Tips on Building Gravitas Developing it through doable actions...

In my last post, I talked about gravitas and its importance in career development. Knowing that senior executives seek out gravitas in their subordinates, I offer tips on developing it through doable actions.

According to economist Sylvia Ann Hewlett, there are seven key strategies to put into practice when developing gravitas.

1. Be generous with credit. Since great achievements rarely happen in isolation, make sure not to hog the spotlight. When you properly credit your teammates, this highlights your willingness to underscore talent and contribution—which is excellent for building credibility, a strong reputation as a formidable leader, and gravitas.

2. Focus on your expertise. People will know if you are treading on thin ice. Stick to your area of specialization by backing your statements with credible sources and examples. Also, be willing to acknowledge any shortcomings; people will respect you for being authentic and willing to refer to other specialists to offer the best results. 

3. Show humanity. Never forget that you are working with human beings. People have feelings and a life outside of work, so be sensitive to people’s needs. Do not be afraid to admit mistakes, remain transparent, and humble. This will help build your gravitas because people will be naturally drawn to your willingness to be open and flexible.

Tips on Gravitas4. Smile more. As simple as this may be, smiling more projects a confident and happy person. As a result, this attracts positive attention and helps foster dynamic group work. People will be drawn to you because you project likeability.

5. Empower others’ presence to build your own. By uplifting members of your team, you will inadvertently be seen as a transformational leader and someone whose focus is on the bigger picture. This is the best way to harness talent and assemble a diverse and solid team. In doing so, your gravitas will grow and you will be seen as a mobilizer, a builder, and an agent of change.

6. Snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. Don’t forget to keep reinventing yourself. Learn and grow from your mistakes. Mistakes are life’s best lessons! Stay fresh, stay hungry, and stay curious. See all setbacks as opportunities to discover something new and meaningful. Setbacks are the foundation of true growth!  

7. Drive change rather than be changed. Identify what needs work and take action. Don’t fall victim to circumstance. Instead, assemble a focused group and address the situation head-on with passion and positive energy.

I hope this post has been helpful. I urge you to try some of these practices and see what happens. Take it one day at a time, and remember that building gravitas takes time. Be vigilant and it will grow naturally.

Your thoughts…

In your opinion, what give someone gravitas? What traits do you look for? Please feel free to share your response in the comment box below!


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