01 November 2012
What To Wear When....
As a new leader it is so exciting to be heading off to your first major conference. You will be interacting with other leaders in your industry from all over the world! You are bound to be a bit nervous though also looking forward to making connections. And of course you definitely want to make a good first impression.
If you have worked with me you know the next question is, “What are you going to wear?” Most of my clients, the men AND the women, say they haven’t even thought about it or shrug and suggest ‘something comfortable’. At this point the conversation turns to their personal brand and getting a clear understanding of how they want to present themselves as a leader to everyone they are going to meet.
Many organizations have a relaxed dress code. People in your office may know you are the boss, however people outside your office walls do not. It’s a good idea to dress in a way that demonstrates that you are the boss. Despite what you think, people will formulate an opinion just based on the way you dress.
It may seem superficial but think about it; your outfit is the first thing people notice. If you have been thoughtful enough to dress professionally, people make the assumption that you care, you pay attention to details and you make an effort. This leads to other things they believe you will take the time to do well. It is never just about the clothes. It’s what your clothes represent!!
WARNING - Leave the jeans at home!
BTW - clients have actually emailed me from the conference to thank me for the conversation. They had no idea that the people from the offices in Europe dressed in a suit and tie everyday. They admit that they would have been embarrassed if they attended without giving it some thought.
Stand Out in a good way! To do so, be thoughtful of the brand impression you want to create in all situations. You can always take off the tie or jacket but you can’t add a pin stripe to your jeans!
Don’t assume that because your office is casual that everyone around the world has the same standards. Basketball players wear shorts and jerseys on the court but when they travel it’s mandatory to wear a suit and tie to represent their level of professionalism!
Details matter! How you do one thing reflects upon how you do everything.
Your brand is your brand in every situation. Every time you are in front of another person you have an opportunity to leave an imprint of who you are. Represent yourself wisely!
I’d love to hear your stories on how you got it right and maybe where you slipped up as it does start the conversation in learning.
Align yourself with what matters most to you. Live your brand fully expressed with intention and purpose to play bigger!