, and presence are at play.

Another way to look at IEP is by taking these three words apart:

  • our energy, which is about the energy and stamina we have to create our impact and show up, being responsible for the energy we bring to everything we do, and protecting our energy from negativity or lower vibration states in others that may “pull us in.” This is cultivated by exquisite self-care, awareness, energetic hygiene practices, and intent (there’s that intention again!)
  • our presence, which is about how we show up in that moment — physically, energetically, attention wise, intention wise, and PRESENT. Here. Now. This is cultivated by the practice of presence, noticing, shifting, owning, rebooting, and leading our energy (ah! there’s that energy again!).
  • our intention, which is about what we want to have happen, what and who we’re in service of, the experience we want to create. This is cultivated by getting quiet and clear in the moment about what we truly want to make so.

These three things together practiced with intention and care are what help us create a stronger Intentional Energetic Presence, a more inspiring and life-giving leadership presence, and ultimately unlock our ability to create more influence and impact.

All three of these components, in my experience, are required for the most easeful, authentic, sustainable, and effective presence. When they are rooted in a clean clear intention, their power is amplified.

What is a clean clear intention? Well, that brings me to number three…

Principle 3: The intention of service, love, and connection – our quickest path to solid presence and useful impact.

Let’s play… Take a breath right now and consider something you’re working on making happen in your life. Perhaps it’s been challenging to this point. Maybe frustrating even. It could be a goal, a relationship, or an initiative you’re working on in your organization. Now, take another breath and consider your presence in trying to create this. Truthfully. (No one’s looking, this is for you.) Is your presence expansive, open, and energizing, or is it contracted, forceful, and depleting? Does it create an invitation? Or resistance? Does it feel good? Are your motivations clean and clear? Is the energy you’re bringing to this situation “clean?” (If your motivations are not clean or clear, your energy is not either. I promise.) Great. Breathe again. Sit with the quality of your presence. If you’ve taken these queries to heart, you now have golden information. Awareness is 70% of the battle, 30% is what you choose to do with it.

So, now…breathe again and consider, what IS your intention for creating this outcome? What and who does it impact? Is there a positive intention here? (By the way, it’s okay if there is not — this may be part of why you’re having a hard time creating impact or having influence.) Keep exploring. What is what you want to create in service of? Who does it help? Is it just about you; looking good, getting something you want, getting that promotion, being right, making someone else wrong? Or is it about service, connection, creating a positive impact, honoring purpose, helping things go well, and creating something bigger than you? Just notice. Your intentions and “come from” will determine your presence, your actions, and your results.

I guarantee you, you’ve had the experience of being on both the giving and receiving end of an unclean or unclear intention; you felt it. You may not have known exactly WHAT it was, and I promise, you felt it.

And I guarantee you’ve also been on the giving and receiving end of pure, clean, clear, and positive intent — you felt that too. And you likely had a lovely exchange and impact.

THIS is energetic presence. And it is effecting your leadership, relationships, and quality of life in ways you likely are not aware of yet.

If you feel that you’re rocking this area, wonderful – there’s an up-level for you. I promise.

If you feel that you’re suffering this area, wonderful – 70% awareness (and decision), 30% action – there’s gold here for you. I promise.

The IEP work is devoted to helping you build a congruent, authentic, powerful, and healthy energetic presence. The IEP Method® and the IEP Leadership Model are frameworks to help you do this all in a way that is real and resonant for you. Below you will find many articles on presence. Throughout this site you will find interviews, podcasts, webinars, program, tools, coaching, and offerings to help you work in the areas you need/want most.

Happy exploring. Here is to your big beautiful grounded impact and to all of us learning together and doing good in the world.