Rohit Bassi

Aug 14, 2020


People with a high sense of executive presence are human like you. Failure, self doubt, fear, dedication, discipline, persistence and many more attributes has helped these people realise that the road of success is not a smooth one and it is a never ending journey of learning.

Most people when they see or hear about a successful person they tend to know about what is on the surface. Very few are aware of the struggles, adversities and pains that the individual has gone through.



This is known as the “the iceberg effect.” In simple terms that means to the naked eyes, an iceberg glaringly stands majestically above the water. In fact, approximately 90% of the actual iceberg is under the water. Most of us are unaware of this presence. This executive presence of an iceberg’s strength, might and power can be felt when you cross its path.

Sarah (Gamal) El Gohary is one such example of executive presence. On the outset you will see that she is someone with experience in the development and implementation of a fully integrated brand marketing strategy. But that is just a minor part of her existence; she is actually a versatile seasoned songwriter and performer.

She is extremely talented and has been self-funding her projects. Form 9 to 5 she works in the corporate world but that is temporary; a stepping stone to fulfil her ikigai (a reason to jump out of bed each morning to fulfil a “being” life). The journey for her passion for music has had many quirky incidences and strange stories. She still stands tall and remains focused despite the setbacks she has gone through.

For instance The National Newspaper of Abu Dhabi in an interview with her on July 22, 2017 re,ported on her saying “I have been offered some bizarre deals over the years. I remember in Egypt I met some companies who said I was not allowed to get married in my contract. Another company placed a one million Egyptian pound [Dh205,591] penalty if I didn’t abide by their rules. Another guy told me I had to lose weight first”

August 2018, this amazing, charming and bubbly personality still stands tall and releases her single called Beybosso with the infamous Ahzee (an American DJ and producer from New York). The music video was shot in the lavish backdrop of Dubai. The lyrics of Beybosso sums up the determination that Sarah has.

The feeling of the song reminds me of Kylie Minogue song “I’m spinning around”.  Note the song does not sound like that, it’s just the feeling it gives. Sarah has managed to capture her own executive presence through this song. Her innovative upbeat music and song is poles apart from her 9 to 5 job.

What is so unique about Sarah? How come she stands out? Where does she get all the energy? From my perception one simple word sums it up, she has tapped into her JIGRA. In other words, she has unknowingly been able to be brave heart, have grit or as the business world calls it executive presence.

She has that inner courage/ strength, to be in spirit to pass through the adversities of life with enthusiasm. Such a state makes other perceive her as being without fear, fearless. Her grit allows her to give courage and resolve; the strength of character.

My observation of her and many like her is that they tap into their JIGRA, grit, brave heart or executive presence and somehow accomplish harmonious integration of ICE.

ICE simply means:

  • Intelligence

  • Communication

  • Emotional Wisdom

Let us look at ICE closely. Style, character, substance, levitas, gravitas, and much more are all part of executive presence. And for these to work with effectiveness there needs to be harmonious integration of ICE; each playing its necessary part when required.

“And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” – Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist


Albert Einstein once said, “The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination. Be it music, spirituality, developing software, constructing a building or designing a chair or clothes in all of this intelligence certainly assist. All require the ability to acquire and apply knowledge and skills. Different types of intelligence are required such as analytic, linguistic, emotional, creativity and innovation, critical thinking in being a success. Technological advancement has transformed the world and all of it requires some kind of intelligence. Without tapping into the different types of intelligence robots, artificial intelligence, and virtual reality would be impossible.

It is a matter of using the whole brain and to gain insight to ones neurological dominance always helps. Knowing yourself is the foundation of developing an executive presence. This allows you to know why you think and behave the way they do, and why other people may think and behave differently. It provides crucial insights on developing your JIGRA in terms of influence, persuasion, communication, listening, emotional wisdom and decision making.

“I know that I am intelligent, because I know that I know nothing” was a saying by Socrates. Philosophers, scientists and neuroscientists till date are looking to measure intelligence. People like Sarah (Gamal) El Gohary display intelligence in their creativity yet require to use their intelligence of critical thinking, problem solving and decision making to be great at her music and her 9 to 5 job.


When I 18 year old this notion of “You cannot not communicate” was absurd and ridiculous in my map of the world. Until I came across the image of a Japanese person bowing down to greet while in response a Western person extends his/her hand to reciprocate the greetings.

This is a complete mismatch but both individuals are correct in their way of greetings. Their cultures have taught them that this is the best way to greet. So, you can easily see a message has been communicated in such a scenario. Both individuals could easily take offence and can accuse each other of being rude. On the other hand they could realise they need to adjust their greetings thus the communication being a good one.

No matter what you do, you are always communicating. The communication is happening through mediums such as verbal (language, words, sentences), non-verbal (body language, gestures, emotions) and voice (tone, pace, volume).vThe most important critical one is the communication that is happening within you. When a person is unable to communicate with him or her in a productive manner than the outcomes are not pleasant.

For people like Sarah (Gamal) El Gohary to achieve success continuously comes from knowing herself. To do this she has to comprehend her own perception of the world. Her perception impacts and influences her decisions and behaviour.

Emotional Wisdom

Often many people talk about emotional intelligence but let us turn our focus to emotional wisdom. Susan Jeffers has a wonderful way of looking at emotional wisdom. In her book “Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway” she refers to this as the Higher Self.

She has been quoted to say, “I have a vision of a light, an energy that we can tune into which can guide us. Our minds, when governed by the Lower Self, aren’t capable of imagining the grand possibilities that are there for us. It is important that we learn to tune into a part of us that has much greater vision, the Higher Self.”

Now some may say this is mumbo jumbo but than the likes of Daniel Goleman say “Emotional wisdom determines our success in life.” Compassion is an extremely high sense of emotional wisdom. This allows one to take themselves and others from disruption to transformation. Without self compassion and compassion for others, we will always see failure as a great disruption to our life.

The likes of Dr. Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela and Guru Nanak Dev Jee had great JIGRA due to their compassion. All there was work was through compassion. As we live in era of where we cannot trust our own “knowing” we are so dependent on science to prove everything. And this where the father of evolution comes in, Charles Darwin. His work on compassion is never spoken about, our schools, business and leaders seem to focus on his work survival of the fittest while Charles Darwin later research work shows he was all about focusing on compassion and not survival of the fittest.

For people like Sarah (Gamal) El Gohary to be on the path of success comes through self-compassion and the compassion for others. People like her are aware compassion is care and warmth either for self or the other person. It is about creating, developing or seeking a solution that takes you or the other out of their misery, problem or fear.

“Stand up, be bold, be strong. Take the whole responsibility on your own shoulders, and know that you are the creator of your own destiny. All the strength and succour you want is within yourself.” – Swami Vivekananda

Yes, material/financial success is great to have. Times are such that many of us are taught to measure success in terms of material/financial success. For many of us driving force in life is material/financial success. Unfortunately, when we fail no one teaches us how to overcome failure, no one educates us that failure is part of success and no one practically demonstrates how to celebrate or failures.

When one is able to harmoniously integrate intelligence, communication and emotional wisdom they heighten their JIGRA, brave heart, grit, or executive presence. Through this, they discover the missing link to success and it has nothing to do with material/financial success.

As a TEDx and Global Professional Speaker with decades of experience, I can help you to focus upon the most important leadership attributes, and inspire you to develop your own unique formula for success mastery. Connect with me or book me to be inspired by developing an executive presence that leads to your own unique formula of success mastery, –

Written by:

Rohit Bassi


Aug 14, 2020