Archives for the Month of May, 2013

Strike a Pose

Whether you’re a first time developer, manager, leader or parent, according to Amy Cuddy in her Ted talk, the key to increased confidence in what you do is to strike a pose. Literally.

While your mind can clearly control your body, according to research, changing your posture can significantly affect what you think. Especially how you perceive yourself.

Years ago, while I was totally daunted by the prospect of my final year French spoken exam, a girl who lived down the corridor shared with me the secret to her consistent high performance in exams.

“Of course I study for every exam,” Miss High Achiever said. “But there’s something else I do right before I go into the exam room. It’s very silly, but it works.”

It turns out my friend would spend a few minutes psyching herself up in front of a mirror, usually in the ladies toilets. She would stand tall, look herself in the eye then say just loud enough for herself to hear, “You’re the best. You’re the best. You’re the best.”

At the time, out of desperation, I tried out my friend’s tip. I did much better than I ever imagined in my final year French spoken exam.

Of course, spending a year out in France as a language assistant helped as did my intense revision.

Standing in front of the mirror just before my exam telling myself “You’re the best” didn’t turn me into a narcissist anymore than it did with my friend. Instead, it reminded us that no matter what happened, we were going to give it our best shot.

And that’s my takeaway from Amy Cuddy’s Ted talk. “Fake it until you become it.” With enough practice, preparation and self-belief you, too, can make it.

This tip got me through one of my scarier moments in 2012 when I gave my first TedX talk last year.

How are you going to fake it until you become it?

Riddle Me This…

Q: What has a value, an expiry condition and if you choose to exercise it early you must know why?
A: A Real Option of course!

“Commitment”, the long awaited book on Real Options, is out!

Congratulations to Olav Maassen, Chris Matts and Chris Geary on their graphic novel. It’s a marvellous work of art, knowledge and storytelling! It’s great to see the theory explained in such an engaging, lucid, succinct and fun way.

The most impressive 2 things of all about the book (and there are so many), is the rate of information transmitted by the authors and the amount of information recalled by the reader long after they’ve reached the end of the tale.

“Commitment” is a great example of the saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words”. Never have I read a book that gives the reader so much useful information at a glance and sticks in the mind and can be applied immediately.

So what’s reading “Commitment” worth to you? You can wait to borrow a friend’s copy or buy your own (it’s also available as a Kindle version). The quicker you learn about Real Options, the earlier you can apply it at work and at home, the better you’ll be at handling uncertainty to achieve better outcomes.

Happy decision making!

The Odd Story of Timothy Green

“We have always had as much time as we have ever had. No more, no less.” – Anon.

In the modern life of daily hustle and bustle, of striving, failing and achieving, we are prone to forget vital things. One of them is this: Time is the most precious asset we have.

Imagine life as a finite timebox. We have as much of it as we have ever had. When the bell tolls, the size of the timebox isn’t open for negotiation.

Instead of thinking yourself time-poor, think of yourself as time-rich. Distinguish between a want and a need. Now how would you choose to invest life time?

And if you haven’t already, see “The Odd Story of Timothy Green“. It’s a story about life, love and living. It’ll really make you think.