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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Dress for Success in Everything You Do

Written by  Duane Bailey

My oldest son and I attended a ceremony for newly licensed drivers at the County courthouse the other day. Like any other parent-son activity, I seized the opportunity to use it as a teachable moment – this time on dressing for success.

When I was growing up, business suits were reserved for special occasions. My dad is a retired factory worker and rarely wore a suit and tie. Etched in my memory is the one instance when he attended a court proceeding. I remember his telling me how important it was to wear a well-pressed suit and tie. It was a sign of respect, he said, for the authority of the court and the people who worked there.

And so it never occurred to me to show up to the courthouse in anything less. As we stood in line at the entrance, we were amazed at what we saw – there were teens in shorts and t-shirts, parents in blue jeans and polo shirts and only a handful with a tie and no jacket. I told my son not to worry. As I learned in sales, there is no such thing as over-dressing.

As the judge entered the room, we observed the usual protocol of rising and then sitting when told to do so. The judge addressed us from the Bench, reminding the teens and their parents of the seriousness of the responsibility they were about to undertake. The ceremony concluded with her presenting each parent-son couple the teen’s new driver’s license.

When our turn came, I and the young man who came dressed for success politely thanked the judge. I could tell by the smile on her face she sensed my son was ready to assume his new responsibility. I know I did. I could tell by the way he was dressed.

Duane Bailey

Duane Bailey

Duane Bailey is a regular contributor to The Chief Storyteller® online conversation. He has helped organizations of all sizes drive growth in revenues and market share through the development and delivery of key business messages that resonate with target audiences. He holds an MBA in International Business and a BS in Marketing. He brings 28 years of experience in marketing communications and high technology sales.

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