Everyone agrees that leaders have to look professional. Your professional appearance (at least at work) certainly can make or break you and your career. If you want to be perceived as competent, as someone who has a purpose, who is important and serious about the things you do, you might want to act like a professional in everything you do—including your wardrobe choices.
Does that mean you can just dress up in a suit and it will make you leadership material, both in your eyes and in the eyes of others? Can you fake it ‘til you make it? No, certainly not. It’s simply that the chances are much greater that you’ll appear, behave, communicate and perceive yourself as a leader in a “power suit”. It’s an instrument you can use on your way to become a leader. Don’t fake it ‘til you make it. Instead, fake it ‘til you really become it.
Many people tell me that finding the right dress code level is difficult, especially because there are so many unspoken dress code rules. No, it’s not difficult. It’s quite simple, because there are no “unspoken” rules. To the contrary, they are very outspoken and clear. There are certain colors, fabrics, and patterns that are allowed in each dress code level and not in others.
I’m very proud that during this book tour I had an unexpected stop. Business Insider picked up “The Image Of Leadership” and created a great info graphic based on the advice I share in one of the chapters, “Leaders look professional”. You can also read about the +1/-1 role which helps leaders in any kind of industry or position to determine their dress code level and to adjust it, e.g. when it comes to dressing casual.
How does your dress code look like? Which industry are you in? Do you find it hard to convey a professional image every day? I love hearing from you.
People Packaging is what I do…
Executive Image Consulting | New York