The Elegant Executive Blog

Destructive Delusions #6

6. Worry, Fret, and Fear: “If something seems dangerous or fearsome, I must preoccupy myself with it and make myself anxious about it.” Are you an expert when it comes to playing the anxiety tape over and over in your head, convincing yourself that something is dangerous and fearsome? If worry did anyone any good, I’d be all for it, but it only serves to make the worrier, and often those around her, miserable. So much of life is out of our hands completely, so it makes sense to drop the worry beads, and trust that the world is unfolding…

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Destructive Delusions #5

5. Others Cause Misery: “My emotional misery comes from external pressures that I have little ability to change.” It’s known as the blame game and most of us participate in pointing fingers at others when the trouble lies within. Most unhappiness and misery is a direct result of the choices we make day to day, year to year. Accepting that we are responsible for our own happiness is the first step toward full fledged adulthood and genuine contentment. When you think the thought, “I’m miserable because of what he or she is doing,” think again, and honestly look at how your thinking…

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Destructive Delusions #4

4. Catastrophize: “When I get very frustrated, treated unfairly or rejected, I have to view things as awful, terrible, horrible and catastrophic.” Drama queens (and kings!) are expert at turning small incidents into big-time disasters. Do you make mole hills into mountains requiring lots of energy and effort? Do you get others into the mix, convincing them of the catastrophy? Check your thinking and if the words “awful, terrible, horrible and catastrophic” come up often, it’s time to regroup and keep things in perspective.

Why Male Execs Dress Better Than Their Female Counterparts

The truth is male executives cultivate a sense of style and dress as they develop professionally and climb the ladder to success. It’s expected that they dress in a powerful way and most rise to the challenge. No mentor would shy away from saying to up and coming Bob Smith, “Bob, that suit is atrocious! For goodness sake, go see my tailor and tell him I sent you.” However, no one will coach rising star Brittany Sanders with this admonishment: “Are you seriously going to wear THAT to the client meeting? Call my stylist and ask for an appointment asap.”…

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The Age of Entitlement

I am fascinated with the concepts of entitlement and it’s evil end, narcissism. After reading Jean Twenge’s book, “The Narcissism Epidemic – Living in the Age of Entitlement,” I have a better understanding of where a lot of bad behavior at work is coming from. In a nutshell, Twenge and her co-author, Keith Campbell, explain: Historically, entitlement meant having a social position or a claim to ownership granted by some legitimate authority. Having a title (or being entitled) meant having a clear claim to a social rank or piece of property, such as being a lord or duke in British…

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Tim Gunn’s “Quality, Taste & Style”

Tim Gunn of Bravo’s Project Runway fame has written an excellent book on creating and maintaining your personal style. It’s got plenty of fashion advice of course, but it’s the chapter entitled “Shoulders Back – Style from the Inside Out” that made me sit up, straight, and take notice. In a nutshell Mr. Gunn says all the fashion advice, clothing, make-up and positive self-talk won’t help a bit if your posture is out of whack. Instead of the standard advice of putting one’s shoulders back, Gunn instructs the reader to “pull the shoulders away from the ears.” Try that – doesn’t…

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Style Workshop

Yesterday we had the pleasure of facilitating our fun and informative Style Workshop at the law offices of Winston & Strawn. The ladies enjoyed seeing what we recommend they wear for a business casual setting, how to shop on a budget and what kinds of items they should splurge on this fall. Determining one’s figure types and color “temperatures” (cool or warm) engaged audience members, giving each new ideas and a better understanding of how to dress, always accenting the positive. Here is some of the feedback we received: “I really learned so much about what to wear and how to wear it. My favorite…

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Elegance Defined

Welcome to The Elegant Executive! I’m very happy you’re here and I hope you’ll enjoy the information, advice and suggestions put forth to make you a more elegant executive.For this first post, I’d like to share a definition of “elegant” that I like very much:Very choice, and hence, pleasing to good taste; characterized by grace, propriety, and refinement, and the absence of every thing offensive; freedom from blemish, and the like; graceful; tasteful and highly attractive; as, elegant manners; elegant style of composition; an elegant speaker; an elegant structure. (Source: Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, 1913.) The information in this blog…

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Destructive Delusions #2

2. Making Mistakes: “I must prove thoroughly competent, adequate, and achieving at all times.” Yeah, right. Every waking minute you must be perfect! Thinking like this is a one-way ticket to crazyland. As humans, we have good days and bad, triumphs and failures – it’s called living! Do your best to prepare, think through and execute the best way you know how. Find a mentor who will be honest and straight forward with you and go to this person when you’ve made a mistake and turn whatever happened into a learning experience. And don’t forget, when you fall short, be kind…

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