THROWING MY HAT IN THE RING

 

In theory I am running for president this week as a Republican. As a theoretical candidate I expect to enter the primaries and to take part in this week’s debate. It’s a reasonable expectation since the people at the bottom of the list have less than 1% of the vote and so do I. I do not expect to be invited to take part in the 5 o’clock pre-debate with the rest of the less than one percenter’s so I am going to have to make my case on this blog. Like the rest who are running for the Republican nomination I intend to put forth a series of arguments designed to draw attention to me or any of the candidates and away from Trump. If anyone wishes to steal my ideas and claim them as their own, be my guest.

 

Before starting you should know that my suggestions are not based on great intellect or insight but on undercover research. With the help of a Republican and a Democrat we enlisted insiders to research the opinions of most of those in their groups. In spite of the fact that I had conducted similar research in corporations it turned out to be a very difficult and expensive undertaking but the results were better than even I imagined.

 

My first attention-getting argument concerns the deal we just made with the mullahs in Iran. To understand why this is so foolish you must understand that the world does not think the way Americans think and to base foreign policy on that assumption is just plain stupid. When Jimmy Carter was president he told the Shah one way to get his backing was to stop paying off the mullahs. After all, the government paying ministers to control what they said would be wrong in a Southern Baptist world and he assumed it was wrong in the Mideast. Actually it was a very common practice in that part of the world. Almost all governments in the Middle East at that time had the mullahs on their payrolls. They didn’t want these very influential people preaching against them or their policies. Once the Iranian government stopped paying them many preached against the Shah and the Ayatollah Khomeini replaced his government with a theocracy. The next president to make this mistake was George Bush. He attempted to export democracy to the Middle East and if you read the papers when it was being tried, it seemed possible. During one of the elections, the uninformed media showed people raising their dyed fingers after voting, implying that they were just like Americans. In fact, if you questioned them most would probably tell you that they were not voting to support a Democratic Iraq but an Iraq in which their group the Shiites or Sunnis would do better. Most people who live in the Middle East believe that the Muslim faith and democracy are incompatible and they are probably right.

 

However, the biggest mistake our government has made is the latest deal we made with Iran. What most people including apparently most politicians do not realize is a very small group the most radical Muslim extremist took over the country when the Ayatollah Khomeini died. Without going into detail, I can tell you today they control most of the government of Iran and their version of Islam teaches it is their duty to bring about the end of the world. Most Americans think that’s crazy and I agree but they do believe that and their Muslim neighbors believe they are serious. The minute Iran made this deal, Isis who had achieved the reputation as the most radical group in Islam by chopping off heads, having children kill other children, burning people alive, and killing others in a variety of horrible ways said that they are working to bring about the end of the world. They realize that Iran with its ability to build atomic weapons is going to try to bring about the end of the world which will make them the J.V. of radical Islam. In their world committing mass suicide to end the world in the name of Allah is such an appealing idea that they thought they had to adopt it. Which means we have signed a suicide pact with an atomically armed nation bent on ending the world. Those who are in favor of this deal say our choice is to make the deal or to go to war. What they don’t realize is Iran is already at war with us, in fact as they signed a deal they were in the streets chanting death to America. If we allow this deal to go forward in 10 to 15 years they will have atomic weapons, the technology for long-range missiles and the life expectancy of anyone living near or in a major city in the United States will be very short. One of the apologists for this suicide pact was a Hollywood star who said they love their children the same way we do. What that fellow does not realize is loving their children means they will have them blown up so that they can get into heaven.

 

A second argument that Republican candidates can use to draw attention to themselves is to accuse the Democrats of conducting a war on poor children, particularly poor black children. Point out that the Democrats have controlled the larger cities with the help of black votes for over 60 years and have chosen to send the worst teachers to the poorest areas. Explain that the only way of improving their schools is to fire those teachers but that cannot be done unless we do away with tenure in poor schools. Tell them you want them to vote for Democrats but only for those who will support good schools in poor black school districts. Promise them you will show them how to organize the mothers in each school and how this will lead to better schools. In each area form a group called MOTHERS AGAINST PERMANENT POVERTY or MAPP. This will eventually improve schools in black areas and it will put the Democratic Party in a untenable position. They will have to choose between the majority of black mothers who want their children to get a good education and the teachers unions.

 

The argument that our research indicates works best with Hispanics is to tell them since they are relatively new to the country they have a choice. They can choose to be very successful like most Orientals, fairly successful like most whites, or unsuccessful like most blacks. Start by telling them you will send them a copy of a book or a disk of a book written by an oriental mother on how to get your children into the same school as Trump’s children. If they choose not to do this they could of course encourage their children to do well in school the way most white parents do. Finally, they can choose to become black which is what the Democratic Party wants and expects. It’s easy to do because the Democrats will offer them the money without work as they did to the Blacks right after World War II when their families were more stable than white families. You must add that most children don’t do as their parents say they do as their parents do. Warn them if they choose this last route you must expect their daughters to become pregnant, drop out of the high school and live in poverty. They also should expect their sons to quit school early and in many cases to spend their lives in and out of jail. This is a daring argument but believe it or not it works. Particularly if it’s delivered by an Hispanic.

