While listening to The Sean Hannity radio show while driving home last night, I heard an interesting discussion on Sarah Palin's resignation.
A male caller from Brooklyn weighed in with his wisdom;
"She's too good looking for politics, she will never be taken seriously."
"Do you really believe that?"
"Yeah, to make it as Senator, or to the Presidential level, you have to look like Hillary Clinton or Madeline Albright."
I'd like to hear your take on this…your honest take. Here's mine;
I'm with Brooklyn boy. Hate to say it, but this is the way the world works. An attractive woman needs to work twice as hard to prove she is intelligent. Once she proves it, she is always proving it, she is never off the hook.
I've worked in a male dominated business my entire career. I hid my modeling past for this very reason- who the hell is going to take me seriously in high tech with that background?
1) Always downplay your looks. Wear pantsuits, stand tall and intimidate them with self confidence.
2) No girlie stuff – nix the heavy makeup, long nails and pumps. Pull your hair back, and hold the perfume.
3) Flirting is a bad move, there's no place for it. None.
4) Be tough, direct and non apologetic.
5) And most importantly – cry and you're dead.
I cried once in my entire career. I tried like hell to hold it in, but the issue being discussed impacted my children (I missed part of their Halloween due to business travel) only to come back to my a-hole boss ranking on me about why I didn't stay on site.
Good news is those four tears were followed by the first and only time I dropped an f-bomb in business. The tears dried up, I freaked on the guy, and had him literally begging me to settle down and asking me what I needed (he was scared as hell I was going to quit because I was his top sales person).
In the end I got him….but I still regret crying.
Bottomline: good looks can play to your advantage in business situations, but when you get to the Executive Level, you find yourself standing in a hole that you never stop digging out of.
I have a feeling I may get hammered on this one, so pound away,