27 jun 2017 / Geral

Gravitas: The Presence That Exudes Excellence

3 Minutos de Leitura


Do you walk into the meeting room exuding confidence and poise? Do people listen when you talk? Are you perceived as someone credible, trustworthy and in charge?

If so, congratulations, you nailed Executive Presence. But if you're thinking: I could do a lot better (you're not alone, most people can relate to this), keep on reading, you're in the right place. 

Executive Presence is an essential skill to being promoted into leadership positions, according to a study by the Center for Talent Innovation


What Exactly is Executive Presence?

It’s the ability to present oneself in a way that inspires trust, credibility, and poise. An ability to keep calm in challenging situations. It’s a complex set of characteristics that convey the message that you’re in charge.

It’s composed of 3 elements:

  • Gravitas (how you act), 
  • Communication (how you speak),
  • Appearance (how you look).

Regardless of performance, meaning how well you achieve the desired results and how well you know your craft, there is a distinct key factor that can determine whether or not you’re considered for top level positions.

In other words, whether or not you’re leadership material. And that factor is Executive Presence. Out of the 3 elements that compose Executive Presence, Gravitas is widely seen as the most important piece.


Gravitas is what signals the world that you’re prepared for the tasks and challenges ahead. That you’re the expert in your domain. That you feel comfortable answering any question in your topic. That you’re capable of keeping your cool when dealing with a difficult person or difficult task.

According to senior leaders the top aspects of gravitas, in order of importance, are:

  1. Confidence, poise, and grace under fire,
  2. Decisiveness and “showing teeth”,
  3. Integrity and “speaking truth to power”,
  4. Emotional Intelligence, 
  5. Reputation and standing (pedigree), 
  6. Vision/charisma.


And the Award for Best Executive Presence Goes To….

If we asked you: who do you most admire when it comes to Gravitas? Who exudes or exuded this quality in the most remarkable way for you?

Sylvia Ann Hewlett, author of “Executive Presence: The Missing Link Between Merit and Success” asked this question to senior leaders and their answers converged in one direction: Nelson Mandela.

Steve Jobs was on the list, alongside, Jamie Dimon, but Nelson Mandela was widely considered the whole package. A man that displayed a unique combination of integrity, vision, poise, emotional intelligence and heft.

Can You Develop Gravitas?

Now the question is: can you develop your Gravitas? Absolutely.

It’s all too easy to believe Nelson Mandela was just born with a rare set of skills. But Executive Presence and Gravitas is something anyone can develop with appropriate training.

In our Executive Presence Workshop, you’ll learn how to manage and overcome challenging situations, by learning:

  • To identify the values that will guide your behavior and decision-making process. 
  • The external factors that inhibit value-coherent behavior (peer pressure, blind obedience, etc)
  • To identify the internal factors that inhibit courageous behavior (basic emotions, beliefs and automatic thoughts, self-criticism).
  • To identify critical situations and you’ll be trained on how to effectively face and rise to the moment. 


Wrapping It Up 


In today's world, in order to succeed we have to dare. Dare to speak up, dare to do things differently, dare to express ideas, dare to disagree, dare to question the status quo. But if no one is listening, or taking our opinion seriously how effectively can we move things forward?


A presence that commands attention, trust and credibility is what allows us to have an impact. Everyone, regardless of their area of expertise, benefits from learning how to use presence not just to their own advantage, but to the advantage of the organizations, communities, and causes they serve. 


In today's world, there's no space for hesitation. We have to dare to show up and now is the time because the Future won't wait. 


The question is will you dare or will you bear the consequences of not showing up?


The Workshop


The Executive Presence Workshop is a 2-day experiential program that involves both physical (based on Taekwondo Songahm) and behavioral training as well as an individual development plan. For more information click here and contact us at  info@sofiacalheiros.com | +351 215 892 109. 


Sofia Calheiros / Leadership & Coaching