This is a guest blog by Chris O’ Hara
Ever noticed that everyone in executive management positions speak in the exact same annoying, almost clone like, subdued, yet slightly rude, Ben Affleck voice. They even have the same mannerisms in the way they act and dress. It’s like there is a secret training club where directors go and learn these skills. Actually there is a club, and I’ve been there, but tell no-one, or I may be at risk of losing my spleen.
Here are 4 ways to develop an executive persona:
1. The look:
Imitate the way these people dress; they look smart and clean – like they should be taken seriously. Buy a good quality suit, one that looks expensive but doesn’t stand out too much. You can find these in clothing outlets for a decent price if you look closely enough. The key is in the way it fits. Not too baggy, not too tight. Also, cut your hair and make sure you are clean shaven. Think American Psycho. You may even want to buy a pair of reading glasses, even if you don’t need them. It’s a nice touch when you are reading ‘important’ memos.
2. The body:
The new breed of executive has what’s known as an “executive body.” If you are ambitious and under 40, this is the body you will need to acquire. It’s not hard to achieve, just do some crunches and light weights. The aim is to look toned and tight, if you get what I mean. For those over 40, we will be going for the very-slightly-over-weight look. If you have a medium build, try to put on a couple of extra pounds by snacking on candy or chips or whatever. We are going for a build that looks a little bit menacing, but would not be classified as fat. Remember it’s all about fitting in. You don’t want the other over 40’s getting jealous because you have a firm, ‘abs-to-die-for’ physique, or abusing you for being overweight. Now, an important point for people who are thin; you must acquire one of the above bodies, depending on which age category you fall into. A quick and easy way to put on weight is to drink luke warm glasses of used cooking oil, but be careful because this can cause coronary heart disease and cancer of the rectum.
3. The talk:
Content is not important here, it’s all how you say it. The trick is to speak clearly and concisely, but also sound a bit rushed. You must also sound as if you are thinking about something else too, and try to tone down any accents you may have. You must speak to people in such a way that you almost sound rude, but could never actually be classified as being rude. When your phone rings, cough so your throat becomes a little raw, and move your Adam’s apple towards the back of your trachea. Turn your head down slightly, and answer the ringing phone by saying your last name only. By doing this you give off an air of authority instantly, and as a plus you will probably scare away any pesky telephone-sales employees.
4. The walk:
This will probably be one of the most difficult challenges. When you see a CEO or managing director walk, it always looks like they are walking with meaning. They don’t quite look rushed, but we know they must be going somewhere very important, to do something very important. They may just be walking to the toilet, but they still walk with the same air of confidence that exclaims, “I am a crucial individual, get out of my way, minions.” The trick in acquiring this walk is visualization. I like to imagine myself walking to the counter in Burger King when I’m hungry, if anything gets in my way, you’re dead meat baby. So yeah, play around with different ideas, and see what works for you in your quest for greatness. But remember, you are far more important than anyone else.