Anrah News - May 2015
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Gravitas and adversity


Listening to J.K. Rowling’s Harvard Convention Speech about how Harry Potter was her response to a very difficult time in her life indicated to me how her gravitas was discovered in adversity and challenge. Indeed, Andrew Soloman in his moving and heart-felt TED talk indicates that the worst moments of your life and the ones that will forge your meaning. Gravitas is true grit – and like the oyster, you may, with luck create a pearl. Like that wonderful Buddhist phrase, you may turn “poison into medicine.”

To the ancient Roman republic, gravitas meant dignity, seriousness and duty – essential virtues for any self respecting pater familias. Isaac Newton chose the word gravity from gravitas to describe his discovery. So gravitas is the ground of your being, a centredness that others can gravitate towards.

Outwardly gravitas is all about certainty: to sound sure of yourself, regardless of the circumstances that you and your team are facing. Leaders must inspire trust and imparting self-belief is a necessary requirement to creating that circle of safety around your team. As a leader you’re continually at the edge of your competence and comfort. That’s your job. However the certainty you convey to your team doesn’t derive from circumstances. It starts with a clear knowledge of what matters to you. Ironically this is shaped by your failures at least as much as by your upbringing: so gravitas is born of your ability to respond positively to failure.

As J. K. Rowling says,
The knowledge that you have emerged wiser and stronger from setbacks means that you are, ever after, secure in your ability to survive. You will never truly know yourself, or the strength of your relationships, until both have been tested by adversity. Such knowledge is a true gift, for all that it is painfully won, and it has been worth more than any qualification I ever earned.”

Whether you can relate to J.K. Rowling, you disagree with us or are simply left pondering, please don't hesitate to share your thoughts and experiences via email, on Twitter or on LinkedIn. We would love to hear from you.

Have a good month!



On the anniversary of her birth, I chose this month to focus on Florence Nightingale, whose achievements are so engagingly presented in BBC iWonder. I particularly wanted to pay homage to her ability to effectively communicate: her Rose Diagram, hereby reproduced, was a conscious effort to “affect through the eyes what we fail to convey to the brains of the public through their word-proof ears”. She understood fully the need to adapt one’s communication style to suit one’s audience if one is to achieve one’s objectives. Such an understanding was as much responsible for her success as her accuracy, courage and persistence.
Anrah News

This month I will be delivering assertiveness and conflict resolution training for one of my clients. The course will explore different personality traits and how they manifest themselves in conflict and assertiveness as well as help delegates recognise and  manage their own behaviours and reactions. It will equip them with what they need to see beyond the emotions to the real problem and to find a happy workable outcome. If you think you or your organisation could benefit from this training, do email me or call to discuss the best way this could be arranged.

Highlights From the 2015 FIRST Championship!
FIRST Championship : inspiring the next generation of scientists through robotics

FIRST - For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology was founded by Dean Kamen in 1989 to inspire young people's interest and participation in science and technology. Based in Manchester, NH, this not-for-profit public charity's mission is to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders, by engaging them in exciting Mentor-based programs that build science, engineering and technology skills, that inspire innovation, and that foster well-rounded life capabilities including self-confidence, communication, and leadership. 
Do you want coaching and training on developing:
  • credibility
  • gravitas
  • influence
  • increased reach
  • stakeholder buy-in
  • leadership authority
Please email me or call 07939 261743 to discuss your objectives for yourself or your leadership team and how I could help you achieve them.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Copyright © 2015 Anrah, All rights reserved.

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