The Total Geek Look Does Not Create Positive Personal Impact

Today is Tuesday, so this post is on powerful personal impact.

Looking good is one way to create positive personal impact.  Last week, I discussed clothing.  Today, I’d like to discuss accessories – especially electronic accessories. 

In a recent Wall Street Journal, columnist Teri Agins had some interesting things to say about electronic accessories.

“We are lucky to live in the age of cell phones, PDAs and other electronic helpers – all small enough to tote around with us all the time.  But too many folks have gotten tethered to their techie toys – especially men, who typically don’t carry purses, like to have their gear within easy reach, and can’t be bothered with retooling their look when they leave the office.  It’s understandable if you have a tech-heavy position, like the support desk, when you need to be ready, like a fireman with tools dangling from every belt loop.

“But as soon as you start socializing with work colleagues, you need to make a switch out of your trinket-laden uniform.  Store you headsets and Bluetooth earpieces in your pocket or laptop case.  As long as the clip-on holster for your blackberry is worn far to one side (it’s more hidden that way) and at your natural waistline (not sagging under your gut) you’ll look polished, rather than resembling Mr. Fix-it.  After hours, limit yourself to one gadget on your belt.

“Meanwhile, too many of us have lost all sense of decorum: it’s rude – and looks uncool – to keep glancing down, fidgeting, text-messaging and monitoring email.  Be an attentive guest and shut of your devices for a while.  You’ll be forced to tune into the world that surrounds you.”

I think this is some pretty good, common sense advice.  I take it one step further.  I think a cell phone or blackberry in a holster detracts from your overall image.  I see no sense in wearing one when you’re not at work. 

Of course, I’m old school.  I always follow the advice that John Molloy dispensed in Dress for Success in the early 1970s (the pre tech revolution days).  He suggested that men should carry only a single, thin, elegant pen in their shirt pocket.  In his view, it is not a good idea to clutter your appearance with too many work tools.  I can only think of what he would have to say about people who wear two holstered cell phones or Blackberries along with a pager on their belt and a flash drive on a lanyard around their neck.

More than anything however, I agree with Ms Agins’ point about shutting down, or at least ignoring electronic gadgets when you are in conversation with other people. 

It’s only common sense.  If you want to create positive personal impact, pay attention to the person in front of you, not the ones screaming for your attention electronically.

That’s it for today.  Thanks for reading.  Log on to my website for more common sense.  I am not posting regularly on my blog right now, as I want to concentrate on this one.  It is still up though. Please don’t cancel your RSS feed as I will be posting there occasionally.  And, you can still get a free ebook version of my book 4 Secrets of High Performing Organizations by visiting . 

I’ll see you around the web and at Alex’s Lemonade Stand.


PS: Speaking of Alex’s Lemonade Stand, my fundraising page is still open.  Please go to to read Alex’s inspiring story and to donate if you can.

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