The Elegant Executive Blog

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.

What’s Worse than Flip-flops?

I grew up in St. Petersburg, Florida, where flip-flops were what we kids wore to the beach, pool and around the neighborhood when we weren’t wearing our roller skates. These plastic, quasi-disposable “shoes” were merely a means to avoid blisteringly hot sand and black-top, otherwise we were happy to be barefoot. No adults ever wore them past the swimming pool parking lot. Whenever I see professionals wearing these play shoes with skirts, dresses or pants, I cringe. The message they are sending is “I’m really a kid at heart and frankly, would rather be barefoot.” I’m not so sure that’s…

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Destructive Delusions #3

3. Changing Others: “I have an obligation to change others who act unfairly or obnoxiously.” It’s impossible to change another person’s thinking, behavior or outlook. We can share information that may have an impact on one’s thinking, behavior, or outlook, but the recipient has to be ready to hear it and act upon it. You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink. If you feel that it’s an obligation to “fix” someone at work or home, stop right now and think about all the faults and shortcomings you have that could benefit from this energy instead….

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Destructive Delusions #2

2. Making Mistakes: “I must prove thoroughly competent, adequate, and achieving at all times.” Re-read that sentence, and really let it sink in. Now, think about some of the biggest lessons you’ve learned over the course of your life. In each case, I’ll bet you learned more through your mistakes than your accomplishments. To err is human, right? We have good days and bad days, and many days somewhere in between. Give yourself a break when you make mistakes. Admit when you’re wrong, learn from the experience and move on.

Q-1 Style Update (Corporate Dress)

Now is the time to take advantage of post-holiday sales and add some color to your wardrobe. In many parts of the country, January is cold and dreary. If you’re lucky enough to live in Southern California or Florida maybe this post isn’t for you. But for readers from Maine to Minnesota and clear down to Memphis, read on to learn how to give your wardrobe a little lift that will help transition from the winter doldrums to the first hints of spring. Gentlemen The easiest way to punch up your wool suit is with a colorful shirt and tie…

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I Hate to Shop! E-books about to launch

We divide women into two categories: those who love to shop, and those who hate it. If you find yourself in the latter group, our I Hate to Shop! But Still Want to Look Great guides were written just for you! My editor assures me the e-books will be ready January 15th, as planned. Do you have a closet full of clothing but nothing to wear? Are you at the point where you know you need to refresh your work wardrobe, but you just don’t know where to start? Do you find yourself leaving stores empty handed because nothing fits…

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Destructive Delusions #1

For the New Year, I invite you to review the “Dirty Dozen Destructive Delusions” put forth a number of years ago by the American Management Association. Some may not apply to you, but I’ll bet a box of bons bons that at least one does. Let 2012 be the year to detatch from these energy drainers and realize that the name of the game is progress, not perfection. 1. Needing Approval: “Everyone I work with must approve of me at all times.” You feel that pit in your stomach when someone in a meeting disagrees with something you said. You second-guess…

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Being Quick to Apologize Makes You a Winner

I find the holidays stressful and am always quite happy to see the calendar turn over to January 2nd. In addition to eating too much, and perhaps drinking a little too much bubbly, I don’t sleep well and find myself short on patience between Thanksgiving and New Years. This year I snapped, unfortunately, and had to do some major damage control, which started with a heartfelt apology. When you’ve done something to annoy, offend or really tick someone else off, the best way out of it is to say you’re sorry, without the “if” so often placed after the “sorry,”…

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Post-Christmas Shopping

While electronics and toys are the items of choice for Black Friday shoppers, softer goods, such as clothing and luxury handbags, shoes and other accessories are what shoppers want after Santa’s departure and the stores are full of great deals. Neiman Marcus, for example, has taken an additional 25% off clothing already marked down 30-50%. This is the perfect time to add something special to the basics in one’s wardrobe: a cashmere sweater, a silk scarf, a pair of wool trousers, an expensive dress that’s not so expensive with the discounts, etc. Just remember to make a list and a budget before…

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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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