We often hold ourselves back from trying something new, starting our own business or project, or doing things differently because we think we need to ‘have it all’ before we can get started. This book talks through dozens of historical examples of how small beats big, as well as the advantages of being the little guy.
Given that my coaching practice is focused on careers and confidence, clients come to me all the time suffering from Imposter Syndrome—feeling like it’s all a fluke that they’ve made it as far as they have and any minute now their bosses will realize that they don’t have what it takes. Cuddy’s book offers in-depth research on how your physical presence can change your mental energy and your confidence level. The book is heavy on data, but the research is incredible.
While both men and women often come into negotiations with wavering confidence, I have found in my career and negotiation coaching practice that lack of confidence is all too often a real problem for highly capable, intelligent, and accomplished professional. This book breaks down the many and awful mythologies and stereotypes of confidence by showing—through cutting-edge research—how successful women in business, media, and politics ‘do it,’ project confidence and win the daily negotiations of life.
I chose this book because, while it is intended to be about scaling an organization, the techniques work equally well in your personal efforts to scale and grow. The authors (both professors at Stanford GSB), draw on hundreds of case studies to focus on how to spread a mindset, rather than a specific set of rules or guidelines. The result is a gripping read which sets a thoughtful framework for a tactical lifestyle.
I was always the student who was interested in everything and my career has pretty much gone the same way. After I read this book, I realized that there are a lot of other people like me and having many interests and passions isn’t a bad thing! I think it takes a lot of insight to recognize your strengths and weaknesses. I have recommended this one to many people and honestly, I’m not even sure who has my copy, but I’d like it back!
The slight edge is a simple concept that reaps great rewards. It’s based on the premise that simple activities and decisions you make daily, over time, will propel you toward success in your career and dreams. The goal is to tap into the ‘one thing’ that’ll help you achieve your career or life goal and apply it daily. For the manager who wants to improve leadership and morale among the team, it may be expressing appreciation to an employee daily. For the job seeker who wants to discover his or her dream career and build a network, it may be leading one informational interview daily. For the marketing professional who wants to gain wide-reach and visibility, it may be adding value and connecting with influencers daily. What is it for you?
Many of my clients express that their ambition and multi-passionate natures result in a feeling they have a fractured professional identity—that they’re somehow inadequate because they’re ‘not good’ at any one thing. In this book, Pam Slim proves that having a diverse background is truly a gift, and shows how to create a rock-solid narrative out of your rich experience. This is a must-read for ‘slash’ careerists, entrepreneurial go-getters, side hustlers, or anyone with many interests who wants to tie them together into a meaningful career.