A good friend of mine was commenting on a local business luncheon with the town mayor that reveals something of the state of the economy and the nation. He reported:
“There are no pre-determined topics. Attendees can discuss any issue they like concerning challenges to their business and/or governmental issues that they would like to discuss.
“The first, and pretty much only, topic of the day was the difficulty in finding employees with a good work ethic. At this point in our culture, this is kind of like discussing the need for a cure for the common cold: everyone agrees on the need; few if any have a viable solution; fewer are willing to take initiative and try.
“At a certain point, a woman at the table mentioned her frustration with the lack of proper dress among her employees. She is the manager of a senior assisted health care facility and many of her employees are high school or college students who work part-time. She said in spite of her discussions with and counseling of the employees, they continue to arrive for work dressed like they were about to climb into bed. If that isn’t enough, she said she is also challenged with having them (men and women) wear enough clothing, if you know what I mean.
“As the discussion continued, the mayor was fully engaged in the topic and in complete agreement with the woman and others on the panel. He stressed the need to teach young people “how to dress for interviews.” Throughout the luncheon, as he was nodding in agreement,the mayor sat at our table wearing a golf shirt, untucked, and shorts that matched the color of his flip flops!”
What is wrong with this story?
Of course, it is wrong that there are not more employees with a strong work ethic and a sense of presenting themselves appropriately at work.
However, what we need much more are Americans who can step up to the plate and be examples or representative characters to others both inside and outside the workplace. It is one thing to complain about how workers present themselves and yet another to look at yourself and ask how you might better present yourself so as to inspire others to greater respect and responsibility.
Today’s culture teaches that it does not matter how one dresses as long as one feels comfortable. However, as the business luncheon indicated, how one dresses does matter and it does have an effect on the work that is being done. What is missing is that sense of honor whereby one holds oneself to high standards despite the sacrifice or discomfort involved. A resolution that might have come out of this luncheon would be: let us dress in a manner that will serve as an example to those whom we employ. Let us defy our “everything-goes” culture and be ourselves the model that is missing. Because presentation does matter.
Do you have any examples that illustrate presentation matters?