I enjoy fine suits, Allen Edmonds Park Avenues and designer shirts and ties. It’s how I do business when making deals, creating strategy or managing projects. It is congruent with how I work and who I am as a business executive and professional.
However, anyone can put on a suit. It’s easy to go spend money (if you’re not cheap) and look the part. It’s only part of the equation. There are a lot of other things that are easy as well:
- Buying books you’ll never read
- Selling words instead of knowledge
- Buying a new computer
- Loading your computer with fancy software you use superficially
- Buying high end athletic gear
- Attending networking meetings and calling it sales
- Attending meetings without results
- Throwing money at problems
- Yelling when things don’t go your way
You can do many of these things and believe you are a leader, salesperson, marketing professional, entrepreneur or whatever comfort title makes you feel important. They’re easy and accessible.
Just because you can get the goods now that used to be out of reach doesn’t change what is still valuable. Merchandise, things and accoutrements have become democratized. The world still demands what is behind the veneer. You know, the hard stuff:
- What do you really know?
- Can you solve problems?
- Do you blame or take responsibility?
- Can you get things done?
- Can you articulate?
- Do you care?
- Can you connect with people?
- Can you create clarity?
- Do you have courage?
- Do you take risks?
- Are you hard working?
- Do you have passion?
In a nutshell, it’s leadership. Too bad it doesn’t always come dressed in a suit. No, it’s not something bought. It’s substance, conviction and talent that comes from a price being paid beyond the material. It is what separates those that appear and those that are the real thing.
I look for these kind of people to do business with. It makes business more fun in the spirit of partnership. The easy stuff can be left for those that want to play the mirage game of life. Give me the real stuff.
What’s in your suit?