Lasting confidence

The (students’) Easter  holidays have given me the chance to read & watch stuff to invigorate the grey matter.  2 of which I’ve been musing on:

The Impact of Body Language  http://www.ted.com/talks/amy_cuddy_your_body_language_shapes_who_you_are.html

I tend to be a little dismissive of body language because I’ve a bit of a bad back so I sit & stand in the way that makes it hurt less.  Pain overrides my subconscious, so I reckon other factors will affect other people’s body language too, so I can’t trust the messages.  But this video isn’t about reading the body language of others, or about sending other people messages.  It’s about it’s effect on ourselves – put simply, if you adopt a confident and powerful pose then your body produces different chemicals, and you become more confident and powerful.

This really does seem like an excellent way to help prepare for an important meeting or interview – go somewhere private and stand hands on hips, legs apart, and head held high for a couple of minutes, then off you go.  Nothing’s going to stop you getting what you want.

Creating a Sustainable Legacy http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2013/apr/14/robert-de-niro-tribeca-festival

Robert de Niro apparently started the Tribeca Film Festival to help New York recover from 9/11.  It’s reached its financial goals, so why does it keep going? The article states: “De Niro says it remains his ambition to make the festival “part of the tradition of New York, part of the fabric….””.

I think that this gets to the heart of what makes a truly significant change: does it carry on once the original driving force has left?  I’ve spent quite a bit of my career to date making what I believed to be improvements, but many of them did not stick once I’d left.  Some of them for good reason – the landscape had changed – priorities, funding etc – but many because not enough had been done to ingrain the changes, to make them sustainable, to give them a life of their own.

Many of the students I see want to become management consultants when they graduate – to them I say focus on what happens when you and your client has moved on. Do all you can to make sure that each of your contracts has a positive, sustainable legacy. Otherwise, what’s the point in changing things?

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