 

Finally, point out that illegal immigration hurts those at the lower end of the socio-economic scale. But don’t use the word socio- economic that’s a problem with the Republicans often sound like high school or college debaters. Democrats on the other hand are very effective communicators and they can convince people to vote for them because they make emotional arguments. Emotional arguments change votes intellectual ones, seldom do. If you point out that undocumented aliens take jobs mainly from Hispanic American citizens because they work for less you’ll be believed. Almost everyone in the Hispanic community knows someone who has lost their job to an undocumented alien. You can then point out that this situation is going to become worse if you vote for Democrats because the Democratic Party sees undocumented aliens as Democratic voters and is determined to bring in millions more. Your solution to this problem must have three steps: first secure the border, second punish employers who fire American citizens and replace them with undocumented aliens, and third pay Hispanic families to return to their countries. Since it was unfair to bring Hispanics here promising jobs which the Democratic Party did and then prevent them from making a living, I would pay each family a reasonable amount to return home. I would pay for their transportation plus enough to get started on a new life. I know the reaction of many voters to this would be negative but actually it’s cheaper than spending money on healthcare, education and other government programs. This could only be done after the border was sealed.

 

Almost 2 years ago I stopped writing this blog because I was doing insider research on political issues for two politicians. At the time I had thousands of readers, today because I stopped writing this blog I have very few . The only way my suggestions will have any impact on this election is if after reading this blog you ask half a dozen friends to check it out. If you are willing to do that by Thursday thousands should have read this blog which will make watching the debate very interesting particularly if any of the candidates use one or more of my tactics.

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HOW THE RESEARCH BEGAN.

I think it is necessary to describe how I developed the information on changing voter patterns because that will enable you to realistically evaluate the data we present.  As I mentioned insider research is very difficult and very expensive.  I would like to tell you that I conceived of insider research but that’s not accurate, I literally ran across it by accident.  A branch of a major chain closed in the Republican office holder’s district.  Both he and his Democratic counterpart were interested in what impact that would have upon the voting patterns of the laid-off employees.  Fortunately, one of the employees was also a member of the Republicans election team. She not only worked for him during elections but spent one evening every week answering the telephone at his local office.

 

He invited this 50ish mother of three to join us for lunch and asked her what she knew about the way her fellow employees were likely to vote.  To his shock and surprise she said that many of them would vote Democratic because they did not wish to lose their unemployment checks which they believed the Republicans would stop.  Several Republicans had argued on TV that paying unemployment benefits for a long period of time discourage people from looking for work.  To understand what follows you must know that this was district where Republicans won by a large margin.

 

The minute she finished speaking we arranged to have lunch with her every month for the next six months.  The report she gave after three months surprised both the Republican and the Democrat. She said that almost all of the women who worked in the same store with her were now on disability.  When we asked how this happened she said it was very easy to do.  A majority of the recently laid-off women had never reported being injured on the job when they were working at the store but with the help of a local lawyer whom I assume was a Democrat all were put on disability.  This increased the number of women who in the past voted Republican but would now vote Democratic by almost 1/3 because someone had convinced them that their disability payments like their unemployment benefits would be cut off by the Republicans.

 

After just a few months both of these career politicians were convinced that insider research was the key to uncovering valid information about voting patterns and uncovered positions they could take or thing they could do to effect those patterns.  Each of them wanted to know what they could do to get voters to vote for them and both told me to get to work and find out. I immediately challenged their assumption that insider research would  uncover all they wanted to know and pointed out that the woman who reported to us was unique and not that easily replaced. She had worked for one of them and that person who knew her for years assured us she would report her findings accurately. Finding someone who would report honestly on the thinking of their friends, coworkers or associates would be very difficult.  The only way we could be assured that the report was honest is to have two people reporting.  What is more when we examined store closings in other areas we found that the women often had ongoing relationships after the store closed. The men had no such relationships and virtually disappeared while the women often arranged to go to the unemployment office or other meeting places at the same time.  One of their favorite activities after meeting informally was to go to lunch together.  While monitoring these meetings would be difficult it would not be impossible.  At the time I did not see how we could monitor the men who left and went in separate directions or other groups that did not meet regularly.

 

I thought they would give up on the idea but they didn’t. Instead they asked if I could examine the problem and see if it was possible to research the voting patterns of groups that did not meet regularly.  One of the reasons they asked us they saw that I had solved other problems that none of the so-called political experts had been able to solve. After studying the problem for about two months, I said I thought it was possible.  I told them it would require developing an entirely new set of research techniques and that would be costly but even more costly would be conducting the research itself.  To my surprise, both of them said do it. When I pointed out once again it would be costly they said without hesitation that they would underwrite the study.

 

Through trial and error in six months we came up with techniques for insider surveys with any group.  I was right it turned out to be a very expensive way of doing research. The reason it cost so much was two out of three insider surveys produced unverifiable data.  My rule as a researcher has always been unless I could verify data, I ignored it.  We started by researching  the following subjects; how Democrats could convince members of the white suburban middle class and the working poor to vote  Democratic, second how the Republicans could convince African-Americans to vote for Republicans and third how both Democrats and Republicans could persuade Hispanics to vote for them. We were able to conduct insider surveys with these groups and produce verifiable results. This of course was not only interesting, it was a game changer

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How to Win an Election

When I stopped writing this blog a year and a half ago I said I would be out for three weeks and I’m sure you’re wondering what happened.

The emergency turned out to be a minor one but at the time I was training both a Republican and a Democrat to speak like Barack Obama and that changed everything. Whether you love him or hate him you must admit that he is the most persuasive speaker in the political arena. Once I started studying him it was obvious that all those things that his friends and enemies said about how he convinces audiences to like him, to listen to him and believe him are myths. At the time, I had been studying Barack Obama for about three years and believed I had uncovered the secret to his success as a speaker. However, all theoretical research is just that until it is taken into the real world, that is why I was training these two gentlemen.

