When It Comes To Leadership, Appearance Is Important

Thursday, January 24, 2019

By Tom Grandy 

A study was recently conducted at a busy intersection of a major city.  A man, we’ll call him John, was dressed in dirty jeans, hair uncombed, unshaven and his shirt tails were hanging out.  John was placed at a busy intersection in front of dozens of unaware bystanders and instructed to walk across the intersection when the light was still green but there were no vehicles in sight. 

The moment arrived and John walked across the intersection alone no one followed.

Fast forward a day or two.  John is on the same corner with the same instructions.  However, this time John had shaved, showered, and is dressed in a really sharp suit and tie with shoes polished.  The light is green with no cars in sight.  John steps off the curb and heads across the street.  One other thing happened.  The dozen or so people behind him also stepped off the curb and followed him across the street!

What's the point?  When it comes to providing leadership appearance does make a difference.  Now I am not promoting a suit and tie wardrobe for technicians but I am strongly suggesting that appearance does make a difference when it comes to leadership.  It makes a difference in the eyes of the customer.  It makes a difference in the eyes of your manager and it sets the technician apart from the other technicians.

A customer's assessment of a job well done is not simply based on technical expertise in term of fixing a problem.  Neatly dressed, polite technicians make a statement to the customer as well.  Let's face it.  If two technicians arrived at your house, each with similar technical expertise, and one was clean shaven with a clean uniform on and the other was un kept in a dirty uniform (if he even had a uniform on) which one would give you a warm fuzzy feeling?  Now some are thinking "But Tom, that's not fair."  Well I agree, but it's the impression left with the customer that counts!

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