Do You Want To Be An Amazing Leader? Learn To Power Pose

Photo by Snap Man

Photo by Snap Man

Try A Powerful Pose

Stand right where you are. Stand tall and proud. Spread your feet about shoulder length apart. Put your hands and arms up in the air in a victorious “Yes! I just won the race!” – type of pose.

Or, maybe instead of putting your hands and arms above your head, try putting your hands on your hips. This is affectionately known as the “Wonder Woman” pose.

How do you feel after doing these poses? Strong? Powerful? Ready to take on any problem thrown at you?

Good. This is how you’re supposed to feel after power posing.

A TED Talk Video

I recently ran across this interesting TED talk given by Amy Cuddy on what she describes as power posing. You can check out it below, and then come on back to the blog post.

In this video, we learn several key thoughts that can help us all be better leaders:

  • We communicate to others through our body language.
  • We communicate power and dominance through opening up and expanding.
  • We communicate powerlessness through closing up and making ourselves smaller.
  • Our gender typically plays a role in our body language. Women tend to close up and make themselves smaller. Men usually open up and expand.
  • Our nonverbals govern how other people think and feel about us.
  • Powerful, effective leaders have high testosterone, a dominance hormone, and low cortisol, a stress hormone.
  • You probably don’t want leaders in your organization who are highly stress reactive. You want laid back, confident leaders.
  • Our bodies change our minds … and our minds change our behavior … and our behavior changes our outcomes.
  • Tiny tweaks can lead to BIG changes.
  • You can “fake it, until you become it” through power posing.

So, What Does Power Posing Mean For You And Me?

Are you a leader in the workplace? Do you struggle with self-confidence? Do you need to “be on your A game” on a regular basis? Are you a key performer or presenter in your area of expertise?

Power posing is a real science that has been proven to work in clinical studies as well as real life scenarios. Many a shy, backward personality has been transformed through this concept of power posing.

The next time you don’t feel very confident in a certain situation, try power posing. If you’re in a meeting, then sit up straight, put your shoulders back and chest out. Think expansion. Sit in a larger stance, not a smaller one. Definitely don’t cross your arms and slump in your chair.

If you’re about to walk out on to a stage to make a presentation, then try some power poses back stage. Look, feel, and act confident before you speak.

If you’re about to go in for a job interview, then quickly duck into the rest room and practice a few power poses. Get yourself into a powerful state of mind before meeting with the interviewer. Raise your testosterone levels and lower your cortisol. Fake it until you make it. Make a great first impression.

This stuff does work. Try it for yourself and find out.

How To Turn Personal Defeat Into A Possible Resume Builder

Photo by vcorne00

Photo by vcorne00

Always Be Trying Stuff

I believe you should always be trying different things. Learn the fine art of plate spinning. If you have an interest in something personally or professionally, then I think you should go for it. Possibly, you have an interest in a personal development class. Perhaps, you would really like to audition for a local theater company. Maybe, you would like to write a book.

Unfortunately, we will not always be successful in every activity we engage ourselves. There will be some victories as well as many defeats. We will learn new distinctives about ourselves. That’s normal and extremely good for us. We may even be able to turn some of those “try’s and fails” into great resume builders.

Let me give you an example from my own life.

One “Failure” That Helped Me Land My Last Two Positions

While I was a graduate student down in Florida during the mid-1990s, I found out about a conducting audition for the United States Air Force Band program. I was a conductor. I had conducted elementary, middle school, high school, college, and even civic bands and orchestras. I had great conducting mentors during both my undergraduate and graduate days. I was eminently qualified to audition for this prestigious position. So, I went for it.

The first round of the audition consisted of creating a quality VHS video tape (remember those?) of me conducting various ensembles. I vaguely remember finding someone to help me with the video editing process, and together we put together the best product we could. Then, I shipped that off to the band department of the United States Air Force in Washington, D.C. A few weeks later, I received a letter informing me that I had made it into the finals round of the conducting auditions. Yes, I was one step closer to a professional life achievement. Awesome!

The finals round of the audition required me to fly out to St. Louis , Missouri, at my own expense, and audition for the band at Scott Air Force Base. The actual finals audition had three parts to it. First, stand in front of the band and conduct them through 3-4 pieces. Second, take a written test to demonstrate my musical knowledge. Third, take an extremely difficult ear-training exam, to see if I could hear melody lines, harmonies, and chord changes, and then write that all down as quickly as possible! If my memory serves me correctly, I think I had about 6-8 weeks to train and get ready for these 3 tests before flying out to St. Louis. It was a challenging and nerve-racking time in my life, to say the least.

So, I made it out to Scott Air Force Base for the auditions and didn’t do quite as well as I had hoped. I kind of choked on the podium in front of these incredible Air Force musicians. Plus, the written and ear-training tests were extremely difficult. Within a couple of hours, the entire process was over. I didn’t even make it to the next round. Bummer.

But, what I did have going for me, even after that whole ordeal of the audition, was the fact that I did make it to the finals round of the prestigious Air Force conducting program. I could highlight this fact on my resume. And, when it came time to interview for both orchestra director positions at my former church First Baptist Church of Ft. Lauderdale, FL as well as my current position at First Baptist Raytown, MO, both of my bosses had mentioned to me that this part of my resume was definitely a reason they chose me over other candidates.

So, the lesson I learned from this experience is always be seeking ways to turn your failures into success stories, some way and some day. Don’t give up. Keep trying different things until something sticks. You can do it!

Questions: So how about you? Is your life marked with a few failures that, while discouraging, have perhaps moved you closer to personal or professional victories? Do you have a unique failure to victory story to share with the community?