Jon Michail's Personal Branding Masterclass

The Power of an Authentic Personal Image, with Lloyd D. Roberts

August 12, 2021 Jon Michail Season 1 Episode 4
Jon Michail's Personal Branding Masterclass
The Power of an Authentic Personal Image, with Lloyd D. Roberts
Show Notes Transcript

Jon interviews accomplished business consultant Lloyd D. Roberts about the importance of personal image. In this episode, you will learn how your image can elevate you to get to the next level in your career.

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Twitter: @jon_michail
Instagram: @imagegroupinternational

Episode's guest: Lloyd D. Roberts – Founder and past CEO of SMS Management & Technology 


Podcast Editor and Producer: Ana Carolina Alves 

Additional Voice: Charles The Voice 

Music: Have a Smoke by Crowander (CC BY 4.0)


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Welcome to Jon Michail’s Personal Branding Masterclass. Jon is the founder and CEO of image group international and award-winning image consulting and personal branding pioneer established in 1989. This podcast will bring you old school wisdom, inspiring ideas, strategies and hacks for the new tech world. Here you will learn everything about personal branding: the system, the techniques and the right mindset to have a successful personal brand, image and reputation.

Jon: Hello everybody, today I will be talking to Lloyd D. Roberts. Lloyd is a very successful business tycoon. He basically created one of Australia's largest consulting firms, if not the largest Australian owned. And I think that's says something because, you know, that's not an easy feat. And certainly, from the perspective of how much work that would have taken, it would not have been eased in Lloyd, he is here today to share with us some of those successes. And of course, at the same time, mentioned how image and branding made an impact in his business along the way. So I want to thank you for being here today, Lloyd. And so in this episode, we're going to discuss the power of authentic personal image and how it builds trust. And what that means is, you know, we're living in times where fake news and a lot of censorship and the times information that we're actually hearing will not always be the truth, okay, in all different directions. So authenticity plays a big part in being trusted to actually agree that authenticity matters.

LIoyd: Absolutely, totally. It's essential. In fact, in any industry, not just mine, my background is IT, specifically, IT consulting management. I was born in Canada, and came to Australia many, many years ago, way back in the early 80s. I started my own IT management consulting company. And what I discovered along the way, which has always been the essence of my personality, anyway, is that authenticity and trust are essential.

Jon: And that company was SMS as management, management consulting. So let's, let's start this conversation. So tell me, why do you think personal image made a difference in your career? And of course, your team as well, because I've got a little bit of knowledge of that. But let's start off with you.

LIoyd: Well, I guess there's a long answer and the short answer, I think I prefer the short answer. The short answer is that you're, you as a person are judged within the first five or 10 seconds of meeting someone. So if you've got your image wrong, that's not going to work very well for you in business.

Jon: So perceptions are everything you say? 

LIoyd: Everything. 

Jon: Yeah, everything. Okay. 

LIoyd: Perceptions getting in through the door. Once you're in there, you got to deliver. 

Jon: For sure. So the first impression, five 710 seconds. So basically, Obviously, I'm biased in that area, because it's our specialty has been for a long time. But even says play a part, right? Because doesn't matter how good you are with the goods? If the world doesn't find out about it in the right way, from an image positioning, potentially, then that I find out. So now, what I'd like to share with the listeners is how they can also attain a powerful, good, authentic personal image and how to actually do that. So I'll start off with you mentioned that earlier, you know, part of that is also the physical, how you present. And this is very important because if you're walking into a room, and you look like you're carrying the world on your shoulder, that's probably not the way you want to present. Do you agree with that? 

LIoyd: Yeah, totally. Yeah. I like to use the example because I've had many, many discussions with people, a lot of my employees who sometimes push back a little bit on that whole idea. And the stories I always used to use is, imagine getting on a plane on a, you know, a 747 jet for takeoff, and the pilot comes out of the cockpit to say hello, and he's is he looks like a plumber. I'm not sure that that's going to fill you with confidence. By the same token, if you have a problem with your running water, and you call a plumber, and the guy shows up breast link a pilot. That's probably not full of confidence either.