Approximately six months before I shut down this blog these politicians had completed their training and took their new found skills into the real world. At first they spoke in their districts where they were comfortable and had a friendly audience. The Republican was in a Republican district and the Democrat was in a Democratic district. Had they not been they probably would’ve lost because they were terrible speakers. After I trained them, both were convinced they were winning over audiences so they arranged to speak to groups who did not necessarily agree with them. Their audience reaction was so positive that one fellow said he was thinking of running for president. When I pointed out he was a state representative he said if Obama get elected president so could he. The other gentlemen wasn’t quite as optimistic but he also indicated that he had his eyes on bigger things. I thought at that point I would write “Popularity with Individuals and Audiences” when one mentioned that a large retail store had closed down in his area and he wanted to know what effect it would have on how the employees voted. The second fellow said he’d like to know as well and he would pay for half the research. When I asked if they knew anyone who had worked in that store the first gentlemen said yes, a woman volunteer who worked for him. After we spoke to her several times both were convinced insider research was the way to go. When I pointed out that for a variety of reasons I did not know if it could be done, they said they would underwrite the cost of finding out.

When we came to the conclusion that insider research was possible without batting an eye both agreed to have their staffs conduct the research. In addition to our access to the data we collected, I had to agree not to appear on radio, television or write about the research until six months after it was completed. I further agreed not to use these gentlemen’s names nor identify anyone on their staff or the people who actually did the undercover research until I had their permission in writing. Six or seven months ago one of the candidates told me he no longer had an interest in politics and three weeks later the second gentleman became ill and gave up his political career as well. I’m sure their heirs will hold me to this agreement

I have both good news and bad news. The good news using insider research we discovered the best arguments for Republicans and Democrats to use with different groups. For example, we discovered the best arguments to convince different Hispanic voters to vote Republican or Democrat. While all are referred to as Hispanics, Central Americans, Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, and Cubans all respond to different arguments. If the Republicans wish to capture a larger part of the black vote it is counterproductive to ask blacks to vote Republican. Republicans would be much better off asking them to vote for the right Democrat. Obviously, that takes more explanation but the key issue is education. If the Democrats wish to capture a larger segment of the suburban middle-class vote there is one argument that will work wonders, however the same argument can be used by Republicans. I think who ever uses it first may be the winner. In short whichever side I work for is going to win.

The bad news for me and the good news for you is with the restrictions put on my use of the information I gathered I doubt if I can sell it to anyone. I’m asking politicians to buy a pig in a poke and I don’t blame them for not wanting to do that. If I could get a half dozen candidates to take me up on my offer to only pay me if they win, I might have a chance of demonstrating the validity of my research and advice . However, since I don’t think that will happen, I’m going to give away that research between now and election day in this blog.

Stay tuned

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I WILL BE BACK IN TWO TO THREE WEEKS

I had a family emergency and had to leave town.

John T.

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UNIFORMS AND SUCCESS

I have been working as a chemist in a very conservative company for the past 22 years. Before I started with this company I worked for a cosmetics firm. The executives in that high-fashion business dressed very well and I started reading GQ and dressing fashionably. From the first day with my present firm I have been dressing fashionably although I admit when I’m in the laboratory I usually wear a lab coat. However, at all corporate meeting, lunches and after work I am dressed fashionably In all that time no one has ever commented on my dress and I have been promoted several times. I concede that those promotions were at least in part due to my skill as a chemist but if you were right I would not have been treated so well. How can you claim that wearing a corporate uniform is essential to getting ahead?

K.M
Atlanta, Georgia

Dear KM:

When you put on a lab coat you are putting on the appropriate corporate uniform for a chemist. In addition you’re in a field where the results of your efforts can be objectively measured. That is why engineers, computer programmers and other high tech people often share your belief, unfortunately for them it is not true . Particularly if the next step up requires managing others.I have been talking to American executives for many years about image and how it affects people’s careers and I assure you that today, as in the past, in companies with conservative as well as casual dress codes how you dress affects your ability to move ahead. I know many high tech people like yourself believe that they do not have to dress for success. Nothing is further from the truth.

I had not conducted a survey in over two years and your letter forced me to conduct my 100th survey of American executives. I started by questioning 46 executives in 24 states and asking them if wearing the right clothing was absolutely essential to getting ahead in their companies. Now the “right clothing”is not necessarily the traditional conservative suit, shirt and tie or a feminine version of the same uniform. Since your letter questioned whether wearing a uniform of any type was essential to getting ahead I feel obliged to point out in advertising, TV and movie industries the uniform is usually a high-fashion outfit. Although the people who produced these garments would not admit it high-fashion clothing often can be and is a uniform.

As for the impact of clothing on one’s career I think the best example I can give is a partner in a New York law firm. He made this statement over 20 years ago; ‘If any young lawyer works for this firm for more than a year and in all that time doesn’t get the message that conservative clothing is absolutely essential to moving up he is too stupid to become a partner in this firm or any other. And I assure you he will not become a partner in any Wall Street firm in fact I doubt if he will keep his job.” That is not a new idea. Approximately 70% of American business executives that we’ve questioned over the years have told us that wearing suitable attire which in their minds generally means conservative suits, shirts and ties for men and something equally conservative for women is required for those being considered for management positions. Our latest survey produced almost identical results

An even more interesting finding was that approximately the same number told us that when a young person was turned down for a position because of the way he or she dressed, they were almost never told the reason they were passed over. What is more even though dress may be mentioned in a yearly appraisal or other company forms that allow for such comments, I’ve never run across a document that openly stated, not dressing as expected will limit your career. However, anybody with half a brain should be able to figure that out. The reason they avoid making such statements in print is they are aware there are organizations that will sue them if it looks as if they are publicly stepping on the constitutional rights of their employees to dress like damn fool’s. The executives who construct these documents know that if they get their companies involved in this type of lawsuit it will negatively impact their careers. As a result, corporate America discourages executives from publicly discussing image or related topics. When on occasion they do, they do not shout, they whisper.

