This afternoon, I had the opportunity to represent my institution, Duke School, at the Durham Chamber of Commerce‘s executive luncheon which was hosted by the local ABC news channel, ABC11 WTVD. I had an awesome time meeting some great leaders from around the area and discussing the impact that WTVD has on the Piedmont. After the business portion of the luncheon, all of the guests had the opportunity to have some fun in the studio and meet the journalists that many of us see every morning before work.
Now, yesterday, when I was asked to attend the luncheon, I’ll be honest, I was looking kind of rough by my standards (which may be decent for others but I certainly wasn’t at my best). As you may have read in last week’s blog post on beard season, I’m letting my beard grow for the winter but that doesn’t change the fact that I must keep a professional appearance. My barber, Jennifer, at Rock’s Bar And Hair Shop has been out for the past week and I was extremely worried that she wouldn’t be there before I had to go to this luncheon. Thankfully, I called yesterday right after agreeing to go to the luncheon and, thank God, she was back in the shop. So, I asked for a low fade and, as always, Jennifer did an exceptional job.
What does this have to do with being ready to lead, you ask? Well, if I hadn’t had a haircut, I wouldn’t have felt comfortable volunteering to be the anchor for the luncheon’s mock news report and my institution wouldn’t have gotten recognized online by the Durham Chamber of Commerce nor ABC.
So, this post is about two things: 1) always look your best, especially when you know there is a chance that photographs will be taken (or, in this case, when you’ll be on TV) and 2) when given the opportunity to strengthen your brand and the brand of your employer, take it. Someone else could have stepped up to the plate but I knew that Duke School and I could benefit from the exposure. Don’t run from the camera. Run to it and, when it’s cut on, smile.
Now, time to head to the Chamber’s Business After Hours event. If you’re local, and looking to better brand yourself, this is a great group to be a part of.
I will leave reporting the news to the experts.
Make professional development a priority.