I asked Texan-born, senior software executive Michael J. Harper about his personal values and the influence of his dressing style on the business day ahead. Specialised in positioning start-ups for IPOs, VC investment and global market expansion - he has the "Hook 'Em" mindset.
Father of two daughters and married to his Dutch wife who he met in the early years of his software career whilst working as an intern with Philips International BV, Michael is based in Austin, Texas. His love of baseball is relentless - a Diehard Longhorn supporter.
In your opinion, how does being at ease with your personal style influence the business day ahead?
"Being at ease with my personal style is about acceptance and confidence. Acceptance in that I am extremely comfortable with the values that define me as a professional but more importantly as a father and husband.
It is a harmony and peace that allows me to confidently interact, make sound decisions, and successfully exist in a world sometimes defined as hectic, frightening and, at times, overwhelming.
My style is core to my mental stability. It is core to my ability to bring value in challenging business environments.
When an individual values their own personal appearance, what have you noticed when people connect and work together?
"Today's business environment, especially in the North American start up community, trends to casual. Many times too casual. Jeans have replaced slacks. Ties are an item of history. Suits and sports jackets are an afterthought. Casual is easy.
A conservative, well mannered attire and personal appearance is how I show respect. Not only respect for myself but also those with whom I meet on a daily basis. When there is respect often there is trust. Respect and trust are key drivers for partnerships. When we partner in business engagements, there is mutual satisfaction. Everyone wins. That is my supreme goal each time I extend my hand and make my introduction.
I once had a baseball coach who preached in our locker room as we dressed for each game, “Look Good, Play Good”. It’s amusing the things we remember along the way but this simple phrase has stuck with me my entire career. "
Thank you, Michael !
© Melanie Brewer