While American executives are whispering the fashion industry is shouting. They refer to their industry as the rag trade which is a crude way of saying they are in the business of selling cloth. That is why they spend millions of dollars every month advertising clothing and why they have such great influence in newspapers. I wrote a column for 35 years in spite of the fashion industry who threatened newspapers that they would withdraw their advertising if they ran my column. Therefore it is not surprising that many people listen to the voice of the fashion industry which has a vested interest in everyone throwing out everything they own today and buying something new tomorrow. The latest example of this can be seen on television you may have noticed that many actors are wearing suits with narrow lapels, shirts with smaller collars and narrow ties. It costs the fashion industry millions of dollars to attempt to get men to buy new outfits because the fashion industry has made today’s outfits appear dated. They think it’s money well spent and they may be right.

The unfortunate people who follow the whims of the fashion industry are almost never the sons and daughters of executives. They have learned at their daddies pinstripe knee the rules of dressing for success. It is usually people from less privileged backgrounds who most likely to follow the pied piper’s of the fashion industry and a result limit their success. They do so because they only hear the loud voice of the fashion industry and quiet voice of success.

If you come from a limited background and have no role models of success in your life you have two choices listen to me or find role models. If you are hesitant to listen to me, pick two to six men and women in your field who are already successful. I know how hard it is to find role models so I you can choose just two, however, if you can find six you are far better off because two can be exceptions to the rule. When you look at six or more role models you know you’re getting a good cross-section of successful people in your field. Take very careful notes on how they dress and then attempt to emulate them. That will dramatically enhance your prospects of moving up in any organization or in any career.

Good luck!

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WHAT AN OFFICE SAYS

Dear Mr. Molloy:

After 39 years in a chemical laboratory, I retired. I’m not complaining about my time working for a large chemical company, I actually enjoyed my work but I was looking forward to playing golf and going fishing. I bought a place in north-central Florida called the Villages. It’s a fairly affluent community, the only problem is many of the people have limited educational backgrounds and having earned a PhD I didn’t exactly fit in. I paid over 300,000 for my house yet most of my neighbors are retired civil servants with pensions as large as mine if not larger. There is one ex police officer from northern California who has an $112,000 pension. The reason I know is he bragged to everybody about his pension and I don’t blame him. One of my golf playing buddies, a lawyer from the Northeast, set up practice specializing in estate planning after he arrived. He told me most of his clients were ex-civil-service employees who lived in the villages and had million-dollar estates.

I’m making the Villages sound like a terrible place and it is not. If you own a place here you have free access to a half a dozen of the best golf courses in Florida. In addition, there is a cadre of well-educated, sophisticated retirees who form a subculture so after two or three months I was enjoying myself. When I was working I never had enough time to play golf so I took lessons after I arrived and I was beginning to get back into the swing of things.(Pun intended.) I also purchased a 30 foot boat that I docked on a nearby lake and used about twice a week. For the first six months life was beautiful, however it gradually became boring. I found since I went fishing two or three days a week and playing golf the other days, it became almost like a job. It was a pleasant job but if you meet the same people every day and do the same thing every day it’s very much like going to work. Once I discovered that I decided to go back to work at least part-time.

One of my duties as a senior chemist in my old company was to help companies, schools and police departments to set up laboratories or new equipment In addition, I ran courses for employees of these laboratories to introduce them to the latest techniques or equipment in their areas. I was also in charge of producing training videos that accompanied new products either produced by my firm or others. One of the reasons I went back into business was I was approached by clients of my old company to help them overcome problems when introducing new products or new equipment.

I opened the business three years ago and for the first year clients came to me. Once the company started to grow I began advertising my services and hiring employees. Since I needed a considerable space I bought an old warehouse and set up my laboratory there. My problem is partially due to my success. Since my company and is new and unique it has been the subject of a number of magazine articles. The majority have been complimentary, however, I’ve had several understate the significance of what we have accomplished. I’m not sure but I think there are two reasons for these negative articles. The first is ignorance. Reporters without technical backgrounds simply don’t understand what we are doing and judge us by our image. While our laboratory facilities are very impressive to those who know, it doesn’t impress those who interview us in our office which is located right outside the laboratory. It is small, cramped and frankly being part of a warehouse, not very impressive. I hate to spend money upgrading our office space just to impress the press, shouldn’t what we have accomplished, do that? What do you think?

A confused chemist

Dear Chemist,

If you want to succeed in a new field you have to impress the press. I know this because when I was America’s first and only scientific image consultant I made the same mistake. After being in business almost 13 years I was interviewed by a very clever reporter from Time magazine who because of his personal experience understood exactly what I was doing. His article, which referred to me as America’s first wardrobe engineer kicked off a series of interviews by the press including one by the Wall Street Journal..

At the time. I worked out of a very small office on 55th St. in New York City. The reason I chose that office was I had owned a men’s clothing store in the same building. When I closed the store to work as a full-time consultant, I thought it would be advantageous to keep my address and telephone number which many of my clients had.

