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Table of Contents
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Dress the Part

In June 03, 2005, in CIO, the following article appeared:

A recent Princeton study of political candidates says it may. In a survey of over 800 students who were shown one second images of Senate and Congressional office seekers, those candidates who appeared more competent most often won their election. According to the study, and reported in the New York Times (6/14), “the authors theorize that the rapid judgments of competence were based on looks… "

Competence was the only factor that people were able to perceive from a photograph. Honesty and likeability were less clear from quick photo impressions.

So what does this have to do with things in your office?

I think the sentiments reflected in the study, albeit confined to faces alone, may be relevant to those who aspire to leadership positions. How you look may indicate how well you can lead or, put another way, how others perceive that you can. And when it comes to leadership, perception is essential. Not About You If you start with the premise that leadership is about results and results ultimately come from the cooperation and collaboration of others, then it makes sense that leadership is less about the leader and more about the followers. No leader can achieve anything by herself. She does it by working with others to achieve intended goals. Therefore, anything you can do to affect the relationship positively between leader and follower is critically important.

Here are some things to keep in mind when presenting yourself as a leader.

Invest in your appearance. Take a long look at yourself in the mirror. Women and men do this differently. Women, I’m convinced, look in the mirror to see their flaws. Men I know look in the mirror to admire themselves. Women gain a pound and see themselves as rotund. Men see an expanding waistline as normal, or perhaps as an example of clothes that have shrunk in the wash. An exaggeration, perhaps, but women know better. If you expect people to follow you, give them reasons to follow your lead. Groom yourself. Dress neatly and smartly. Also take care of what’s inside you. Good diet and healthy exercise are important to your looks as well as your health.

If you want to play the leadership game, dress the part. Go to, click on 'CEO' on channels section: with few exceptions - look at the appearances of these great leaders.