The Power of Ideas: Amy Cuddy

Can your body change your mind? This Harvard Business School prof is out to prove that power begins with posing. —By Karen Weintraub

amy cuddy harvard business school

Courtesy of TED

The Wonder Woman pose can do wonders for your life.

So says Amy Cuddy, the Harvard Business School associate professor who created a social phenomenon with her 2012 TED Talk, one of the most viewed of all time. Her book, Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges, is due out at year’s end.

Our bodies can fool our minds, Cuddy’s research has shown. In fact, boosting hirability, she insists, is as simple as standing with legs apart and hands on hips for two minutes before a job interview. “When you pretend to be powerful, you are more likely to feel powerful,” she said in her TED Talk.

It worked for her. After suffering a severe head injury, Cuddy was told she was too impaired to finish college. But with hard work and a mentor, she earned her PhD from Princeton. Now she considers it her life’s work to help others “fake it till you become it.”