Ep 128: Along the Spectrum: Presence and Radiance 

In this segment of Along the Spectrum, Adam Quiney talks about people who exude presence and radiance. These are the people that tend to garner attention whenever they enter or leave a room. Adam talks about the two types of shadows that usually go with presence and radiance by differentiating them and how they’re created. Join this episode to learn about the obvious fixes you can do in order for others to be able to work with you efficiently. Along with this, Adam shows the path towards a breakthrough when dealing with your shadows. 

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Along The Spectrum: Presence And Radiance 

We are going to be talking about presence and radiance. This is part of our along the spectrum series. The spectrum we’re talking about is the ontological model of the spectrums of being. A reminder of what the series covers. This is not about Asperger’s, autism and all of that stuff. The spectrums of being, or the ontological model I’ve created over the decade, I’ve been trained others, led and developed leadership and coach training. A reminder here that our essential nature is best described by Tim Kelly’s metaphor of a beautiful light bulb that each of us is born with floating above and behind the back of our head. When someone enters a room, we notice that the room gets a little more of the color of their light bulb.  

When they leave the room, we noticed it gets a little less that color. We get the benefit of seeing this because we get to be in the room when they are not, you will never get to have this experience with your own light and consequently, it can be hard to see your own light. If you recognize yourself in any of what we are describing as possible this may be a reflection of one or some of the aspects of the light that you shine into the world. What happens is we grow up as we have our light, we learn that it’s not necessarily good or bad or right that it needs to be more or less. We’ll come to that. First, let’s talk a bit about the quality of presence and radiance. Before we get into this, I want to make a quick plug for the creating client’s course.  

Sales occur in the world as an inverted pyramid, where the top part of the pyramid is the sale, and people are driving towards that. Click To Tweet

We’ll be starting up again in January. The promise of the course is that it transforms the way you relate to conduct and experience the process of creating clients in whatever business you’re in. We do this by having you unlearn all of the stuff you’ve had to learn. Most people have learned, I’ve got to have funnels. I’ve got to have a sales leader. I’ve got to have a thing that gets people to say yes and once they said yes, they do blah, blah, blah. What gets missed in all of this as the opportunity to find joy in connecting with human beings and then to explore possibility with them. All of this stuff is there, but it’s like it’s shoehorned in.  

You can almost think of the way sales occurs in the world is like an inverted pyramid where the top part of the pyramid is the sale and people are driving towards that. What we do is we unlearn all of that. We support you in creating something new and discovering how to find joy in each step along the way. We break down the whole process of how a client is created into a series of steps. Not because it’s necessarily a digital process, but rather because doing so helps you diagnose like, “Where am I going wrong? Where might I be getting stuck? Where am I bottleneck and creating anxiety? We break that down. We isolated. We help you see where there is, and then we build you up so you can build that foundation. What happens is that people discover way less anxiety, way less concern, worry, fear that they’re doing it wrong and way more joy.  

They discovered an innate genuine joy in connecting with other human beings. They find themselves way more at ease and delighted in an exploration with someone. They find that the opportunities to serve people start to become abundant. As you serve the world in abundance, the world responds. That course starts in January proper. You can go to AdamQuiney.com/clientcreation, and you can see the dates there for the calls and the sign up. It’s a very low cost. The commitment is quite low. It’s $1,000 US. I promise it will change your life. Let’s talk about the quality of presence and radiance. It’s the experience we have around certain people where we noticed them immediately. We noticed when they enter a room and we noticed when they leave a room, they have a way of taking up space.  

You’ve probably noticed even just hearing my voice, that I probably have a voice that gets heard in a room. That’s an example of the quality of presence. I use these words interchangeably, but typically presence is better attributed to a man. Matends to be more related to that word. Radiance women tend to be more related to that word, but it’s overall the same energetic quality, the same quality of being people who are presence and radiance tend to be good looking. This doesn’t mean that they’re attractive, handsome or beautiful. It’s that they’re interesting to look at. There’s something about them that draws our attention. They’re good to look at. My city is good walking. These people, our eyes are drawn to them. There’s like a magnetic quality about them. A good example of this quality is present in Adam Driver, the actor who plays Kylo Ren, in the trilogy of Star Wars, he was also in girls and a bunch of other stuff.  

GL 128 | Presence And Radiance

Presence And Radiance: People who have presence and radiance tend to be good-looking. This doesn’t mean that they’re attractive, handsome, or beautiful. It’s that they’re interesting to look at.


He’s not necessarily what we would historically consider handsome and yet, he’s fascinating to look at. We are drawn to him. That is the quality of presence and/or radiance. These people tend to get noticed a lot. We tend to get a lot of feedback from the world because we have a lot of heads turning our way. Those heads show whatever expression that person has on their face that provides feedback to us about how they feel about the way we’re showing up in the moment. Growing up, people with presence and radiance got a lot of feedback and we continue to. If you imbue of this quality, you might have often gotten told, growing up to stop showing off, or you’re being too much. This is often a trait, especially around people that cannot be with their own presence and radiance. When they were trained by their parents to dim their light, to dim their presence and their radiance, then they’re naturally going to be predisposed to tell us the same thing, because they’ve learned that their presence, the way they take up space is wrong.  

