When it comes to the way others think about you, before anything else, preparation is key to your success. If you want to be perceived as the superstar leader you are, the simple difference between being successful and failing is preparation. Because successful leaders avoid surprises for any price. On a daily base this means for your image, that you have to determine your activities and responsibilities for that particular day, always keeping in mind your industry, your company’s written (or unwritten) dress code policy, your position within the organization, and the people’s requirements whom you are about to meet.
Before just throwing on something randomly, think about:
- What’s the big picture for today?
- What’s the occasion?
- With whom will you be interacting?
- What will they be wearing?
- What will your client be wearing?
- What will your audience be wearing?
- What will your boss be wearing?
- What will your colleagues be wearing?
- What will your team members be wearing?
- Where are you going to meet?
- Where are you possibly heading to after you’ve met?
- How will you get there?
- Who else could you randomly meet today?
- Which message do you have to deliver today?
- Is there any environmental risk you need to be prepared for, such as rain?
If you don’t have the answer to those questions, you might have to do some research and become an “image detective.” Google the people you are about to meet, find their profile pictures or visit their company’s website. If you want them to respond well, you want to find out what they feel safe with, what they respect and admire. Your goal should be to fit into their culture and requirements without blending in but standing out for the right reasons.Fit into their culture and requirements and stand out for the right reasons. Click To Tweet
It’s a matter of minutes and a few dollars to place a toothbrush in your office desk in order to avoid a breath problem that we all might have after a business lunch. A hand-held steamer might be the answer for your shirt if it needs a quick touch up. Have handy another pair of pantyhose, just in case your current one gets a run.
I’m sure you’ve heard it, and the timeless adages still holds true: “Success is where preparation and opportunity meet.” Your best guarantee to achieve an image as a successful leader is preparation. Preparation for predictable and unpredictable opportunities on your way.