The link between clothing and leadership may at first seem obscure but, as coach, consultant and author Glynis Mackenzie has proved time and again, in the workplace, fashion is anything but frivolous.
“When you discover your true style, your clothes become a means to an end, rather than an end in themselves. They support you to get from where you are now to where you want to be,” she says.
Dressing for success can increase your energy
Mackenzie believes that, while the right outfit can make you feel ready to take charge, wearing clothes that don’t reflect your purpose, or which do not resonate with your lifestyle, drain you of your energy.
In the workplace, where so much depends on your assertiveness and ability to make yourself stand out, this can have a significant impact on your career.
With this in mind, Mackenzie maintains that clothing has little to do with following trends, and everything to do with building a unique personal style that contributes to self-esteem. This makes for polished professionalism, helping your exert your influence – and, given the fact that women leaders in South Africa are in short supply, this is crucial for women in business.
It’s vital for companies too, given the implications of the Women Empowerment and Gender Equality (WEGE) Bill, which stipulates that companies must do everything they can to develop strategies, frameworks and policies to encourage the development of women in the workplace, whilst removing causes of discrimination.
Match your leadership style with your personal style
Glynis believes that businesswomen should uncover their true potential by understanding their leadership strengths and attributes.
Would you describe yourself as ‘hands-on’, or do you prefer to give others the tools they need, and then let them manage themselves?
Once you have identified your leadership style, create a personal style to match this. So rather than dashing off to the mall to create a ‘new you’, the above approach is intended to show businesswomen how clothes can be an effective tool for self-discovery.
All businesswomen are concerned about polishing their professionalism, to be ‘boardroom ready’ for life and ultimately, lead with true self-confidence.
To find out more about Glynis Mackenzies’ corporate or individual sessions, contact 082 551 4985 or visit www.livingonpurpose.co.za site.