They’re going to then from love, train you in the same thing. We’ve got this quality, this presence, this radiance, a lot of actors, a lot of singers, a lot of performers tend to have this quality and we’ll get into this. A lot of people behind the scenes, they do a lot of work to make other people look beautiful or take up space. We’ll talk about how that comes into being. Let’s talk about how the shadows form for this quality. There’s a dual experience, a twin shadow for those with presence and radiance remember that our shadows are created when we’re young. What happens is we typically both sides of this training, but we get training in some situations that we’re being too much. The way you show up innately is too much.  

In those situations, we learned to turn it down. We dim our volume and our light. In other situations, we learn we’re not enough. In those situations, around people like that, we turn ourselves up. It’s like turning the volume up on something that’s already loud enough. Rather than simply be what is innately our nature to be, we become a caricature of it. Either with the volume turned way too low or too high. This creates our overcompensating and under compensating shadows in situations where you were taught or learned that you were too much. For example, that would be, maybe your parents often told you to stop showing off. Whenever you were around a number of people, you learn to dim yourself, that was where your, when you had company over your parents would often tell you that.  

Around those particular people, you learned to turn it down. In other situations, you may have gotten this experience like you were forgettable. You were t irrelevant. You were unnoticed, no one cared. In those situations, you may have learned to turn it up, take up a whole ton of space, rarely shine that light on ten X your lights. I’m going to make sure people see me. This creates the two shadows on the overcompensating side, we have this obnoxious diva shadow. This is the part of the shadow where the person was afraid of being irrelevant. They were trained that they were not enough. They turn it way up. This quality, you’ve been around people like this, where they take up all the space. They are so loud. They ask you your opinion and you speak it for about two minutes.  

They start talking again. They’re the life of the party in a way. At the same time, no one else gets to speak. It’s a little bit like watching a one man show. The irony of this particular shadow is that you can even take a moment to imagine someone like that and when you’re around them, what do you do? What is your nature? What is your tendency when someone is showing up this way, taking up all the space, almost to the extended being obnoxious? We tend to tune them out. We turn down the volume. We’re like, “Too much. Stop it, enough already. We close ourselves off from them. What this does then is give that person the experience of being unwanted, of being relevant which then has them turn it up even more.  

This is a person in every shadow, but this ironic vicious cycle, where from their fear, they show up a certain way. The way they show up, recreates the fear. That fear has them show up that way again and again. This is the overcompensating aspect of the shadow the obnoxious diva. The under compensating aspect of the shadow is like an elephant hiding behind a blade of grass. It’s where you have a supernova, someone who can’t not be noticed making themselves small and that’s obnoxious, isn’t its own light. We’re like, “Come on, speak up, be loud, take up your space. We get frustrated with them. What that does is they have this experience like no one wants, I’m too much as it is. They shrink themselves. People don’t pay attention to them.  

If we're doing any work that really makes a difference, it's going to drive up people's defenses. Click To Tweet

That reinforces, “Don’t do anything don’t show up,” or they might take a swing and try to show up. Of course, because they’ve spent so long diminishing themselves, they’re going to wildly overcompensate take away too much space. Hang out in the obnoxious divas, started the shadow, have people tune them out and then retreat back to the other one. It’s like a slider, except it can only go from one extreme to the other. There’s no middle part. You just jump back and forth. This is the nature of how these two shadows get formed. They had formed from being told that fundamentally the way you naturally bid in the world was wrong on some level, it was either not enough or too much, typically both. We end up running these as shadows. Where did we find these people? First of all, you’re going to find people with presence and radiance in careers, where that is rewarded.  

Movie stars have this. When people talk about the X factor and don’t know what it is, this is what it is. The X factor is the quality of being that is called presence and/or radiance. When we see it, we know it? It’s hard for us to put our finger on it. Now, we’re putting our finger on it. This is the X factorThese people are on TV. They tend towards broadcasting, anything in front of the camera, to be, and charismatic leaders. Even presidents, people that are orators, all of these things are careers that naturally lend themselves to this particular quality. It’s not a necessity. You can find people that will end up in careers that involve a lot of speaking, but they don’t necessarily have presence or radiance.  

They may have some other quality of being that’s okay, too. This is not a rule remember. You can also find people in careers where the expression of their shadow is what works. What I mean by that is you will often find a lot of people with a lot of radiance and presence in careers like stage direction, or the director’s chair. You’ll find them in roles where they are arranging mannequins in a window or interior decorating. Places where they have an uncanny knowing for what draws the eye, but they can’t own having eyes drawn towards them because they learned that was too much, that was wrong. What they’ve done is they turn their attention towards drawing the eyes towards something else. In a way, they’re behind the scenes and this creates a proxy for them to be noticed without them having to actually receive the full impact of being seen for who they are.  