I stayed at that location for close to a year and only moved after I ran across the reporter from the Wall Street Journal. The Wall Street Journal would’ve been the ideal place to get positive publicity so I prepared carefully for that interview. I spent the week before the interview contacting Fortune 500 clients and obtaining permission to use them as references. When the morning of the interview came I waited on pins and needles for my 11 o’clock appointment.

When the reporter walked in and saw my very unimpressive office, he did not even try to hide his disappointment. In fact I think he was more disgusted than disappointed. He never conducted the interview. He said it was not the type of operation he expected and left in less than five minutes. I never got a chance to tell him that I was making six figures which was rather impressive in the early 60s and had over a dozen Fortune 500 companies as clients. I was sure that would have impressed him if it were not for my unimpressive office. During that five minutes, he implied that wardrobe engineering was more fiction than fact. I thought to myself what a jackass, the fact that he was shortchanging my interview because he wasn’t impressed by my office proved that image did count. I shouldn’t be so rough on him because he did teach me a valuable lesson. After his visit I immediately rented a corner office in a new, shiny, prestigious, high rise building on third Avenue and hired a decorator. It turned out to be a worthwhile investment.

If you are serious about setting up a new consulting business, rent a large office in a prestigious building and hire a decorator to give it a professional look. With anything less, you will turn off reporters, businesspeople and potential clients. Pavlov was right. We are conditioned by our experiences, and the experiences of most people has conditioned them to think that competent, important consultants have prestigious offices.

Get one, immediately!

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IMAGE COUNTS

Dear Mr. Molloy:

My husband is a software engineer from a military family who had graduated from Cal-tech just a little over a year before 9/11. The minute those planes hit the Pentagon and the twin towers he proposed to me and joined the Army. As soon as he became a second lieutenant the Army very wisely assigned him to a unit that developed computer programs for weapon systems. Since he had worked for a defense contractor before volunteering he said the only thing joining the Army accomplished was to switch his desk and cut his pay.

A year later, we were married, I was pregnant and we needed money. So he started a small business in his spare time repairing computers and computer systems for small and midsize companies near the base. At first he did most of the work himself but eventually he hired people and in less than two years we were making almost twice his military pay from the business. When he left service all of his efforts went into expanding the business and he succeeded, we now have offices in five states.

I wish I could explain exactly what he does but I do not know enough about computers. I do however have a fairly good idea of how business works. My father was an executive at the Ford Motor Company and he spoke all the time about his job. That is how I know my husband’s employees have an image problem. He sends people into offices who look like out of work hippies instead of technical experts. Invariably they are very talented and get the job done, nevertheless he receives complaints about them all the time which he chooses to ignore. He says all that counts in his world is getting the job done.

I know that’s not true. I argue with him that his experts also have to look like they know what they are doing or getting new contracts will be far more difficult. I keep telling him that not only will he find it more difficult to get jobs, when his disheveled technical experts arrive at a job they will find it difficult to enlist the cooperation of the client company’s employees. It’s like talking to a wall nothing seems to get through. I hope you can come up with a reasonable argument I can use to convince my brilliant husband that he is wrong, image does count.

A technical whiz kids wife

Dear Wife:
Your description of a technical expert is accurate. I often run across technical people who believe if they perform well in their area they are successful and need to do no more. They do not worry about their dress because they do not believe that it is important and in a limited way it is true. Scientists when performing their jobs often interact with inanimate objects such as computers, chemicals etc. and what they’re wearing when they are engaged in those activities does not have any measurable impact on how well they perform .

While admitting that he has a point if I were you I would continue to challenge his assertion that the technical wizards that represent him and his company are not affected by their image. When I first ran across techies who made this argument I used my own research to challenge them but I found they would waste my time with endless arguments, so I changed tactics. I now start by telling them about research projects conducted by others. The first being a study conducted in English jails with violent prisoners. They found if they put the most violent prisoners in holding areas that were painted vibrant pink, they calmed down. They further discovered that if they divide pink into 1000 shades, only one will have a calming effect. In fact, if you change the pink in the holding areas by as little as two shades it has the opposite effect. Apparently, bright colors, including bright pink, make it more likely that those who have a tendency to become violent will strike out at authority figures. If they question the validity of this research I simply quote the statistics and invite them to check the data themselves . Over a period of 12 years I have not run across one techie who found it difficult to review this research project and verify my information on his computer.

When I finish recounting the story of violent criminals in England I tell them how I start most of my presentations by asking each person in the audience to pretend that he has passed out and is being carried out on a stretcher. Then I have him look at the ceiling because if he is carried out on a stretcher that’s all he will see, first the ceiling of the auditorium, then the ceiling of the ambulance and finally the ceiling of the hospital. When he arrives at the hospital he is told two things, he needs open-heart surgery immediately and he is in luck, a team of heart specialists are gathering in one of the operating rooms preparing to perform a procedure on Mrs. Brown. However, since Mrs. Brown’s procedure is not an emergency they are going to operate on our audience member. In addition he is told that Dr. Jones and Dr. Smith both superb cardiac surgeons are in the hospital. In just a few minutes both will present themselves to the patient and the patient may select which of these superbly qualified men will perform the procedure.

