What Do Wigs Have To Do With Leadership?
I walked into a local business that was hosting a leadership workshop for business women. I was looking forward to making some new connections with female colleagues operating small businesses. After the usual pleasantries in the lobby we were told to go to the back room to have before pictures taken. “Before what?” I thought. I entered the back room and gazed upon a dozen or more wigs on display. I felt like I’d walked into a hen party. Uh oh, not my thing.
I couldn’t just leave, so I joined the activity of selecting a new look. We were instructed to try on as many as necessary and choose the one that felt right when we looked in the mirror. I tried on short, blonde, curly, shaggy, and in the end picked one with vibrant red highlights and a long wavy length. We then went through a visualization process designed to transform ourselves, acquiring characteristics we associated with the new look and how these features could impact our leadership style.
It was fascinating. Almost immediately the mood in the room lifted. The group became more animated and extroverted in conversation. The words used to describe the emerging personalities were Courageous, Strong, Sassy, Dynamic, Confident, Resilient. What had changed was our perception of ourselves.
This demonstration was no different than how carefully crafted words and targeted messaging creates powerful images to a specific market. The product or service doesn’t change but the perception of the audience does. “I don’t even remember what everyone looks like without the wigs,” was commented more than once.
At the end of the evening we removed our wigs and unveiled our old selves, it felt like we were in unfamiliar territory. We almost didn’t recognize ourselves. We had accepted our new appearances and shifted our beliefs. The power of marketing had been exposed by this simple exercise and it excited me to see it validated. Whether we are marketing ourselves, a product, a service, or a cause, we have the power to shape the view of what’s being promoted. This is why I love what I do.
I’d like to give credit to the leader of the workshop and the host for the evening respectively and thank them for a most enlightening evening. They are both powerful and engaging women, with our without their wigs!
Splash Printing & Marketing