Substance vs. Style: Why Reality Trumps Appearance Every Time

Substance vs. Style: Why Reality Trumps Appearance Every Time by Laura Stack #productivity

"Don't settle for style. Succeed in substance." Wynton Marsalis, American jazz trumpeter. Some people believe that how something looks, or the way you do something, matters more than the substance of that object or action. In rare cases, such as fashion, this may be true; but no matter how wonderful it looks, a charming dress still won't last long if it's made of playing cards or chocolate (and yes, there have been both). Nonetheless, perception creates reality in most people's minds. For example, you might think a person with his shoes up on his desk and his eyes closed is wasting company time, as one efficiency expert did when hired by Henry Ford. After just a few hours on the job, he recommended Ford fire the man. Ford told him the "lazy" fellow was in fact his top idea man, who … [Read more...]

Unstylish Efficiency: On Delivering Substance Over Style

"The closest thing to a law of nature in business is that form has an affinity for expense, while substance has an affinity for income." -- Dee Hick, founder and former CEO of VISA. "Don't settle for style. Succeed in substance." -- Wynton Marsalis, American jazz musician.   If you've been working in your chosen profession for more than a few years, then you've probably run into your share of co-workers who seem to value style over substance. To these individuals, perception trumps reality—and sometimes even defines it. Remember comedian Billy Crystal's stint on Saturday Night Live back in the 1980s? Among other things, he portrayed a smarmy talk show host who liked to say, "It is better to look good than to feel good. And dahling, you look...mahvelous!" That captures the n … [Read more...]