Always look the part...

I play the role of mentor to one of the younger guys in my office.

A few weeks ago, I told him that, if he wanted to move up in the company/career, I thought it was time for him to "raise his game" in terms of his appearance.

His work ethic and results are impeccable, but his image needed a makeover. Not an extreme one, but it was time to move from cargo pants and polo shirts to slacks and dress shirts.

"Look, when you are meeting customers and partners, you need to look your best. If you are just in the office, a more casual look is fine."

He had done so admirably. People have noticed. He looks good.

I should have listened to my own advice.

Today, almost on a whim, I went to the office [there was no pressing need to do so, but it actually worked out for a variety of reasons].

Since I had no meetings scheduled and aside from Mondays, the office is usually deserted (remember these are salespeople out on appointments with customers), I opted for a bit more casual look...slacks and a polo.

I wasn't a mess, but, of course, today would turn out to be the day where I met my new boss (our General Manager is moving on and in a managed transition; my area is merging with an adjacent area).

So, my new boss, impeccably dressed-straight out of GQ- is introduced to me and here I am thinking, "I can't believe my luck!"

Like the old commercial saying goes,

"you never get a second chance to make a first impression."

And, dear partners, I would hope that you will learn from my mistake.

You never know when you'll meet a customer or a prospect or a potential partner.

It's easy to slack off (trust me, I have 2 kids under 4 and Sundays are 'wear whatever you want day'), but I daresay, the extra few minutes of investment may not have big payoffs, but by not making the investment, you may avoid a loss.