The Image of Leadership – Sylvie Di Giusto [Book Summary]

by Nick

No matter what is said about the importance of professional skills and personal qualities, people are still greeted by clothes.

It is on the appearance that the first impression of the interlocutor and even, to a large extent, the career prospects of the employee depend.

So there is a reason to think about it and take the advice of a professional image consultant, which is the author of the book Sylvie Di Giusto.

In the pages of this guide, she explains in detail how to achieve career advancement for specialists of any height, physique, and ethnicity. The basic principle is: you look like a leader – you become a leader.

The author considers all aspects of the appearance, from boots to hair on the crown, and gives recommendations on what, whom and how to correct, how to dress employees of different ranks and how to behave in the office.

Di Giusto’s recommendations are quite conservative (because caution will not hurt), but not old-fashioned. Some of the tips are not applicable in countries with a different cultural pattern, but the author herself admits that sometimes the elements of clothing are not a matter of style, but of religion.

The book is accompanied by a free mobile application.

This book is available as:

AudiobookeBook | Print

Not All Leaders Look Like Leaders

Even if you do not have the appearance of a born leader, it is in your power to achieve the highest position.

The main thing is self-confidence. For example, when Barack Obama, a senator who was practically unknown outside Illinois for only one year, announced that he would run in the presidential election, it seemed that this thin man of mixed ethnic origin was doomed to failure. Although outwardly little was said in his favor, Barack Obama won.

A big role here was played by his self-confidence and his abilities, influencing how voters perceived him.

“Professional appearance and manners are an investment in a career. It is important for everyone who wants to take a leadership position that a professional image brings dividends. ”

A person of any appearance and any physique can get ahead. Leaders can be fat and thin, tall and short, young and mature.

Despite all the external differences, they are united by one thing – they all believe in their own strength and behave accordingly. If you are confident in yourself, then those around you will believe.

The ability to give oneself well will also help to win the favor of colleagues and partners. In the end, the success of new products on the market largely depends on the design of their packaging.

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What Can You Think of in the First Seven Seconds

Each of us is unique and has unique external data.

It is important to try to show yourself from the most favorable side.

Take care of your image, emphasizing the best sides and hiding flaws. The way others perceive you is determined by three factors: appearance, attitude to work and communication style.

They should complement and enhance your professional image. Although they say that it is impossible to judge a book by its cover, it is common for people to judge everything and every one by appearance.

Maybe they are seeing off by the mind, but they are still met with clothes.

“The purpose of this book is to help you get rid of those aspects of appearance that distract others from your professional potential.”

The first impression of a person is the most important. It is formed in just the first seven seconds of communication. The result of the interview, presentation, first date, political speech depends on this short period. A negative first impression is almost impossible to change.

To begin with, recognize that appearance plays a significant role in professional life. Then decide to devote enough time to taking care of yourself, as well as choosing clothes. Your goal is to look like a leader. A business look will help you act professionally and feel confident.

“Those who look good have a good mood, they infect others with their confidence and cause a positive reaction from them.”

Do you think that the appearance does not make much weather?

Then a convincing example is the first televised debate in US history between two presidential candidates: Vice President Richard Nixon and Senator John F. Kennedy in 1960.

Their first round was watched by about 70 million people. Nixon looked tired and bruised, while Kennedy, on the contrary, rested and tanned. His free, confident manner of communication was very different from Nixon’s nervous behavior.

Although Nixon looked calm and fit during the next three rounds, the audience had a definite opinion about him by then. They decided that Kennedy was a worthy candidate for a leadership position, while Nixon did not.

All subsequent debates, the audience regarded under the influence of the very first meeting. The favorable impression that Kennedy immediately made

How to Maintain the Image of a Professional

However, the first good impression is only the beginning.

You should make the same impression later, in further interaction with people. The following four aspects are important for the image of a business person:

  1. Appearance. Everything that relates to appearance: from hair to nails, from shoes to a suit, from your posture to the way you look your interlocutor in the eye.
  2. Behavior. Approach to work and methods of its implementation.
  3. Communication style. The way you speak, write and submit yourself.
  4. Internet person. The impression that is created thanks to information about you available on the Web.

