Prior to my corporate exposure, I grew up in a community where personal grooming was never an issue.
When we founded QI in 1998 it came as a shock to me when Dato Vijay told me that I was a crappy dresser and that I would have to start dressing up like a CEO and that I would have to do some personal grooming myself.
Initially, I felt a little insulted by his candour, but after some thought…
“only a true friend would tell me this”
Most people will only tell us how good we look, even if we are poorly dressed.
Image is important especially in your own office. Your office, board room, conferences and surroundings are all part of your overall image. Likewise, your outfit and accessories matter, from the suit and tie you wear to your hair style…
If you try to cover that balding head with whatever little hair is left… it will appear pathetic… accept that you’re balding and do not attempt hiding it… accept it and shave your head or wear your hair short… be confident and do not be conscious of reality… people will accept you for what you are and how you look… your briefcase, pen, watches and shoes are all a part of self presentation.
It is this professional image that you have to sell in a first time encounter with any business clients or customers.
We must understand the language of clothing in the business world. Whether your office is business-casual or more formal, you must have a wardrobe that works well in all types of events that you will have to attend. You have to set the tone and have to be ahead of the game.
Consistency of image is very important. Even if you’re accustomed to shopping for your wardrobe… seek assistance from a wardrobe consultant. You will rarely get honest feedback from people you know because the subject is so sensitive and personal.
Please take a moment to look into the mirror and ponder on how you can improve your professional image.
Group Managing Director, QI Ltd