“I want to show up like a leader.”
It is the phrase I hear from clients again and again, both men and women. They come looking for guidance on how to improve their executive presence and communicate with impact.
What they want is summed up by one word: Gravitas.
Gravitas is a Latin word that means weight or heaviness. In business, it means when a person with gravitas speaks, you listen. You take notice when they walk into the room. Gravitas is how you show up, the way you stand, the way you walk, what you wear, and how you feel about yourself.
In 2014 I met the woman who founded Gravitas New York, Lisa Sun. Lisa recognized the importance of Gravitas after she was told – she lacked it. I fell in love with Lisa and her company. She empowers women (sorry guys) to, as she puts it, “find confidence in their closet.” And it’s not just me who fell in love with her. Her designs were named one of Oprah’s favorite things.
It’s been over 4 years since the last time I saw her, and after an email highlighting her new line, I thought I would reach out. Reconnecting with Lisa reminded me of three lessons:
- We all need to find our Gravitas. Decide how you want to be seen and project it. You need to believe you first. When you feel it – others will see it.
- There are many ways to stay in somebody’s mind. As it turned out, between her newsletters and mine, we have stayed in each other’s thoughts all these years. Whether it is through social media, holiday updates with your year in review, or a once a year call. You may be in more people’s mind then you realize.
- It’s never too long – just reach out! I had no idea Lisa would remember me and I was thrilled that she did. But what if she didn’t – then what? Then you start from scratch and build from there.
You never know where reaching out may lead.