The Elegant Executive Blog

Know Your Audience

Should tattoos, piercings and wacky hair keep a relatively new professional from being introduced to senior leaders at a critical brainstorming session? This question was posed by a manager at my last generational program in Seattle. This individual was super smart, enthusiastic and would probably add significant value by being in the room, but the manager felt her appearance might have a negative impact on the EVPs present. Should he bring her along? The ensuing discussion was robust. Most audience members (also managers) were sympathetic to both the talented young professional and her manager. Keeping good employees engaged means including them whenever…

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Nancy Mitchell Joins Neels & Company

Nancy Mitchell is now Chief of Protocol and the go-to source for etiquette education at Neels & Company. With over 25 years of experience, Nancy serves as protocol and special events consultant to the Library of Congress, the world’s largest library and cultural center, where she was director of special events and protocol for more than two decades. In her former position at the Library of Congress, Nancy and her staff were responsible for planning and managing more than 400 events each year. She coordinated the institution’s major special events, visits of heads of state and other foreign dignitaries, fundraising…

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Professionally Persistent

Yesterday I received a sales call from someone I met recently who would like to do business. While I’m not in need of his services at the moment, I would certainly like to keep in touch. He understood that the timing wasn’t right, and asked if he could be “professionally persistent” and call me next month. I almost fell out of my chair. Yes! Please, be persistent in a professional manner. Not aggressively so: “I’ve been calling you for months, isn’t it time we do business together?”, nor the reverse, painfully meek: “You probably have found another source by now,…

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