If you were an interior decorator and what you did was make rooms beautiful, that’s a way of expressing your presence and your radiance. The room exhibits, a lot of presence and radiance, you imbue it with that quality of being, and then people put their attention on the room. You get to express who you are, but you never fully get to be seen as who you are. There’s always a step removed from you. What this consequently creates is this success, but you’re left, not fully fulfilled. There’s always something missing because your success is being done through a proxy of yourself, a simulacrum. How do you lead and work with the people of presence and radians? As always, we want to start by recognizing those shadows. With people who are presence and radiance, you want to notice the two ends of the shadows. The real work as a leader is to recognize their shadows and then get present to the person underneath, “This person’s taking up all the space because they’re afraid of being irrelevant.  

Unlike the rest of the world, what most of the world does is, when this person from their fear takes up all the space, the restoral tunes them down. That might be the time to acknowledge them to recognize like, I want to acknowledge you for your ability to hold sway, to hold court, to speak powerfully and the way you present. That’s not all we do, but that’s the starting point. You may only acknowledge them internally. All there may be for you to do initially is for you to get that’s what going on to see the person in that light before you open your mouth. Nextwhat we want to do is invite them to get present to their impact. This is the trickier part. Might want to invite them to notice, Do you notice when you’re speaking, I notice a lot of people check out and you don’t leave a lot of room for other people.” That’ll typically drive up some defenses, but that’s okay. If we’re doing any work that makes a difference, it’s going to drive up people’s defenses.  

If you can reflect the greatness behind this to them, it helps them see the possibility to step into. A lot of people who bring this quality into the world, they’ve been trained that who they are is not enough. Being seen for how radiant for the masterful presence that they bring into the room can often be all that requires. Recognizing them for this quality and then inviting them to stop trying to prove it but trust it, that so much of the work. Rather than trying to prove to yourself or your dead parents or whoever it is that you are not irrelevant, what if you just trusted that we can’t not see you. That can be the thing that moves people to tears.  

When you notice people that keep themselves small, keep an eye out for these people. These people will often insist. I don’t like the spotlight, which is fine, but that’s what they’ve learned. They’ve learned to not like the spotlight because they were trained out of it. What this creates is a schizophrenic relationship to it. They simultaneously crave the spotlight, resent other people for taking it up and then never take it up themselves. Your job is to invite these people into a possibility in their lives where they start to take up the space. They’re here to take up, you do this by acknowledging them, sharing with them what you seeI want you to know that I see you as someone who’s magnetic. Who’s got the force of personality and being the draws attention in eyes. I notice you’re hiding from that. I want to invite you to step in, and here’s a place I think you may practice.”  

GL 128 | Presence And Radiance

Presence And Radiance: The way shadows work is they tend to push you out to one or the other. It’s either other people are taking up all the space, and you’re taking up none, or you’re taking up all the space, and other people take up none.


It does two things that acknowledges the person for who they are. It reflects what’s going on and invites them into a deeper possibility than the one they’re playing. These are the big ways you work with presence and radiance, and it often starts by recognizing this quality for what it is rather than hating on the shadows. That’s the irony of our shadows is that they have us be afraid of something, try to compensate for that fear. The compensation creates the exact same thing we’re afraid of. We get stuck in a shadow and we can create a life from that. It’s perpetually a life that is missing out on something that we crave. In the case of presence and radiance, it’s missing out on people, recognizing us, seeing us it’s missing out on being someone who draws attention and holds attention.  

It’s okay to want that. We have to be responsible for it. The real gift of presence and radiance is the ability not only to take up space, but to elevate others, rather one or the other, the way the shadows work is they tend to push you out to one or the other. It’s either other people are taking up all the space and you’re taking up none, or you’re taking up all the space and other people take up none. The breakthroughs masterful leadership when it comes from presence and radiance is the ability to hold space and to elevate others and have them take up space. That’s everything we’ve got for you. 

We’re going to talk about leadership versus the performance of leadership. That’s going to be a good episode. I hope you enjoyed this episode. If you are enjoying this series, send an email to PR@AdamQuiney.com and let us know, “I’m jamming on this. I’d like to know more. I’d like you to keep doing this series.” If we hear from people, then we’ll keep doing it. If not, then not. Have a great day. Bye.  

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About Adam Quiney

I’m an obsessive perfectionist, high-performer, former lawyer, and now an Executive Mentor. I know what it’s like to succeed easily and quickly. To blindly put my happiness in the hands of achievement.

All the success, money and possessions in the world couldn’t cure my boredom. Couldn’t produce a loving, intimate relationship with my wife…and definitely couldn’t fulfill me.