I then ask him to imagine the first physician to approach him is Dr. Jones. He is wearing torn jeans and a T-shirt that says ski Kansas and his long hair is tied back in a ponytail. When he arrives he asks; “Are you the fellow I’m going to operate on.” Then adds; “You look worried, no need, I haven’t lost a dude in two years.” Then without saying another word he walks away. Five minutes later Dr. Smith approaches. He’s wearing slacks with a white doctors jacket and has a stethoscope draped around his neck. He introduces himself and tells the patient that he understands his condition is serious and this is a serious operation. Then he tells him not to worry. two thirds of his patients go home within a week.

After a slight pause, I inform them that 80% of every audience chooses Dr. Smith. Then of course I point out that they base that decision almost totally on image because if they were logical they would choose Dr. Jones. After all, he told them he had not lost a patient in two years while Dr. Smith said two thirds of his patients went home and never said what happened to the other third. Firmly establishing the fact that important decisions including those that involve life-and-death are often based on image.

Finally, I tell them about a third research project conducted at a major research laboratory that showed scientists who dressed in traditional garb were seen by their fellow scientists as more effective than those who dressed casually. At that point, I assume I have established the importance of image and begin my presentation.

You might try a similar approach. Good luck!

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IT IS FUN BEING SANTA

I
It’s still a week before Christmas but I have already received the best gifts money cannot buy. Every time I go to the mailbox I look forward to finding Christmas cards or Christmas greetings not only from friends and relatives but from relative strangers. Every year since I wrote ”Dress for Success” I have received at least a dozen thank you notes from people. When I had national radio shows and wrote a nationally syndicated column of course I received more notes and letters thanking me. Those who thanked me, thanked me for helping them succeed, get ahead, make money and so forth. I saved those letters, notes and emails until I experienced my first hurricane.

I moved to Florida because my mother-in-law was 87 and ill. When the local TV weatherman announced that a hurricane was moving directly over my house I decided to get out of its way. So my wife and I went up to Georgia and paid $ 230 a night for a $79 a night motel room. My mother-in-law who had lived in Florida for years moved a chair into a large closet and refused to go with us. She was just fine.

Before I left I decided to protect my most important papers including all those letters in the safest place possible. I put them in plastic bags and into a bathtub because I had read about people surviving hurricanes by getting into a bath tub. A week later, as I approached my house I saw that there was a hole in the roof directly over the bathroom where I had stored my papers. When I entered I could see the sun shining directly into that bathtub which was filled to the brim with water. Naturally my papers turned to mush and since I was, at that time, only receiving a few letters a year I stop saving them until this year. Probably due to this blog this year I received two dozen letters from grateful followers mostly coming as they did in the past during the holidays. I thought I’d share a few of them with you in hopes of convincing you that following my advice can turn you into a Santa Claus for those you love.

1
The minute I started dressing for success the people I worked with treated me with respect. At the time I worked for a small private insurance agency and sold mainly health insurance. I was far more successful as a salesman than I had ever been, clients not only listened to me with respect they took my advice. The minute they announced Obama care, I left the insurance business and went to work for a Cadillac dealership. Using your principles of dressing for success and getting your clientele to like you, in less than a year, I have become the top salesman at this dealership. I will be forever in your debt, I now know I can sell anything.
Thank you!

2
I work for a firm that in the not-too-distant future is going to be one of the largest suppliers of oil to the American consumer. Although most people do not realize it there is a real oil boon going on in America. Unless the government shuts it down America will not only become energy independent we will become oil exporters.

I attended one of your lectures because my boss insisted. This is a laid-back casual industry except at corporate headquarters when the bosses wear suits. If I had tried to manage people working in the field wearing a suit they would laugh at me. I thought you were full of xxxx and you would have everybody wearing dark suits and white shirts. Even after I heard you speak I had some doubts about the advice you gave. You said that clothing carried a socio-economic message. I will always remember that phrase because I didn’t know what socio-economic meant. I was two steps from working at headquarters so I paid the most attention to what you said about which suit, shirts and ties would make me look effective to the executives. However, your belief that roughnecks would respond positively to someone who wore upper socio-economic colors and patterns struck me as just plain silly.

Two months after I heard you speak my boss was offered a position which would put him in charge of 40% of our company’s production. The only catch was he would have to move and since he has three kids in school he didn’t want to move so I got the job. Although I had people working for me they often question my orders and I often had to explain or defend my positions. Two things were evident, I couldn’t afford to do that in my new position and suits would not add to my authority. At my wife’s insistence I changed the colors, the shades of colors and patterns in my semi-roughneck attire. Thank God it worked. Even though I’d heard rumors that I would get some resistance from the people in the new district, I moved in and took over with not as much as a peep from my new workers . As a result, I have become an executive and my son has just been accepted to an Ivy League school. When my son received his acceptance and I said we could afford to send him, he said thanks to mom. She said no, thanks to the dress for success guy. That’s why I’m writing, I want to thank you.

3
I’m a black woman from a poor section of town who won a scholarship to college. In college I was a member of the black business club and we read “Dress for Success” and “Live for Success.” When interviewing both were very useful and I landed a job at a bank. I have been here three years and received one promotion. so I was doing fine when I heard you were speaking at my university. I took the afternoon off to listen to you and thought it was sort of a waste of time, with a few exceptions you repeated what was in your books which I had practically memorized.

You were nice enough to stay after the speech and answer questions. You were having difficultly showing a girl how to balance a book on her head and asked for a volunteer to do it right. I took the book put on my head and said this is the way it’s done. You immediately said no, brace yourself against the wall and smile, you look angry. If you want to get ahead in business, particularly if you are a black women, you must look friendly. Then you spent about five minutes teaching me how to look friendly. At the time, I was a bit annoyed but I did remember what you taught me.

