Lessons in conscious presentation from the Royal Wedding
Wasn’t it a wonderful wedding? I am a sucker for a bit of pageantry, and some heady romance, and yesterday had both in spades. The whole thing was orchestrated so carefully, yet came across as a completely genuine reflection of the happy couple - a very difficult balance to strike.
There is a lesson for us all in this: the conscious consideration of the impact one makes.
We do this to a certain extent with the clothes we choose to wear, whether at work or during our “home” life. But very rarely do we make a pre-meditated decision about how we want to present ourselves more generally in our working life - who we want to be perceived as.
For women, this is particularly complicated by the continuing lack of senior role models. Jenni Hallam talks about how working women can oscillate between channelling Mother Teresa and Mrs Thatcher, sometimes both in the same day. And this is partly because of a lack of identifiable options in the middle.
But until we have these role models - until we become them - we have to define for ourselves our own personal “at work” personality. We owe it to ourselves to be as conscious about our own working style as most people are about their working wardrobe.
What is your individual management, leadership, presentation and writing style? Or more crucially, what do you want it to be? Do you want to be perceived as “firm but fair”; someone "who gets stuff done”; or who “does things her own way, but always to a high standard”.
Whatever you choose, define what that looks like. How is that manifested in the way you manage, lead, present, and write? And then take action to live up to it.
Be conscious, and take ownership of your impact and your reputation. If you don’t, you risk passively presenting yourself in ways that you would rather not - and your reputation being defined for you, rather than by you.
Take a lesson from the new Duke and Duchess of Sussex - you can still be genuine, even with careful forethought.
And you are much more likely to have the reception you deserve - although perhaps without the flag-waving crowds.