Dress For Success

Many years ago I read a book titled “Dress For Success,” written by John T. Molloy. To this very day, it’s one of the most influential books I’ve ever read.

My dress for success mentality was further influenced by others in business whom I looked up to. They all fit a common mold when it came to “the look.” They looked professional and therefore they were.

A dark suit, long-sleeved white shirt, and a conservative or very bright tie wins hands down in the dress the part contest. Whatever argument you have against this fundamental concept is totally flawed.

When I was 15 I was a batboy for the New York Yankees Triple “A” farm team in Richmond, VA. The manager at the time was Sheriff Robinson. I remember to this day him saying to the players “If you can’t play like a pro at least look like a pro.”

“Fake it till you make it. Then fake it some more.”

If you are scratching your way to the top, or if you are already there, then the way to stand out is to dress up, not dress down. I can tell you from personal experience, that when you dress up you are far more productive. When you look like an executive you start to think and inspire as an executive.

Many businesses have gone with the “Casual Look,” or some call it business casual. It’s either casual or it’s business. Business casual turns into “business sloppy.” Just because your company allows business casual doesn’t mean you have to go along with the program. I doubt upper management is going to bust your chops for dressing “up.”

The argument and justification that the customer feels more comfortable and relaxed is a bunch of malarkey. The only person being more relaxed is you.

Look, Einstein, the customer is making the second-largest purchase in their life next to a home. Do you think they want to do business with a slob? The answer is a big fat no.

Oh, I know if you are dressed in a suit then it’s too intimidating for the customer and they won’t buy the car.

Really? You’ve got to be kidding me. Look if your people skills are no better than that and you can’t overcome wearing a suit, then it’s a miracle you’ve lasted this long.

Most of you are in some sort of authority position. Trust me on this one. When you dress casually there has to be an element of loss of respect by those around you. If you want more respect and want to be more productive then dress the part.

There are many elements that make up great leadership skills and looking the part is an important one. Never forget you only get one chance to make a good first impression.

That’s all I’m gonna say, Tommy Gibbs

P.S. shine your shoes…