The minute I started looking friendly my world changed because I was at that point accepted by the people in management. Your brutal but honest truth made my life better and will make my children’s lives better. Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you.

4
I had been looking for a job for almost 8 months without getting an offer or even a call back. A friend gave me your book and without purchasing new clothes I adjusted what I wore to interviews. All of a sudden I went from having no offers to three offers and I’m now working for a fortune 500 company. Your stuff actually works!

5
I just got a promotion, thanks to you!

6
The best thank you letter I ever received turned to mush in that bathtub but I remember most of it.

Dear Santa:
Last year was a very tough Christmas at our house. I lost my job and we were having difficulty paying the mortgage and I had to give up school. I was working and going to law school at night, nevertheless, the year before last, my four-year-old son’s gifts flowed from under the tree. Last year he received two little gifts my wife got by standing in line with the other poor people. We told our son that Santa lost his big sleigh and he couldn’t carry many gifts. I had read your books and as a result of your advice in January I landed a wonderful job. Naturally, this year the tree once again overflowed with even more gifts. My son asked me as he ripped open the packages what was Santa’s real name. Off the top of my head I said John Molloy and he asked; Do you know him? When I said yes, he said, “Thank him a million, trillion times.”
My son thanks you a million, trillion times and add my thanks as well.
Santa’s Friend

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HOW CASUAL?

Dear Mr. Molloy:

I have been working and going to school at night for three years. In January I will earn my Masters in chemical engineering. The minute that happens I will no longer be working in a laboratory as a chemist but in the field as a consultant. My official title will be senior consulting chemical engineer but basically I’ll be a problem solver. I will be expected to function in two ways when dealing with clients. If they are having a technical problem I will attempt to solve it. If that is not possible I will have at my disposal technical experts who can handle almost any type of problem that occurs. My second and even more important function is sales. Solving problems in technical fields often requires long hours of billable time as well as the purchase of equipment that can be very expensive. Of course to make that work I have to convince my clients that they should spend the time and money on my solution.

Even though I’m a technician going into a technical field where the dress is casual the men who presently hold my job tell me that I have to arrive wearing a conservative suit, shirt and tie. Without such an outfit they tell me I will lack the credibility needed to sell to the executives of client companies. Although they usually rubber stamp the decisions made by the technical people some insist on overseeing all purchases and make the decisions themselves.

They also told me when I am going to be spending time in a laboratory I should wear a lab coat. I’m wondering if that’s necessary since I will be observing not actually working as a chemist. Personally I think it’s a lot of trouble carrying a lab coat when going from one client to another, especially when I fly in for one or two days. There is a difference of opinion among my experienced colleagues. Two of them carry lab coats in a leather bag that looks like an expandable attaché case while the remainder ask the client company if they can borrow a lab coat. If one is not available, they take off their suit jackets and ties. I would appreciate if you would comment.

It would be very helpful if you could make specific suggestions as to the color and design of the most effective suits, shirts and ties. Please do not limit yourself to that, any comment you make would be appreciated.

V.T.
Houston, Texas

Dear VT:

I spoke to chemists at two companies and my answer is partially based on their comments.

The suits that will work best are moderately priced two-piece models. The reason they chose moderately priced suits is cheap ones look cheap and invariably some will be destroyed if you work in chemical laboratories. They should look like wool but should not wrinkle easily since you’re going to be traveling and visiting clients on the same day. According to these gentlemen you can have your suits treated so they resists staining. Unfortunately, the nature of activities in any chemical laboratory make it likely that you will stain your clothing occasionally. They like your colleagues were divided on whether you should carry a lab coat with you. After having listened to these chemists I decided that it would be wise to find one of those expanding attaché cases and carry a lab coat.

The suit colors that will work best are medium-range gray, navy blue, light gray, medium-range blue, medium to dark brown and beige preferably with a gray hue. Avoid all three piece and pinstripe models since they are likely to offend some of the techies with whom you will be dealing. Life on the road will be simpler if you wear only solid colored suits

Since in Houston the weather is hot for at least five months of the year and moderate the rest of the time 60% of your suits should be lightweight. Moderately priced tropical weight wool suits will stand up to your lifestyle as a traveling business man and will create the proper impression when dealing with executives. Go into a fairly decent men’s store and explain to the salesperson exactly what you need and tell him if he can get that suit you will buy all your suits from him. If the suit he sells lives up to your expectations give him your business if not find a different clerk and a different store. The most effective shirts are wrinkle resistant cotton models with standard or button-down collars. The best colors are white and blue and the best patterns are solids and simple pinstripes. Your pinstripes can be in any color as long as they are dark, traditional and crisp. You will find since you will be traveling with several suits and shirts that the most useful ties are solid navy and maroon. They will work with most of your suits and shirts. Please don’t even think that solid ties don’t go with solid shirts, that is a common misconception spread by idiots without a sense of taste or style. You may wish for variety to carry simple stripe or club ties. Once again you will find them more useful if the stripes are clean and their dominant colors are blue and maroon.

Since in all probability you will visit the same companies over and over you may decide to adjust your look to fit in with specific clients. Do not let my advice limit your choices. For example if you regularly visit a very casual company you may come to believe if you replace your traditional conservative outfits with slacks and dress shirts, feel free to give it a try. If you find you get a better reception when casually dressed, you are probably making the right decision.

