Deconstructing and Developing Your Executive Presence

Deconstructing and Developing Your Executive Presence

Executive presence (EP) is an ever elusive trait that all aspiring executives know they need exhibit, but its definition is mystifying at best.  Grace under pressure, intellect, appearance and the ability to inspire others are all attributes one may use to describe it, however executive presence continues to be highly intuitive and difficult to pin down.  What it will ultimately boil down to is one’s ability to project a mature self-confidence that gives others the sense you have control in difficult unpredictable situations.  Do you have the skills to make tough decisions in a timely fashion and hold your own with other talented, strong-willed members of the executive team all while making your own team feel supported? 

In the article ‘How to Crack the Code of Executive Presence’ by Irene McConnell, How to Crack the Code of Executive Presence/Forbes, McConnell describes it as visceral and indescribable, something that eludes definition citing that hiring executive will just “know it” when they see it.  In a plot twist she provides an outline, a “homework” of sorts for those who are serious about acquiring it starting with pinpointing a person in your network who exudes this presence stating they need not hold an executive role. 

When thinking about the energy they emit, their ability to connect, as well as their overall appearance ask yourself, “what draws me and others to them?”  After thoughtful consideration to this question, McConnell suggests you turn these questions towards yourself; sensibly reflecting on your own presence using these key indicators.  Be bold yet humble enough to ask a trusted colleague to provide insight to how others may describe you as well.  She proposes asking yourself what you want to be known for, as answering this simple yet complex question is critical to developing your executive presence. 

Putting the work into developing your value proposition is one that McConnell states is a serious “investment in yourself”, calling it foundational to creating the optimal presence that is unique to you. 

Upon completion of this exercise, it is imperative we remember that presence is very much about our mindset.  Mindset cultivates how others perceive you mostly because it is what we project into the world.  Harvard Business School professor Amy Cuddy writes in her book Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges that a large part of how you come across to others is rooted in your personal belief in your abilities.  The quiet confidence that stems from putting in the hard work to develop yourself both personally and professionally is something that is steadfast and stable.  Ultimately it will yield results. 

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Simon Roads

Vice President of Sales

Born and raised in England, Simon Roads has had a distinguished career in various forms of aviation spanning over 45 years. His journey began as an A&P mechanic in the Royal Air Force and has encompassed a range of roles, ultimately leading to his position as the VP of Global Sales for Honda Aircraft. Throughout this extensive career, he has had the privilege of closely collaborating with Royalty, Dignitaries, and high net worth individuals, providing them with unparalleled expertise and a steadfast commitment to excellence in aviation services.

Having been immersed in the aviation industry for nearly half a century, his wealth of insights and knowledge has established him as a trusted figure within the field. His extensive experience has provided him with the opportunity to engage with diverse cultures, interacting with individuals from various walks of life, and ensuring that their distinctive requirements and preferences are met with the utmost precision.

One of his notable strengths lies in his adeptness at effectively managing global teams. Over the course of his career, he has demonstrated successful leadership and mentorship of professionals from different backgrounds and nationalities, fostering an environment characterized by collaboration, growth, and mutual respect.

Understanding different cultures has played a pivotal role in his professional journey. By taking part in the customs, traditions, and practices of his clients he not only fosters strong relationships but has also gained a profound appreciation for the unique needs and expectations of each of his clients.

Away from work, his priority is his family. His role as grandad to three wonderful boys, brings him immense joy. He has a penchant for outdoor activities such as cycling, kayaking, and golf. Additionally, he has developed a passion for cooking and continually seeks to learn new culinary techniques. The art of balancing life and work is an ongoing journey for him, and he considers himself fortunate to be able to savor the best of both worlds.

You can contact Simon at

Meredith Stanley

Executive Recruiter

Meredith joined IPS in 2023 as an Executive Recruiter with over 5 years of recruiting experience at Amazon and Lyft. Prior to making the shift to recruiting, Meredith was an Executive Assistant for over 3 years at a Seattle-based insurance company. With a passion for finding top talent, Meredith has hired for a wide range of roles across North America in the hardware, micromobility, operations, transportation, and tech spaces.

After an unsuccessful attempt at a Chemical Engineering degree, Meredith graduated from Oregon State University with a Bachelor of Science in Liberal Studies.

Meredith has a passion for live music, playing both piano and trombone. She also enjoys traveling and spending time outdoors either skiing, hiking or scuba diving.

You can contact Meredith at

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