Posts Tagged ‘success’

Button Down for Opportunity

Sunday, December 21st, 2014

Mark Twain said it best: “Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence in society.”

Well, that’s probably stretching it. You probably don’t go to work naked. But even so, there may be times when your workplace attire isn’t putting your best foot forward.

Executives are buzzing about inappropriate dress making some of their workers less promotable. It’s fast becoming one of the most talked about problems in companies. You don’t want to end up on that list.

Standards vary by profession, but here are some basic recommendations for what’s appropriate if you’re in a professional office.

Consider these things:

Ladies: Dressing for the nightclub (or the fitness club, for that matter) is not the same as dressing for work. At work, it’s conservative – no perfume, skirts right above the knee, clothes that are not too tight or pants dragging on the floor. And the biggest issue of all—if you want to be taken seriously, keep “the girls” under cover! Research shows that if you have “that line” showing even once, it tends to reduce the likelihood of advancement. Don’t make that career-limiting move.

I’m not saying you have to dress like Little Orphan Annie. There is a middle ground. It’s about looking like you could meet with a top prospect at the drop of a hat and be a respectable representative of the company.

Guys: You have it a little easier. Shirts in white or blue are best—no Easter egg colors or flashy ties. Grey, navy, or black jackets and pants complete a good professional look where you can’t go wrong. The biggest complaints with guys include not being pressed or not having hair your clean and well cut and face shaved. And by the way, Bigfoot – don’t forget to shave your neck.

Best tip of all: Watch to see what your manager wears, and start wearing that NOW if you want to ever want to be considered for a promotion. If in doubt, dress more conservatively and more professionally. A navy and black jacket will turn almost anything into a professional look. Invest in one of those.

You might say it’s not fair to be passed over if your performance is good. Let me just say it happens every day anyway because there’s an enormous subjective component to hiring and advancement, and how you present yourself and how you represent the company really does matter.

So get those neat, well-dressed ducks in a row to remove one more obstacle in your path to success!

Invite criticism, invite success

Sunday, June 10th, 2012

We all have a natural tendency to default to the easiest path. It’s not always a good tendency, but it has its place. For one thing, the easy default gets us through a thousand less important decisions each day. “White shirt or blue shirt?” Whatever’s easiest. “Ham or fish for dinner?” Pick one, I don’t care.

But sometimes the easy default just isn’t the right way to go. One place it can get in our way is when we ask for someone’s opinion, or offer our own. It’s ALWAYS easiest to say, “You were great! Way to go!” It means we won’t have to elaborate or deal with hurt feelings. But we have to remember that others are doing the same thing, and it keeps us from hearing the things that can actually vault us over that bar.

In order to get the feedback that can really make the difference for you, you’ll have to break through the resistance, shattering the barrier that keeps those around you from seeing that they aren’t doing you any favors by protecting you from success.

One of the best ways to do this is by priming the pump in advance. If you are about to give a presentation on which you’d like honest feedback, pull a colleague or two aside beforehand. Look them hard in the eyes and say, “I am about to give a presentation. I think it’s pretty good, but I know for a fact that it isn’t perfect. I’d like to get better and better at doing this, and I need your help. Please watch carefully and give me a few tips afterward.”

Your odds of getting real feedback just tripled. And the way you receive the feedback once it’s offered has everything to do with whether you can get it again, down the road.

If you can master the ability to hear honest criticism, you will have an incredible advantage over 95 percent of the humans around you. Whenever someone tells you of a weakness they perceive in you or in your work, receive it as a beautiful gift of their caring and a powerful opportunity for clarity about what you will choose to tackle and fix. Develop this ability, and you’ll soon be at the head of the pack.

Take out the Head Trash by Changing the Game

Sunday, March 11th, 2012

You’ve been there—we all have. Everything is going incredibly well, you’ve got the world by the tail, then suddenly… you’re tumbling through the sky.

Sometimes you feel like you just won’t ALLOW yourself to succeed. You get sick, you miss a deadline, then another. Just days after everything was going right, it seems that nothing ever will again.

If this has ever happened to you, welcome to the human race. But even if it’s common, it ain’t good. This plight is as disastrous to the success of a salesperson as the lack of skills. For experienced salespeople, it is usually the biggest part of the problem.

Striving for success feels natural, familiar. But once you reach it, even in a small way, there’s a feeling of vulnerability. You look down and your head begins spinning. That hateful little voice inside your head says, “Who do you think you are, climbing so high?” (more…)