Your body language shapes who you are – Amy Cuddy

Amy Cuddy is a Social Psychologist and Associate Professor at Harvard Business School. Her TED talk on body language is one of the most popular and it was named one of the “20 Talks that Can Change Your Life” by The Guardian. She has been named a Young Global Leader by World Economic Forum, and a “Game Changer” by Time magazine and she is on Business Insider’s list of 50 Women Who Are Changing the World.

Her research paper called “Just Because I am Nice Don’t Assume I am Dumb” won the award as Breakthrough Ideas for 2009.

In this video, Amy Cuddy shows techniques to improve confidence levels and chances of success by adopting “power poses”. The key ideas in this talk:

– Our body language shapes our mind

– Mind impacts behavior

– Behavior impacts outcomes

– “Fake it till you become it”

– We need the confidence and power boost to feel more belonged

– Small tweaks can result in BIG changes


Personal branding: a powerful tool for leadership

Head Honchos
October 17, 2014

Personal Branding: A Powerful Tool For Leadership

This article talks about:

  • The importance of building a personal brand for leaders
    • A strong personal brand makes leaders more effective by helping the convey their message with
      • Consistency
      • Predictability
      • Persuasion
  • A strong and effective personal brand is found at the cross section of:
    • Our passions
    • Our values
    • Our expertise
  • Article gives pointers on how to discover and develop your personal brand through personality profilers, feedback, reflection methods
  • Lastly, the article talks about translating the brand into action to leverage career advantage

4 Common Career Derailers for Senior Professionals

Head Honchos
May 14, 2014

This article talks about 4 common career derailers – things we do that are harmful to our careers but we are unaware of:

1. Lack of agility: a much valued ability, agility is essential in today’s fast-moving and complex business scenario. The article talks about different types of agility:

  • People agility
  • Situational agility
  • Intellectual agility

2. Political savviness: a much needed,  hard to learn and a somewhat rare skill that also has a constructive side to it

3. Ego – how it manifests in behaviors and skills that can harm careers

4. Personal productivity: with multiple demands on our time, managing personal productivity is key for success.


Can India keep its promise to produce global leaders?

Can India keep its promise to produce global leaders? Today, India celebrates its 66th anniversary of Republic Day. Its a great time to reflect back on the achievements of a young democracy that has been aspiring to take its place on world stage. For decades, the country has been dogged by conservative government policies, poor […]

How to learn anything fast – Josh Kaufman

In this video, Josh Kaufman talks about the key points from his two year research and the bestselling book “The First 20 Hours”. He explains how any skill can be learnt in 20 hours. We have a mindset that acquiring éxpertise’ or ‘mastery’ requires thousand of hours of hard work, but the author disputes this belief, outlining an approach to learn things quickly. On his website, he also provides case studies of learning Yoga, programming  and other skills using his technique.

Here are the 4 steps he describes in this video to learn things fast:

1. Decide what you want to learn

In the beginning, Josh asks you to set a “target level of performance”. He says deciding exactly what we want to do enhances chances of success. He asks you to be clear about what success will look like at the end, or the level of proficiency that you want to acquire.

2. Deconstructing a skill

Next, he asks to deconstruct a skill or break a big skill down into smaller subskills. For example, playing golf involves a number of subskills such as improving the drive, putting etc. Most large skills are “bundled” or made up of smaller skills. Knowing the combination is important. In this step, Josh also asks to identify the most critical subskill that are important to learn. This step would also involve quick research to get a good overview of skills.

3. Removing barriers to practice

In this step, Josh advises to remove barriers to practice. He asks to eliminate distractions like TV or phone. He also asks to create an environment more conducive to learning, for example, placing the guitar where it is easily accessible. The set up must make it easy to practice.

4. 20 hours of deliberate practice

Next step is actually practicing for 20 hours. They can be broken down into manageable chunks of time, for example 40 minutes of practice for one month. This also involves getting quick feedback and making adjustments. Focusing on the core subskills are important as they would take the learning curve up quickly.