gravitas

Being a Trusted Advisor

One of the ways to have power and influence in an organization is to become a trusted advisor to someone in a position of power. This usually involves providing immense value to your client, members of your professional network, your boss, your peers, or peers in other departments that are one or two levels above [...]

Power for the Powerless

In industry, whether your ideas get taken seriously depends on more than the quality of your thoughts. If the receptionist shares an idea and the CEO shares the exact same idea, more people will take the idea seriously when it comes from the CEO. Most people intuitively grasp that the last sentence is true but [...]

Influence is Power

Every meeting has two types of people in it. Those with power and those without. Most people tend to think of power in terms of job titles and positions on the organizational chart. The CEO has power. A vice president has power. Your boss has power (over you and your career). While this is somewhat [...]

Authority vs. Influence

When most people think of power, they think of the person in the conference room with the most authority. Formal authority comes from decision-making power and control over resources. If you’re a member of the board, you have power because you must approve my operating budget for the fiscal year. If you are my boss, [...]

Life Isn't Always Fair

One of the things I tell my kids (that they hate) is that life isn’t always fair… deal with it. Sure, life should be fair. But, it often is not. Some people die well before their time. That’s not fair. Some people win the DNA lottery whereas others don’t. That’s not fair. Some people get [...]

Projecting Situational Gravitas

One way to project situational gravitas is to establish your credibility early in a relationship. This is especially the case when you’re giving a speech to an audience that doesn’t know you, or you’re interacting with prospects or clients that don’t know you. Because no prior relationship exists, you’re starting from scratch. In these situations, [...]

Demographic vs. Situational Gravitas

When I was at Stanford, I took a sociology class focused on the topic of status. It was fascinating. The big lesson learned from that class is your social status determines a large part of your influence. Things like ethnicity, gender, height, and educational achievement determine how others perceive the validity of your ideas. For [...]

Gravitas & Power Questions

Gravitas is the elusive quality of being taken seriously. In a meeting, when you speak, do people spontaneously quiet down, listen to you, and take notes? If so, you have gravitas. If not, you have an opportunity to increase your executive presence so your ideas get taken more seriously. In every meeting, there are two [...]

Too Good to be Ignored

Many people manage their careers by figuring out how to get ahead without actually earning it. This confuses me. While there are legitimate shortcuts to getting ahead (such as learning from a mentor, building a network of collaborative contacts), ultimately it really helps if you’re really good at what you do. To be more specific, [...]

How to Be Taken Seriously

In a meeting, two people can express the exact same idea, and one will be overlooked while the other will be taken seriously. If you’re like me, you’ve witnessed this phenomenon your entire career. You may have even been the person whose ideas were overlooked. Why does this happen? Clearly, the reaction you receive is [...]

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