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The title of this post, “Pretty is as pretty does,” is a saying I used often in conversation with my daughters as they were growing up. My daughters, in my humble opinion, are all very cute, but the meaning behind this saying is that true beauty is what is on the inside of a person; not the outside.

I think there is some truth to this in the corporate world as well. Some companies look great, in the eyes of the public, because they have strong balance sheets. Some companies are extraordinarily efficient in how they operate, compared to their peers. There are also companies who are considered attractive because they have the most luxurious facilities, in which to conduct business. 

Each of these characteristics; strong balance sheets, efficiency and attractive facilities are important because they help to create a perception of viability and strength within an organization. However, they may not be telling the whole story. I think a company really demonstrates its’ beauty by treating their employees with respect and support. A company that recognizes and communicates, in a tangible way, the contributions employees make to the communities they serve is truly beautiful

By extension, leaders should be judged, at least in part, not only by how well they manage the business side of their organization; seen by their customers and shareholders, but also by the perceptions their employees have of them. A leader is most effective when they win the game of intangibles – meaning, they have created a corporate culture where employees want to come to work, and where the company is known for being a strong corporate citizen. 

It’s essential to be perceived in a good light by colleagues and the community in any role you have with your organization. That said; it is also important to practice internally, what is visible externally. Be a good teammate; be productive, be accountable, be accessible. 

Simply put, make a difference.  Who knows, you might even win a metaphorical “beauty contest,” allowing you to be recognized in a special and unexpected way!

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Home About Archive Mitch HagstromMitch Hagstrom
Executive Vice President
Chief Banking Officer
Pacific Continental Bank

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