The Understated Business Approach

appearances substance style
Understated is a great approach.

Drop the formalities. Get real and stop the bull.

There was a lot more selling going on with wining and dining in the old days. That was before we were able to put our thoughts out there and people could see inside our minds and our work online.

Paradoxically, we could hide behind appearances even though we were closer and more intimate.

When we are forced to put ourselves out there and people can judge for themselves, as well as compare with competitors at light speed, you better be the real thing.

We get a lot of success stories of people that are focused on doing great work and bypass the shenanigans of trying to merely present. I like reading about Mark Cuban’s history and how he worked hard and learned an industry. Though he’s a billionaire, he dresses casually like a regular guy and acts like the biggest fan at Mavs games.

I like hearing about how Jack Dorsey had visions of cross-communication broadcasting to launch Twitter as a service. The work was the focus and pushing it out to the masses to enjoy was the passion. He is highly successful but still plunges into the rigor of running two businesses full throttle.

I love this video of Steve Jobs dressed casually and speaking frankly with the Cupertino City Council. No fancy presentation or power trip. He comes as himself and creates a dialogue and tells a story to connect, be heard and be human.

These guys are understated in their business approach. They are the real thing. They are the smartest guy in the room and they don’t feel like they have to prove anything or bolster an image to get respect.

I get suspicious of people that try too hard. The tall guy sitting too quiet depending on his height. The beauty queen dolled up and overselling her looks to get business. The jargon fanatic that likes to use cryptic acronyms and corporate speak.

Many times, they are covering up a deficit. Sometimes it’s an intelligence deficit. Other times, it is a knowledge gap insecurity.

People that are smart, know how to get things done, have ideas and can solve problems are badly needed to deal with all the complexity today.

I guess the thing about the new economy I love and gravitate to is that the heroes are typically understated yet powerful. They don’t need to hide behind the gimmicks or try to maintain appearances. They can focus on the work and be excellent at their craft.

You may see me in a suit or driving a nice car. But that isn’t what matters. What matters is can we get you to the goal together and is there something special you hope would be there and really is.

Substance over style and being understated in your business approach can free up a lot of mind energy on useless things. I vote for real and I think the world is agreeing more every day in our total access world.

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