Archives for posts with tag: leadership

I was speaking with a friend last night and we got on the topic of first impressions. And they asked me “do you really think clothing affects first impressions or is that people just being shallow?”

I responded, Unequivocally, yes, dress matters – and here’s why:

Years ago a study of “cop-killers” was done. The interview went to prisons and spoke with people who had been convicted of killing a police officer. There was numerous things the study wanted to inquire about, but one surprising lesson came up about dress.

One of the inmates told the following story:

He said he woke up angry one day. He sat up in bed and told himself “You’re gonna kill a cop today.” He decided that the first police officer he came across, he would kill.

So, he said he got dressed and got on with his mission. He left his home for a walk, determined that he would kill the first police officer he saw.

They asked him if he carried out that plan, and he said “yes and no.” He went on to explain that the first officer he saw was directing traffic. The inmate reported that he stood at the corner of the intersection and watched the officer for about 10 minutes. He said there was a lot of opportunities when the officer had his back to him.

But as the inmate watched the officer, he saw that the officer had his uniform pressed. His shoes were shined. He appeared to be in good shape. The inmate said he got the impression that this officer was serious. He had his sh*t together. He appeared very professional. The inmate said that he felt that if he engaged in a shoot-out with this officer, the officer would react with his professionalism and seriousness and clearly win…. So he walked away. The officer never even knew he was there.

But the inmate said he continued on his walk. He came across an officer that was clearly out of shape. His uniform didn’t fit. He said it looked like he just didn’t care. He engaged THAT officer, and killed him.

Now, who knows if the first officer would have won. But that story illustrates the power of impression.

Care about your appearance, at least your professional appearance. Own the room, meeting, interview, sales pitch, etc when you walk in. Impression are made fast, and often times far before you will have the chance to explain your resume and personality.

Dress the part.

Be the man. Be the calm in the storm.

Be the man in an emergency.

Every single one of us has bad days. No matter how stoic we are, we all have to deal with bills, traffic, flat tires, leaky pipes and a whole list of miscellaneous things that pop up and make you want to pull your hair out. It’s called life.

I clench my teeth and drop my head back against my headrest more times than I can count throughout the week. But my role at work does not allow me to lose my cool and scream at the top of my lungs to blow off steam. It’s the sign of a mature man to keep his cool and handle the situation. Nothing gets fixed when you lose it. The coolest most in control men stop, breath, and work the problem.

But being a man brings on even more responsibility. You’ll find yourself surrounded by friends, girlfriends, wives, kids and everyone else who is stressing because of the situation at hand. And it’s easy to see that screaming, crying, and worrying about every “what if” isn’t going to help anything. This is when you really have to “man up”. I’ve found that in stressful situations, the mob mentality spreads fast. So, take the leadership role and stay calm and start to work with what you have. The tires flat – punching your steering wheel won’t fix it. Your son didn’t get to play as much in his sports league as you wanted – making a scene and cussing out the coach won’t make you the father of the year. Be a man and stay calm.

I’ll be the first to admit, when I’m solo and something like a flat tire happens unexpectedly… I allow myself a moment to grab the steering wheel and grrrrrrrr!!! But then you have to breath and analyze your options and work through the problem at hand. But that’s when I’m alone. When you’re a guy, and your loved ones are around, or anyone who is counting on you to be the leader in the situation, the grrrrrr goes out the window.

No matter what the outcome, whether you can rectify the whole situation or not, you become the lead guy by keeping your cool and not losing your head. And if you do fix the issue, you become the coolest most level headed hero on everyone’s eyes.

So aim at being the hero instead of a screaming hot-headed lunatic. Your man-factor will grow by leaps and bounds.