• David de Souza

'Gravitas' - 80/20 Summary



  • Score: 5/10

  • Categories: Influence

  • Mental Models: Authority, Consistency and Commitment Bias, Curiosity Instinct, Denial, Emotions: Hope





“The first rule is that you can't really know anything if you just remember isolated facts and try and bang 'em back. If the facts don't hang together on a latticework of theory, you don't have them in a usable form.” -Charlie Munger

Mental Models from the book:


1. Activation Energy


To open a discussion ask:

  • What do you think about...

  • What do we know about....

  • What does this mean for you...

2. Authority


Don't nod too much, you'll lose credibility. Nerves cause you to speed up, so intentionally slow down. 'When you have a great present to give someone you don't thrust it at them. You check in with them. You pause, you wait. You smile. Do the same in a presentation.


When you talk, people aren't just listening to what you say. They are judging your tone of voice and asking themselves, does this person have authority. Avoid smiling, only do so if it happens naturally. Become comfortable with pauses. Drop the tone of your voice at the end of a sentence (do not increase it like you would a question).


3. Curiosity Instinct


Use 'signposts' when you talk, for example, say: 'Two points. 1st....'. This stops someone from interrupting and it builds curiosity as people wonder what your second point is.


4. Hanlon's Razor


'More problems in life are caused because we take offense than by others giving offense'


5. Incentives


Let people know you'll be asking questions and involving them, to keep their attention.


6. Language Instinct


There are three kinds of listening:

  • Reflective - To get information

  • Supportive - To help others

  • Possibility - To find ways forward

7. Liking


Gravitas = Knowledge + Purpose + Passion (-anxiety)


Make people feel important by telling them 'Their job sounds difficult' when they tell you what they do.


People like others when they have something in common. Ask yourself:

  • What's your common purpose/values/ground?

  • What might you have that they need?

  • What fear or problem do you have the answer to that might help them?

  • What do they love?

  • What do they hate?

  • Who do they admire?

8. Mise-en-Place


Have a structure to your answers:


1. Point - The main idea you wish to communicate

2. Reference - Connect your point with an example with credibility.

3. Comment - Make it unique to you and show how it will be beneficial towards your goal/purpose.


9. Narrative Instinct


People are more influenced by your vision of the future than by your track record.


10. Scarcity


Pauses have a big impact. Subtle pauses can help to focus peoples' attention when they might get distracted. Pause often. Pause naturally, at the end of thoughts. The more short sentences you have, the easier pauses become.


Let me know how these summaries can be improved? Contact me via Email (david@thisdomain.co) or on Twitter.



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