Corporate Consultant, Executive Coach, Motivational Speaker, Popular Media Guest. Troubled about the rapid corporate down-sizing? Work with a noted expert to acquire tips, tools and savvy to reposition yourself during transition and Fast Track Your Career. Learn how to discover and Maximize your under-utilized Assets. Ask Arlene arrange for an evaluation: mailto:email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org Ask Arlene Arlene B. Isaacs, September 12, 2005 This weekly column is for anyone who’s ever been baffled by professional protocol, stumped by how to communicate with authority. confused about delegating, unable to productively network, unskilled at effective emailing Q: Hey Arlene, I’ve got a question for you. How much should personal appearance count professionally? I mean, if you’ve got brains, shouldn’t that be all that matters? A: Ah, yes, you might think this – but the answer, in short, is no. It’s not all that matters. Not even close. An example: In an episode of “The Apprentice,” Donald Trump was sitting in a conference room across the table from a dozen anxious candidates. This was a chance at the platinum ring many consider to rival a Harvard MBA – with a handsome salary to boot. Trump fixed his gaze on one person before asking, “Are you brilliant enough to overcome your image?” The candidate was decked out in a purple polyester suit and sported greasy, scruffy hair. The question was followed by a deep, dark silence. “You’re FIRED!” Talk about a costly lesson! This candidate came so close – having been selected from tens of thousands of applicants – only to be dismissed because he insisted on defiantly expressing his “individuality” in the form of bad clothes and poor hygiene. An “in your face” demeanor doesn’t work in the Trump Organization, or in the majority of corporations – until YOU become the CEO, that is. Contrary to popular opinion, brains alone are not enough. You need tips, tools and savvy to represent yourself with confidence in any arena. A big part of that is, yes, the way you dress and present yourself.?