Book Review: The Confidence Code by Katty Kay & Claire Shipman
I first heard of this book while listening to The Current, a show on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. The interview, with host Anna Maria Tremonti, was fantastic. In fact, I thought that the interview was so good, so interesting and so inspiring, I did two things: 1) I waited for the podcast to be posted and then I shared it on Facebook/and emailed it to a number of really fantastic women I know. and 2) I bought the book. The Confidence Code is written by two very fascinating and talented women: Katty Kay and Claire Shipman. Based on the interview and who the authors are, I had very, very high hopes for this book.
What’s it about from Indigo?:
“Confidence. We want it. We need it. But it can be maddeningly enigmatic and out of reach. The authors of the New York Times bestseller Womenomics deconstruct this essential, elusive, and misunderstood quality and offer a blueprint for bringing more of it into our lives.
Is confidence hardwired into the DNA of a lucky few-or can anyone learn it? Is it best expressed by bravado, or is there another way to show confidence? Which is more important: confidence or competence? Why do so many women, even the most successful, struggle with feelings of self-doubt? Is there a secret to channeling our inner confidence?”
I have three main observations of the book:
1. For a significant part of the book I did feel like I was back in school doing research for my thesis. While there is some really interesting research taking place on confidence, I feel that the book was a wee bit heavy on that content. Thankfully there were some really interesting discussions about women whom they met with and talked about confidence. I feel there is great value in reading all the content on these fantastic women and I thank the authors for sharing that information.
2. For two women writing a book on confidence and exploring how women think and feel about confidence and how we need to be more confident, I was really struck by the fact that in their introduction they say “As reporters, we’ve been lucky enough to explore the power corridors of the world looking for stories….” These are two very talented women. “Lucky enough”? Really? I think luck may only have a small amount to do with it. After hearing the interview and knowing the subject matter of the book, I was really surprised to read those words. Right there in the beginning of the book, a book on confidence, they diminished their skills, expertise and training. Ladies, you are talented and accomplished. Don’t set the tone with saying that you were lucky.
3. There is hope! Maybe I have more of the confidence genes discussed in the book, as I don’t feel held back or afraid to do “something”. I was pleased to see that all women have hope and that we shouldn’t be relegated to be in jobs or roles that they don’t want. It all comes down to working on your confidence and being authentic. I really liked the fact that they arrived at this conclusion. We all can’t be Hillary Clinton, Opra Winfrey or even Marissa Mayer. For that matter we can’t all be Barak Obama, George Clooney or Richard Branson. These are all individuals and therefore, we need to be unique.
Overall I am glad that I read the book. So, I do recommend it, particularly women that might be struggling with their level of confidence.
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