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Focus on Gravitas

Gravitas is an impressive word. Even saying the word gravitas you can feel a strong sense of importance, strength and influence in its tone.

I remember distinctly the first time I connected to the essence of what gravitas really means. It was a beautiful crystal clear bluebird summer’s day on the 9th June 2001 and I was standing outside in the mature landscaped gardens of Charlton House in Shepton Mallet alongside all my friends, family and my husband, Jon. In front of me stood my father elevated on the rockery.

As he looked out across all of us, he delivered an incredibly heartfelt and moving speech. He made us laugh, he made us cry, he made us reflect. He took us back in time and he took us into the future. He took us on a journey 27 years in the making.

He was gentle, authoritative, brought a balance of lightness, humour and melancholy and shared many precious moments. The occasion was my wedding day and it was, of course, the Father of the Bride speech that he delivered with gravitas.

Everyone has their own unique version of gravitas. Where my father commanded the respect and total attention of 85 people all transfixed, totally mesmerised by his authenticity, his words and his delivery of them, that was his version of gravitas. On that day in that moment, my father embodied gravitas to perfection. So much so that 22 years later, people still speak of his speech.

In episode 360, Antoinette Dale Henderson speaks of Purpose with Gravitas and how the word gravitas has shaped her life course. Antoinette’s definition of gravitas “is the ability to command respect, get taken seriously, get your voice heard and do that whilst being yourself.” She also said that gravitas brings lightness and levity as there are different facets to gravitas depending on the situation that you're in.

For me, gravitas is simply a part of who I am and how I show up every day. It is a quality I value highly as I focus on my purpose and mission with commitment, responsibility and significance. However, there is that facet of levity Antoinette spoke of. In amongst the importance of my work there is a degree of lightness too. Gravitas allows me to shine.

How about you? What does gravitas mean to you? Does your version of gravitas allow you to shine?

Focus on Gravitas!


Action Point: What happens when you combine your purpose with gravitas?

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