Make no mistake; if you are managing people, everyone is watching you.
If you hold a managerial position you are setting the tone and culture for future leaders of the company.
With the understanding that a leader's priority is to develop more leaders, the example you set is crucial. Employees will take notice of how you appear, behave and communicate and will derive their own leadership habits from their experience of you.
Setting the direction for a highly professional and cohesive corporate image is an action that simply speaks louder than words. Our appearance has the power to make people trust in our capabilities or question our credibility.
Confirmation bias, by definition, is the tendency to interpret new evidence as endorsement of our own existing beliefs. If our appearance and behaviours consistently project an image that is professional and capable we will be received as such. Our teams and colleagues will have an easy time accepting and following our leadership vision and values.
If our behaviours, communication and appearance are inconsistent it will be difficult for our teams to feel stable. As a result, the moods and performance of your team will be as unpredictable as the leadership. Change will be difficult to implement and improvements may even seem disingenuous.
On the off chance that your appearance, behaviours and communication style is poor it's likely that your team will have serious problems with engagement, achieving outcomes and culture. It's been said many times that employees leave managers - they don't leave their jobs.
Today more than ever we need inspirational leadership. People are seeking someone to follow who will make them feel like they are part of something important. Take the time to optimise your appearance. Ensure your professional wardrobe is fit for purpose. Be disciplined about your behaviours and communications. Give your team a leader they can trust and who motivates them on sight. Because, believe me, they are watching. All of the time.