“If you come to work in a poorly fitting suit, it immediately becomes clear to your colleagues that you are a beginner who only yesterday learned that pants with large patch pockets and flip flops are not the pinnacle of style.”

Professional actors manage to convincingly portray a wide variety of characters.

What methods do they use for this?

There are two approaches.

In the classic “outside to inside” method, the actors accurately reproduce the appearance of the characters, their clothes, style, accent, and so on. An alternative approach is to get used to the role, work from the inside out. It is based on an understanding of the internal psychological motives of the characters. Both approaches will help you enter the image of a successful professional.

Five Levels of Dress Code

How to choose business clothes?

Make sure that the selected colors suit you. Clothing and accessories that are close to the face should be in harmony with the skin tone. If possible, do not buy ready-made clothes; it is best to sew costumes in the studio according to your figure.

“For interviews in a fairly conservative industry, such as banking or law, short skirts or blouses with a deep neckline are categorically not suitable.”

Business clothes, depending on their style and type, cause certain associations.

So, in a dark blue or dark gray suit, you will give the impression of a reliable and trustworthy specialist. Costumes of such colors of classic cut are especially suitable for those who work in the financial or legal sectors.

“In most cases, you yourself will try to meet the expectations that surrounding others at the moment when they appreciated your excellent appearance.”

Young women leaders are better off avoiding a range of shades, such as light and bright pink.

Representatives of creative professions, heads of advertising agencies can afford unusual fabrics with non-standard and even eccentric patterns. This will allow them to emphasize their creativity.

“Recruiters prefer not to answer questions about how much appearance affects their decisions. Judging people by their appearance is considered politically incorrect. ”

The business dress code can be divided into the following five levels:

  1. For senior management (e.g. board members). For men, it is dark blue, black or dark gray suits, snow-white shirts, discreet ties, shoes only black. Women have two-piece suits of classic cut, classic white blouses, black pumps with closed toes.
  2. Traditional business. A deviation from the strict rules of the previous level is possible here: pinstriped suits, brighter ties, and light blue shirts are acceptable. Men can wear brown shoes, and women can wear more colorful costumes and high heel shoes in beige or other colors.
  3. Casual for the head. Jackets and trousers, a tie is optional. It is permissible to wear monks instead of classic shoes – shoes without laces, but with a strap and buckle, or loafers – shoes resembling loafers in shape, but with a sole and low heels. Women can afford expressive accessories and color accents, costumes made of bright fabrics and open-toed shoes.
  4. Everyday mainstream. Casual shirts and casual trousers for men. Women can wear short-sleeved tops.
  5. Everyday basic. Neither managers nor those who want to take leadership positions, will not dress like that. In fact, we are talking about clothes that can be worn at home. The main thing in the office is to keep it clean and tidy. If you decide to wear jeans, then they should be elegant and dark in color.

Dress Up One Level Higher

To achieve career growth will help the choice of business clothes one level higher than that which is assumed by the current position.

Dressing a level below is not worth it.

It is also not recommended to choose dress code suits two levels higher: in this case, it will seem that you are dressed too formal. Dress conservatively if your work is related to finances or if you help people make important life decisions.

“Self-confidence begins with the acceptance of one’s body shell. Confident people are not trying to radically change their appearance. ”

Remember that a successful leader not only inspires respect from others but also respects employees and partners. And first of all, he shows respect for himself.

To ensure that the quality of business clothes is at the proper level, save money on its purchase and choose the best brands available to you. Use the “rule of three”: buy three times fewer clothes than before, but pay three times more for each purchase.

And do not forget to take care of your clothes. Keep it clean, tidy, ironed and ready to wear.

“Without self-discipline, there is no leader. If you cannot organize yourself, you are unlikely to be able to organize subordinates. ”

High-quality clothing, shoes, and accessories show that you are serious about your business. Create your own style, consisting of a set of characteristic features, a special professional image that inspires respect.

At the same time, do not forget that your behavior and actions should correspond to your clothing style.

Control Your Appearance

Appearance is not only clothes but also body care.