Dressing for success does not mean wearing traditional conservative clothing when it separates you from your coworkers or your clients. Dressing for success means dressing to get a positive reaction from those around you. Once I wrote the book Dress for Success, I found if I dressed to the nines I intimidated many people I met. I adjusted my look and now dress very casually in most social settings. I often at times dress casually in business settings particularly in a casual business environment where the rules for dressing for success change from one com that pany to another. I literally have stacks of information on various casual dress codes and welcome questions from my readers on the subject.

Interestingly, how you dress in a casual business often has a greater impact on your chances of succeeding than it does in a traditional conservative business. Since that is the case, I will be discussing casual dress regularly in this blog.

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MANAGING CANDIDATES

Dear Mr. Molloy:

I attended your popularity seminar three months ago. I must tell you that the only reason I went to the seminar is I was given a free ticket by a girl I know and I didn’t want to hurt her feelings. When I walked in and you said this was going to be an all-day seminar I was looking for a gun to shoot myself. I thought you were full of bull and anybody who said they could make people popular was a con man. If I weren’t sitting next to the young lady who gave me the ticket and her friend I would’ve left immediately but I thought I would stay for about a half an hour and then fake being sick.

You surprised me and caught my attention with your opening statement challenging anyone in the audience who didn’t think you could make them popular to try role-playing. I still thought you were full of it but you are an entertaining speaker. When you explained that your information was based on your research with salespeople, you really caught my attention because I run campaigns for Democratic candidates in my state. Needless to say I stayed for the entire seminar and by the end I decided I would try the exercises you suggested. You hadn’t completely convinced me that it would work but you had me wondering.

Once I started videotaping myself and practicing looking pleasant I found that people reacted to me differently. I don’t know if you know much about politicians but working for some of them is like working for God it’s almost impossible to challenge their decisions. In my business, the ability to charm my employers is an important asset in my work. In the past. when I wanted a candidate to change anything I usually had an argument on my hands. Today, when I make a suggestion,it is usually acted upon immediately or at least considered respectfully. Because of your training I’m making more money today than I ever made so if you can’t help me I will not be offended. However I have to ask can you make a candidate more popular with the public.

Name and address withheld
Dear Political Consultant:

When I read your letter I almost fell off my chair. I’ve been packaging candidates for national and statewide offices for years. In fact, they were some of my first clients. I started by dressing law firms and I did so well they recommended me to their clients and their friends who were business men and political candidates. The reason your letter caused me to react as I did was I have just finished a section of a book on charisma. The last chapter is titled how to communicate like Barack Obama. I was in the process of deciding whether I should present my information as a book on popularity and charisma or divide it into two books one on popularity and the second on charisma. The reason I was considering dividing the books is the next national election takes place in less than a year. If I want to make money consulting with candidates I’m going to have to get the book out quickly. The only practical way to do that is self publish which is a pain.

Since your letter forced me to face my problem I’m going to do two things for you . First I’ll tell you the mistakes I have seen made by most political consultants. While giving lip service to technology and the power of the Internet most run campaigns as if you can win elections today the same way you did 15 years ago. Technology has changed the election process both for fundraising and getting one’s message out.

The Internet, smart phones and the related technology have become essential tools in any modern campaign.. In most cases, Democrats are better at using the Internet than Republicans but not always. They often hire computer people who are good Democrats instead of good computer people. That’s the mistake Barack Obama’s people made when they chose people to design a site for Obama care. Start by hiring an independent computer expert to hire other computer experts to do specific jobs . The fact that you have run a number of successful campaigns and used the Internet in those campaigns does not qualify you to hire or even interview computer people.

The second obvious mistake they make is they often put campaign posters that help the other fellow more than they help their candidate. The most important part of a campaign poster is not what it says but the picture of the candidate. I’ve been consulting with campaigns on image for years and I cannot tell you which picture is going to sell the voters on your man. I have to test them and believe me you do to. Start by taking at least two dozen pictures of your candidate in different outfits. Then show them first to women and then to men. Ask them to separate them into three groups, pictures that make your candidate look honest, positive, friendly and energetic etc, pictures that make your candidate look like every other candidate and pictures that turn off voters. Pictures that are flattering and make your candidate younger than he or she really is often for reasons I cannot explain turn off voters. Next, find a district that is very similar to your candidate’s and show the pictures that were chosen by both men and women as positive to a cross-section of people on the street. Show them two at a time. Tell the respondents that they are twins and ask which one is honest, hard-working friendly, reliable etc. Their responses will tell you which picture you should use on your campaign posters. Don’t underestimate the value of a good picture it can make or break a local campaign.

Finally, interview the people in your clients district but don’t ask them which issues are important to them. Rather ask is there any issue that might get them to change their vote. If one candidate agreed with you on this issue and the other did not would it make a difference in the way you and your family members voted. Don’t ask them about a second issue ask only about their primary concern. Obviously , different issues will affect different groups of voters. This will give you information on which issues might change the vote of various groups. Using this information, tailor your clients standard speech so that he emphasizes or avoids speaking about specific issues when speaking to different groups. In most cases your candidate will only have to change a few lines in his or her speech which is good because a good stump speech is absolutely essential to a good campaign

Since you wrote me this very interesting letter I will arrange for you to attend a lecture I’m giving in the not too distant future on how to train a candidate to communicate like Barack Obama. I’m speaking to a group of Republicans in a state other than yours but I’ll bring you in. My political clients all know that I sell my services to both parties because I really don’t have an allegiance to either.

If I self publish a book on charisma. I will send you a copy.

Good luck

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