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Book of the Month

Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self To Your Biggest Challenges

September 2016

Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self To Your Biggest Challenges

Amy Cuddy

What is it about, and how is it helpful?

If you’ve seen Amy Cuddy’s TED Talk, this book is probably on your reading list already. (If you haven’t, take 20 minutes right now and enjoy a great presentation.) The core idea of the talk is not hard to learn or to implement: standing in a “power pose,” for even a couple of minutes, can make you feel more powerful and act more confident. We tend to assume certain postures when we feel strong and authoritative; normally the feeling creates the action, but before a job interview or an important presentation, you can use the action to create the feeling. Charming and affable, even while rich in research and anecdotes, Presence talks about the science of this mind-body connection and ways to apply it for personal and professional success.

How does it relate to Winning from Within®?

“Presence, as I mean it throughout these pages,” writes Cuddy, “is the state of feeling connected with our own thoughts, values, abilities and emotions.” Presence begins as a book about developing your inner Warrior, with the power and confidence to stand your ground. Cuddy writes that “In pressure-filled situations, when we are distracted by thinking about possible outcomes of our performance, our skills are measurably diminished.” Your Warrior responds by leaning into the pressure and focusing on the present, instead of allowing that distraction to weaken you. But Cuddy moves on from focusing on Warrior only to embrace the listening empathy of Lover, and eventually the honesty, sincerity, and authenticity of Captain, where true presence is possible.

More than “Fake it ‘til you make it,” Cuddy’s guidance to “Fake it ‘til you become it” is a tool for expanding your self-expression and directing your self-transformation. How much more powerful could you feel? Read along with us, and develop your presence!

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