Does your business need a more careful shave?
From Running the Gauntlet by Jeffrey Hayzlett with Jim. Eber. Copyright [c]2012 by Jeffrey Hayzlett Published by McGraw-Hill (www. mhprofessional.com).
I WAS RIDING THE SUBWAY in New York City one afternoon when a 60-something gentleman sat down across from me. At first glance, he looked successful--nice tie, jacket, and slacks; a distinguished head of white hair. But then I began to process the details. Everything about this guy read success ... 10 or 20 years ago. Today his look read "better days behind me." His shirt and tie may have been expensive when he bought them, but now they were frayed and spotted. His pants and jacket were worn, if not threadbare, in places. He needed a haircut and a more careful shave.
Did I know this man? It doesn't matter. I made the same assessment of him that your employees, customers, and vendors make of you, your other employees and your business every day. Sure, there could be any number of reasons for this guy's state. Maybe he was wearing his lucky outfit. Maybe he got into a rut long ago and stopped making that extra effort. Maybe he thought he looked great and no one in his life had the heart to tell him the truth. None of these reasons matter to me.
No matter what your age, your business should look and feel alive. Mood is everything. That's why presentation is one of the key areas change agents attack first to transform a bad mood. Any business and its people can be changed to make a better presentation. I like to literally clean a business when I start working there or take it over, because presentation is both the easiest of those areas to change and the easiest to dismiss or ignore.
Jeffrey Hayzlett is a consultant in change management and marketing (www.hayzlett.com). Jim Eber is a business writer.