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The Sad Truth About
Most HR managers concede they want to hire the more clean-cut employee. In fact, according to, piercings (37%) are the top physical attribute that may limit an employee’s career potential, followed by bad breath (34%) and visible tattoos (31%). But today, tattoos or piercings are just as likely to be found on the kindergarten teacher, bank manager, or real estate agent.

Nearly half of 26-40-year-olds (40%) have tattoos and 22% of 26-40-year-olds have at least one body piercing, according to the Pew Research Center. What does a tattoo or body piercing have to do with the skill, talent, knowledge and determination of an employee? Nothing!

I got my first gray hair when I was 12. By the time I was 25, I had a head-full of gray hair. When I was dating my wife, we went to a college football game that her older brother had also attended. We didn’t know he was there, and I guess he didn’t approach us because maybe he thought it might be awkward. Why would it be awkward? Because, “appearance wise”, it looked like his sweet little sister was dating a much older man. He had no idea that it was I who was dating the older woman; my wife is 6 months older than I am.

For the most part, my gray hair was very helpful to me in business. I started my first company when I was 24 years old, but I LOOKED a lot older; little did they know, I was brand new to the world of business. But it has hurt me, as well. I once lost a speaking engagement because a meeting planner told my agent that she felt I couldn’t relate to her younger salespeople because of my gray hair; appearance to her was everything. My experience of selling in over 20 countries meant nothing. I always wondered if she would have hired me, had I been bald?

What does appearance have to do with knowledge, talent, skill or for that matter wealth? Here’s a question for you: Who would you give the most respect to … someone who drives up to your office in a Rolls Royce, wearing an expensive Italian suit, a Rolex watch, and carrying a beautiful alligator briefcase … OR … a man in an old pickup truck, wearing jeans, plaid shirt, work boots and a baseball cap? Most people would fall all over themselves trying to impress the first man and not the second. BUT, the first man is driving a rental car and everything else is being paid for with a stolen credit card. The second man, is a billionaire, who owns several ranches, numerous companies and sponsors a NASCAR race team. The renowned Greek storyteller, Aesop, was so right when he stated, “Looks can be deceiving.”

Quit putting so much value into age and appearance. Some bosses don’t listen to young employees, because, in their opinion, they aren’t knowledgeable and talented enough, to deserve to be listened to. Mozart was performing piano concerts across Europe at the age of 6. Bill Gates wrote his first computer program at the age of 13 and at 31 he had made his first billion dollars. AND, some people don’t listen to old folks because they feel they really don’t have anything NEW to contribute. At 88, Michelangelo completed his sculpture Roudandini Pieta. At 89, classical pianist Arthur Rubinstein performed his famous concert at New York’s Carnegie Hall.

You will never know who people are and what they can contribute until you get past “how they look.” I think the highly respected 17th century French fabulist and poet, Jean de La Fontaine said it best: “Beware as long as you live, of judging people by their appearance.”

Appearances make an impression …
but personality, talent,
knowledge, and
will make the IMPACT

RULE #56:
Establish a two-way
mentoring program
where the seasoned veterans
help bring along the
new folks (young)
and share their
experiences / knowledge
and have the young folks share
their expertise in current
social media, software, apps
and technology (etc.).

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Seeking Excellence Inc.
Tel: (727) 789-2727 Cell: (727) 421-7622

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