1. ‘We empower ourselves by creating a new story,’ says Abha Maryada Banerjee, India’s first internationally acclaimed woman motivational speaker and author of Nucleus, Power Women: Lead From The Core (Panoma Press, £19.99) ‘Unhook from the fictional woman, who is the perfect, beautiful, superwoman. No such perfect woman exists. It is like women are pitched fighting their own selves. It’s time to create a new story for the real woman – unique, different, imperfect and happy in that imperfection. That is true power. Start by defining your own strengths, working on them and testing them so you can build your life on what works for you.’
2. ‘Ask friends, family and colleagues what they value about you most and why. Do the same for them. Make a note of the answers, building up a diary of your greatest strengths. Reflect on these regularly to experience balanced positive self esteem as the launch pad to self empowerment and confidence,’ says Will Murray, founder of Be You campaign.
3. ‘One of the key distinguishing features of influential people is that they have a concrete track record of accomplishment. They have done things – whereas everyone merely talks about doing things or makes no contribution at all. But look closer and what is really remarkable is that often their early achievements were accomplished without power; it was the early track record of achievement that led to influence, not existing influence that enabled achievements,’ says Steven Pearce, author of Secrets Of Influential People (Teach Yourself, £9.99).
4. Marie and Pierre Curie; CS Lewis and JRR Tolkien; John Lennon and Paul McCartney – some of the most creative and high achieving pairs in history, as Joshua Wolf Shenk notes in Powers Of Two: Finding The Essence Of Innovation In Creative Pairs (John Murray, £20). ‘The pair is the primary creative unit. Pairs naturally arouse engagement, even intensity. Two people can basically make their own society on the go’, says Shenk. ‘For centuries the myth of the lone genius has towered over us like a colossus.’ His argument is that the we cover more ground, and our ideas, ambitions and abilities are bigger as a couple than as two individuals: ‘One plus one equals infinity’.
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