Big Red Car here.  Ahhhh, the ATX, baby.  It is only lacking one thing, YOU.  The Big Red Car has your welcome packet.  Let’s do what you know needs to be done.  Pack your bags and get on down here. Now.

So The Boss is speaking to one of his pals and they get on the subject of all things, gravitas.  [I know you  were talking gravitas just yesterday yourself.  Right?]

The Boss is a collector of smart people and has one long time friend with whom he particularly enjoys visiting.  Nothing to be gained or lost, just intelligent and thoughtful conversation every few months.

They get talking about a young man who The Boss had mentored some years ago.  The Boss was happy with the outcome, life changing.  He was frankly surprised the young man had not emerged as a more forceful leader in his industry and The Boss’s pal spat out the damning indictment:  No gravitas!


Gravitas implies a depth of personality or leadership character that gives disproportionate weight to one’s presence because of his personality, leadership style, seriousness and dignity.

Effective leaders have gravitas and ineffective leaders do not.  In many ways, their ineffectiveness is a product of their lack of gravitas.  In others, it is simply a lack of confidence or other character shortcoming.

It is not something one can buy, rent or develop easily.  It is real.

The American gravitas deficit

We currently have a gravitas deficit in American politics.  Not only do we collectively not trust any politicians [Hey, that’s you, too, Congress and Congressional Republicans, sayeth the Big Red Car.] on a collective basis; we do not trust them on an individual basis.

Some incredibly high percentage of Americans do not trust the President to simply tell us the truth about……………..anything big or small.

The pronouncements of the President are generally considered to be political and partisan.  We do not trust him about his signature legislation, OBAMAcare.  The legislation itself is no longer recognizable with over 40 changes made only to put perfume on that particular cow patty in preparation for the upcoming mid-term elections.  It is patently political.  I won’t belabor the points.  You know what we’re talking about, right?

This results in two very bad things–we don’t trust him and he’s viewed by the world as lacking in effective leadership skills.  He actually said he was leading from behind once upon a time.  The world is very subtly rejecting America itself for a lack of relevance and gravitas.

The following exchange shows it clearly.  Here is the entire article:  Dude, This Was Like Two Years Ago

This video is classic.  A very young and flippant political operative, the kind the Obama administration appoints to positions of great importance in the White House, responds to an important question about a matter involving the death of four Americans.  This subject has been stonewalled for two years by the Obama administration and now their explanation is “Dude, this was like two years ago”.

Having gone to the Four Corners defense, they now want to plead the typical “old news” defense.  The Clintons were particularly good at this and with Hilary and her Presidential aspirations will be flavored by the smoke of Benghazi; this will be their defense once again.

Unfortunately, recent emails — two years after they were written — clearly show the White House was following a political narrative to ensure the reality of their desired meme (The war on terror was a success.  Al Qaeda was on the run and their leadership decapitated.  The President deserved credit for this at the ballot box.)  was not in conflict with what was their main consideration, getting the President re-elected.  This is the smoking gun.

Does this DUDE have gravitas?  Does the administration have gravitas?  Does this compound and weaken our world standing?  Big Red Car will “hep” you — YES to all three.

How does one build gravitas, Big Red Car?

Gravitas is the product of mature and reasoned judgment.  It implies wisdom and trust and seriousness of purpose.

Here is the challenge:

Wisdom is the result of good judgement over a protracted period of time.
Good judgment is the product of experience.
Experience is the product of bad judgment.

Lying is not part of the equation.  What one has to do is to be serious and thoughtful and honest and forthright and willing to be guided by those principals for a long period of time.

It is very helpful if your genuine and authentic leadership voice is colored by those sentiments.  Think about it.

What you think about becomes your words.
Your words guide your actions.
Your actions define your life.
Your life is measured by outcomes.

How does one eat an elephant?  One bite at a time.

How does one develop gravitas?  One thoughtful action at a time.

Give this some thought, ya’ll.  You can do this and it is essential to becoming an effective leader whether a CEO/founder/entrepreneur or President.  Folks are watching and won’t follow a lightweight, a poseur, a fakir or a naif.

But, hey, what do I really know anyway?  I’m just a Big Red Car.  Be kind to someone you love this weekend.  They need it and you–YOU–are that kind of person.  Go make it so.







2 thoughts on “Gravitas

  1. DUDE! WHO CARES WHAT HAPPENED at Lexington and Concord – that was 239 years ago!

    • .
      We need some Lexington and Concord. We need those men.

      We need to be leaning forward in our saddles.

      Well played.


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