Matt Eastwood, worldwide chief creative officer of JWT, has one of the world's biggest creative jobs, and has to be considered one of Australia's global creative leaders not just in advertising, but in any field.
Is it partly due to the way he dresses?
Now don't get me wrong, Mr Eastwood has overseen a ton of great work. A TON. Examples: “Yeah, that kind of rich” for the New York Lottery, and the “Hashtag Killer” campaign for WATERisLIFE.
I really enjoyed this recent podcast in which Eastwood discusses topics as varied as leadership behaviour, and how JWT invented the grilled cheese sandwich.
He's impressive throughout - a solid combo of charm, insight and dedication.
But because I'm extraordinarily superficial, there was one section in particular that really struck me. It was a part where he described his days as a young creative, and how on deciding that he wanted to become a Creative Director, he changed the way he dressed. He smartened up, and started to wear a jacket.
At first his fellow creatives ribbed him a bit, but after a while they accepted it... and so did the senior Suits, and Clients.
Shortly afterwards, he was promoted to Creative Director.
Now, I expect I'll get heat for this. Some of the most rabid comments I've ever had on this blog were not triggered by frenzied debates over controversial pieces of work, but came when I dared to suggest that what you wear makes a difference to how you are perceived.
I guess Creatives are hardcore and want to think "it's all about the work." That's a praiseworthy belief to hold, but there is plenty of evidence showing that your appearance matters too.
So... are you wearing a jacket?
And please note, I mean this as much metaphorically as literally. In other words, I'm suggesting you ask yourself: are you solely focused on coming up with great ideas, or are you also making smart choices about how you progress your career?