Here’s a question for all my entrepreneurs, leadership teams, work-from-homers, solopreneurs, and those who work outside of an office: Do you ever think, “I’ll just sneak out to do this errand?” You throw on a baseball cap, and promise to not make eye contact with anyone. In other words: Do you ever leave the house looking less professional than you are, thinking it doesn’t make a difference?
This Could Happen To Any Leader or Business Owner
Last weekend, when returning from a wedding in Vermont, I made a quick stop into a farmers’ market, just outside of Woodstock. This place is 107 miles away from my home in NH. I ran in, got what I needed, and jumped back in the car to continue my journey.
A few minutes later, an inbox message from Facebook popped up from a former coaching client:
The Image of Leadership
This event reminds me of the importance to look, at the very least, presentable when you are “off” duty. I’ve always been a believer of You never know who you are going to meet and where. You need to be ready at all times. You might meet the CEO of a company you’ve been trying to get into at the post office. Or you may end up getting that sales appointment you wanted in the middle of your son’s little league game.
Think of how embarrassed you’d feel if a friend introduced you to that high-profile potential client and you were wearing sweatpants with holes in them. Someone who doesn’t know you well enough is going to make a few quick assumptions about you and your work based on the way you look. It’s not fair, but judgments are made quickly and subconsciously every day.
If you’re a leader or in a leadership role, a business owner or concerned about your image or brand, do a check before heading out the door. Would you be ready to have a short conversation with anyone about your area of expertise? You never know when you might have the opportunity to give that ‘elevator speech’ and you’ll want to look the part.