It is widely stated that 95 percent of communication is nonverbal. As a leader, it is important to ask yourself what message your appearance is giving to your employees. How you look and conduct yourself should communicate who you are and what you value, and as a leader of your company, by extension it should communicate the values and goals of your company. PADGETT BUSINESS SERVICES® has created this guide to looking like a leader.
The first aspect of dressing like a leader is to dress appropriately for your industry. Every type of career has an unspoken dress code that signals credibility. Look at the leaders in your field to find a style to model for yourself. For example, compare the styles of Apple’s iconic Steve Jobs and the Chairman and CEO of Bank of America, Kenneth D. Lewis.
Since Mr. Jobs worked in an innovative, cutting-edge industry and company, his look is much more casual.
On the other hand, Mr. Lewis works in the banking industry, which never wants to be portrayed as taking risks, so his style is the epitome of traditional.
Next, make sure your clothing choices are quality pieces. It is best to spend money on a few investment pieces that are timeless and will still look good in 10 years, instead of poorly made pieces that will be out of fashion next season. If you work in a company or industry that is more casual or places emphasis on being cutting-edge fashionable, you can mix your quality, timeless pieces with the fashion of the moment.
Fit is key. Make sure your clothing choices are tailored to enhance your appearance and make you look put-together. It does not matter how much money you spend on your suit if it does not fit you correctly. Many stores offer custom tailoring on the clothing you purchase from them. If this is not available, find a highly-qualified tailor. It is well worth the investment.
It is easier to dress down than it is to dress up. For example, if you have a meeting with a customer and then an appointment with your plant manager, it is much easier to wear a suit and tie that day to impress your customer and then remove your jacket and tie for a dressed-down appointment in the plant. However, if you wear khakis and a polo shirt, you will be too casual for your client, even though you will fit in with the plant’s casual atmosphere.
The most important way to express your credibility in any field is to put thought and effort into your appearance. Looking put-together expresses authority and confidence. Follow these simple tips to make the best first impression with your employees, customers and co-workers. PADGETT BUSINESS SERVICES® has been offering proven financial services to small businesses for more than 40 years.