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Friday Report ~ September 25, 2015

You Look Mahvelous ~ I, along with a large percentage of the viewing public, am enthralled 
by the candidates that present themselves for the highest office in the land, President of the United States.  As I listen to them speak, or watch the clips on television, I tend to fall back to a basic requirement for me. Would I be proud to have them represent me? While I do have some issues 
that I find important, I am not committed to either party or a political ideology.
 
For me, image and presentation is everything. Presentation, of course, includes stopping ridiculous things from coming out of your mouth. Sounding like an idiot is contrary to anyone having faith in you. My ideal professional image is based, in part, on my grandfather. He was a business-man in Boston and he was always impeccably dressed. He chose his words carefully and I don't believe I ever saw him raise his voice or get irritated. I am sure that he had his moments, as we all do, but he kept them to himself. I was reminded of him last week watching George Mitchell speak at our Insider Breakfast.It was about poise and polish.
 
With today's electronics and social media, our image is captured much more than we even know. How do you present yourself? Is there a benefit to maintaining a respectable image at all times? You bet. Your staff may wonder if you wear ripped jeans at home on the weekends, but they don't
need to see it on your Facebook page. You need to inspire confidence through-out your staff. They need to see you as an individual who makes good choices and rational decisions. They don't need your political or religious stances or your favorite reality show. I am not suggesting that you change the way you live, but take a moment to consider how you portray yourself when you are 
not at work. What does your "online" presence say about you? It never ceases to amaze me to see the profile photos on "LinkedIn", a networking site for professional business people.  Some people have a "goofy selfie from a bar" photo as their professional image. Inspiring? I think not.
 
While I have been addressing this particular blog to the leaders, it's important that the young professionals who are hoping to move up in their firm give this some thought as well. Are you considered someone that can be trusted to lead the organization or a department? Your skill goes a long way, as it should, but your image gets you started.
 
So take a minute to look at your image.  Although we live in a world that is increasingly accepting of all types, and this may not apply to all industries, much of our society is still judgmental. A first impression is often your only opportunity to get in the door. Sometimes, it's simply better to fit in if the goals or position you are pursuing require it.