People who look after themselves badly can never make a good impression. Yes, there may be certain flaws in the appearance of a person. But some of them can be easily dealt with.

For example, balding men can significantly improve their image by simply shaving off the rest of their hair. By this, they will show that they themselves control their external appearance and not their heredity.

“If you are involved in the financial affairs of clients, helping them make decisions regarding their lives, their future or their families, then you should dress in a classic, conservative style.”

But those who wear a beard, it is difficult to control their appearance. In order for the beard to always be neat, it must always be looked after. Therefore, it is better for businessmen not to wear a beard.

You need to control not only your hair.

A professional impression can be ruined by yellow teeth, dandruff, rough skin, artificial tanning, dirty nails, unpainted hair roots, excess gel on the hair or artificial eyelashes, too strong smell of perfume, or, conversely, the smell of sweat, the smell of cigarettes, bad breath. Neither piercing, nor numerous holes in the ears, nor the like “additions” to the appearance are acceptable.

“Nowadays, most business people who have achieved outstanding success are not at all distinguished by exceptional external data.”

Control requires the choice of friends, social circle. “Tell me who your friend is, and I will say who you are.” Your environment should support your image, and not harm it.

Do Not Become a Stereotype

Few will agree that a schematic, simplified opinion or representation, in other words, a stereotype is good. Nevertheless, stereotypes live, because with their help it is easier for us to understand the world around us, they help us identify patterns in the behavior of others.

“Anyone who wants to take a responsible position in a particular area should understand how important his image is.”

Some stereotypes can seriously interfere with career growth.

Both women and men need to avoid being ranked as one of the following common types:

  • “Fairy Tinker Bell” (women). These ladies are fluttering around the office. They are always in high spirits, smiling, gently cooing and gently shaking hands. Their clothing style is all pretty. “Fairies” are never promoted because they seem too emotional to superiors. They will not hurt to think about a more serious professional image.
  • “Kim Kardashian” (women). Tight clothing, maximum naked body, many accessories. Any way out is designed to hit. Such ladies rarely receive a promotion because they do not give others the opportunity to celebrate their professional abilities. At work, it is impossible to combine the image of a professional with sex appeal.
  • “Callous careerist” (women). Tough and implacable, such bosses want to belong to the “men’s club” and therefore try to dress like men. They achieve success and a certain career growth, but nothing more than that. To avoid this fate, they should learn to establish friendships, to form a community of allies that will help in difficult times.
  • “Dwight Schrute” (men and women). This character of the comedy television series “Office” is famous for the complete lack of common sense and communication skills. To make such an impression at work is to put an end to your career.
  • “Superman” (men and women). These heads look like pictures: well-groomed hair and nails, expensive watches, shiny shoes and a walk to match her. Although at first they quickly advance in service, it often turns out that such leaders do not know how to work effectively. True leaders, by contrast, are able to constantly achieve outstanding results. They look at the same time, although professionally, but quite usually. Appearance is important, but it will not replace professional skills.
  • “People in Gray” (men). These characters are described in Michael End’s novel “Momo”. They have gray hair, a gray complexion, gray suits. They are gray in everything. Such colorless employees will never succeed in attracting attention to themselves. Correction of this impression will allow the manifestation of sincere dedication to their work and cheerfulness.
  • Only one who meets the generally accepted image of a leader can get a leadership position.
  • Even if a person does not look like a leader at all, he may well become one.
  • If a person believes in himself, then others will believe in him.
  • One effective way to enter the role of a professional is to start acting like a professional.
  • The professional image of a person is determined by his clothing style, manner of conversation, attitude to work, as well as the circle of communication.
  • The first impression of a person develops instantly, and it is the most important.
  • If you have an unfavorable first impression, then trying to change it is futile.
  • To achieve promotion at work, you should dress one level higher than what the current position requires.
  • Always get only high-quality business clothes will help this rule: every time buy three times fewer things, but three times more expensive.
  • If your behavior is similar to one of the common negative stereotypes, it can greatly damage your career growth.

Why You Should Read “The Image of Leadership”

  • To look professional
  • To make a good impression
  • To know dress code rules

This book is available as:

AudiobookeBook | Print