Mastering The Skill You Lack To Get The Promotion You Deserve

You’re making your numbers. Your reviews are good. So what stands between you and your next promotion?

The answer might be gravitas, according to economist Sylvia Ann Hewlett’s new book, Executive Presence: The Missing Link Between Merit and Success. “It’s the ability to signal to the world, and to telegraph to your colleagues and bosses that you have intellectual horsepower–that you have what it takes,” she says. “This is really about being seen as being ready for a big opportunity.”

Unfortunately, some people have preconceived notions of what leaders look like; the word “gravitas” is more quickly conferred on tall, white men than others. However, according to research Hewlett did as part of leading the Center for Talent Innovation, many aspects of gravitas are accessible to others. By knowing what people value, you can bridge the space between performance and success.


Leaders have a natural authority called gravitas when they speak, others listen. You can also harness this trait on your rise to the top.


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