Clothing does send a message. But there’s an enormous side benefit to a well-groomed appearance and general sense of “dressing up” — it gives you a lift. Big time. One of the greatest advocates of this philosophy is my friend Bill Shaddy. As a former International HR Director at Pepsi, Bill knows “the right stuff” when it comes to stocking his closet. These days, however, things are a little more complicated. ill, I should explain, has been living with MS for the last 18 years and snaps are just easier than wrangling with a button and bitty hole. Rain or shine, Bill dresses up. His only concession is a stylish cane by his side.
the real measure of Ms Sullivan’s Executive Presence is surely her grace under fire. The rebranding took place during extraordinarily challenging financial pressure: plummeting stock prices, selling off the men’s and kid’s divisions; criticism for overpaying for recently purchased casual retailer J. Jill. Throughout all this public scrutiny, Ms Sullivan and her team rolled out the rebranding and never lost their poise or their vision.
Creating the right image is a powerful tool for success. This is as true for corporations as it is for individuals. Over the last few months, I’ve been fascinated to watch as traditional retailer Talbots re-branded itself from a chain for conservative, some would say stodgy, sixty-somethings to a destination store for younger, hipper, edgier, career women.