Anna Soo Wildermuth

Welcome to Personal Images, Inc.!

Here I'll give you up to date tips on developing your personal and professional image to ensure your first impression will be your best impression. Also I will blog about current image and communication blunders. Feel free to join the discussion by leaving comments, and stay updated by subscribing to the RSS feed. Thanks for visiting my blog. – Anna

Change One Thing is a superb book that gives excellent advice to help jumpstart your engine." Stephen R. Covey, author, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

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Archive: Anna’s Posts

Why is presence so important?

targetOften, I observe technically competent folks with reasonable communications skills rise up the ladder pretty quickly and then hit a wall. The C-Suite does not see them as the face of the organization. This usually is first impressions garnered on connecting with an audience. It is the way they carry themselves meaning posture, pace and how they look any audience in its collective eye.

Also, it’s putting together clothing choices, grooming and the key ingredient of style and confidently navigating situations. They can be cut some slack if it is noticed that confidence and communication skills promote steadiness. Can some develop the critical factor of presence to move into the C suite?  Yes, with the right coach, mentors and champions, the C-Suite is a possibility!

Inclusive not intrusive leaders

Thumbs upSuccessful leaders are always inclusive in their interactions whether is it just acknowledging with a hello in a casual encounter or making introductions in a meeting. They are inclusive in providing feedback. Even in difficult situations, any intrusive or destructive behavior is avoided.

This reminds me of an incident on a major project for more than 1,000 retail service centers. The vendor of choice missed the deadline for delivering the products. The CEO called a meeting with the leaders of the vendor organization. He stated in quiet voice how much he valued their relationship…however if the product was not delivered within 30 days he would cancel the order and go with a new vendor.

He did not yell, question their professionalism or go thru the cost of damages. Nor was he in their face on how bad the situation was. Instead he was all about moving forward.

8 Things to Avoid on Resumes

pen Steve Wyrostek, MBA, CPRW at www.noclicheresumes.com  has been my go to person when you are ready to look for a new job or refresh your work documents, avoid the following when you are preparing your resume:

  • An objective statement. Use a summary, instead. Objectives are often seen on first resume out of school or a Word template resumes. No objectives at any time. A four to five line, succinct, modular summary is best.
  • Using dates past 20 years and if possible, keep job experiences in the 2000s. Never date degrees or certifications.
  • Listing volunteer activities unless they relate directly to the job applied for.
  • Too large or small font. Use 10 to 11 sans serif font (Arial, Calibri).
  • Placing acronyms like MBA after your name. This can garble the automatic tracking system readers that most companies run resumes through.
  • Block paragraphs. Use no more than three lines for a job description or bullet.
  • Clichés. Hiring managers glaze over phrases like good communicator, like to work with people, detail-oriented, etc. Instead show those traits with job achievements.
  • Forgetting to list achievements. Your job description is what you did and achievements are what you accomplished while doing it.

There are more but these are the most common things to avoid when preparing your resume.

What do successful leaders do?

A key laying on a piece of paper with the word "leadership" on it.

The successful leaders I have been blessed to work with consistently do the following:

• Recognize good work
• Provide support for colleagues and staff
• Stand for the success of staff
• Build strong work and social relationships
• Support philanthropy with money and action
• Never shift blame
• Take responsibility for mistakes

What are your good triggers?

targetWhat is the trigger or triggers that confirm you are in the much fabled zone of doing nothing wrong? Do you sense the zone from the calmness of your breathing, steadiness in your hands or acute awareness of the positive things surrounding you?

This reminds me of playing in golf tournaments when my swing is in the groove. That is when the golf ball goes straight and the putts go in on the first stroke. The zone is also the time to push yourself a bit more whether on the links, presenting to a small group or speaking to thousands!

Do you do what successful leaders do?

A key laying on a piece of paper with the word "leadership" on it.

A recent Chicago Tribune business section piece discussed mental muscle. I turned it into a checklist on things successful people do:

1.They refuse to dwell on mistakes.
2.They control their emotions
3.They are good at change
4.They focus only on things they can change
5.They please only themselves – not everyone else
6.They take calculated risks
7.They learn from their mistakes
8.They enjoy the success of others
9.They never give up after a mistake
10.They have the patience for long term results

I like this list because it supports my full potential for success.

When is too much information a bad thing?

haircut disasterInformation overload is a killer because it can jumble the true issues. Setting a timeline and a process to gather data are the first critical steps to ensure enough data is gathered. Doing the early research to determine what and how much information is needed sets you on the right path to completion. The timeline of when the project or report is due also acts as a finish line. Duplicate and / overwhelming information will only complicate the end result.

When is it time to flip the switch?

womens-fashion-trends-springsummer-2016-3-620x531I love the program Yes, for the Dress. I love Randy and the stylists that are featured. I also find the family dynamics around the bride to be very interesting. Kleinfeld consultants are there to sell a wedding dress but most importantly, the bride must be happy with the purchase. If the bride is not happy, the consultants empathize and let them think overnight about which dress works best.

What I find amazing is that after trying on 50 or more dresses whether at Kleinfeld or another shop, some brides still struggle to decide! I believe that means the decision is not just about the dress anymore but more about the marriage. If you cannot flip the switch to buy a dress, can you probe for the real issues? I use these brides as case studies for clients who seem to have the same behaviors.

Successful leaders learn from failing

A key laying on a piece of paper with the word "leadership" on it.

Many leaders that are afraid of failing, end up failing by not taking risks. They play it safe by choosing the path of least resistance for success. The leaders willing to be creative and explore options not guaranteed to win end up winning. They know that failure is a learned event on the path to more successful wins.

Opposites attract and work well together

jumping couple in field under cloudsPairing up in a team situation with a partner that is opposite of you will be frustrating at times. However, a broader picture will emerge. A team is best when made of opposite thinking patterns as long as everyone focuses on ways to achieve the best end result.

Functioning with a partner opposite in thought and energy is done by establishing ground rules on when to call a timeout. My experience of a few years ago comes to mind. Each member conducted an assessment when a new team was formed. We ended up pairing each other with an opposite communication style partner. This enabled the team to garner significant insight on dealing with client projects.