Good Habits #28: Look Like a Leader

By | January 10, 2017

[January 10, 2016]  Success comes in many forms and is the result of good habits practiced daily.  Leaders give credit where it’s due, accept feedback, are generous, and treat others fairly.  But leaders should also look like a leader and that is not so easy.

“People buy into the leader before they buy into the vision.” – John C. Maxwell, Author, Speaker, and Pastor

First impressions do make a difference and despite the fact that it doesn’t really matter that much how we look physically (beautify or ugly, tall or short, etc.), how we dress, our mannerisms, our “image,” does matter and does so more than most people would think.  A number of studies have shown that our gravitas and our appearance can make a great difference in how we are treated; even more so than our credibility.

Our appearance is one of the keys to success in business and many self-help books are dedicated to showing people how to make improvements.  In my opinion, the most important aspect of appearance is hygiene and it is no surprise that many authors have written about the effect of staying fit, walking and sitting properly, cleanliness (like proper shaving), wearing the appropriate clothing, and our hair style.

Yet, we find that it is our gravitas that is what truly matters most in looking like a leader.  Sometimes referred to as “executive presence” in the business world, those that act the part are those most likely rewarded and successful.   Gravitas is directly related to how we speak and act; it is a signal to others that you are worthy of being heard and followed.  Decisiveness, confidence, moral courage, and authenticity all express an individual’s gravitas.

Leaders can develop and improve upon their image and their actions that will set them apart from others; yet draw respect and admiration.  With a proper appearance and the right gravitas, leaders can expect “doors to open” for them.  While each leader is different and their environment changes as they move through their lives, we can expect those that most look like a leader are those with the best appearance and gravitas.

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Author: Douglas R. Satterfield

Hello. I'm Doug and I provide at least one article everyday on some leadership topic. I welcome comments and also guests who would like to write an article. Thanks for reading my blog.