Jon: A bit incongruent, yeah. So obviously we know physical plays apart. Because if you don't look fit, that indicates perception wise that something's not right.  I don't think you can escape that. I think from a physicality point, point of view. Other than the dress, that becomes the packaging. It's also the internal, you know, wow. 

LIoyd: Okay, if you want to go into that side of it, I guess, use your word authenticity. But you gotta, you got to, you got to demonstrate a bit of energy. You got to look like you're alive. And, and you must also, you know, be passionate about what you're, what you're on about. If, if, if you don't demonstrate passion, then it makes it difficult for people to do business with you, because they want someone who's passionate about what they do. They committed to what they do.

Jon: Yeah. Because on that subject, I mean, we all know, right, people don't buy companies, they buy people. So the human element is essential here from a relationship perspective.

LIoyd: Especially in business. I feel people don't get this, they just don't understand. But you don't do business with a company, you do business with a person that you happen to get on with that you like.

Jon: Yeah, right. So that's great. Well, obviously, we've talked about physicality. Obviously, grooming plays a part there that we've already noted. You know, even some of the fun stuff that obviously we have discussed in the past, including, for instance, body odour, right. Yeah. It's so politically incorrect to deal with that. Yeah, of course, especially with many clients I've had, yeah. But how would you handle something like that, let's assume you got a team? And at times, for whatever reason, they unawareness, right. That's the best way to put it to me, you know, from an empathetic point of view. How would you deal with something like that, in today's world?

LIoyd: Well, I can only, I guess, I'm good at telling stories about what life was like, you know when I was running my business for many, many years, and you can imagine I interviewed 1000s of people who wanted to join the company was one, there was one woman, very attractive woman that I interviewed one day. And as soon as I went to greet her at reception, she had an aura about her that I found to be overwhelming. And so once we got into the office, and I closed the door, trying to be as delicate as possible, I asked her what brand of perfume she was using. And I told her it was very nice, but it was also very strong, must be very expensive. And she said when I woke up this morning, I wasn't feeling very well. So I took a bath and emptied my bottle of perfume in the bath. So So I mean, we had a nice pleasant chat, but she did not join the company.

Jon: Right. Okay. So that's an interesting story. And it probably leads to the next aspect of our work. And you know, that I want to, obviously ask you some questions about and that's communication skills. So the story you just mentioned from a communication point of view was probably what I would call limiting non-verbal communication.

LIoyd: Sounds pretty good. 

Jon: So obviously, communication matters. Everything communicates verbal and nonverbal. From your perspective, what are some examples you can think of, in reference to having action that made a big difference, including maybe a pitch? 

LIoyd: I remember a woman, very, very capable, intelligent employee, of SMS. She was on assignment in a relatively senior role with a very important client. And she was attending meetings often. And she felt that when she entered the meeting room, which was largely men, that they weren't paying her the respect that she felt she was due. And so this is a very long story, but I'll shorten it and just simply say that with With your help, you might not remember this, but with your help, we repackaged her which didn't only include getting rid of her sexy clothes, but also fixing her hair and whatnot. And she was happy to tell me that after some months of repackaging that every time she then walked into that room with all those suits. They would literally stand up to, to attention and salute her. It completely changed her life and completely changed her ability to command respect and what a manageable boardroom.

Jon: So she had gravitas? And that's the secret key: communication is all about gravitas. Do you know? And we've already mentioned communications, verbal nonverbal. . So if you have no gravitas, you have no standing. And this is an interesting subject, because if you look at, you know, what's going on in society today as well, razzmatazz has gone down dramatically.  You know, and I asked a lot of young people about grammar tests, and most don't even know what the word means.  And I won't say that this was disrespectful. It's just that it hasn't been taught yet, you know, in education institutions, what it means to have personal power. Yeah, you know, so when we talk about communication, communication tools we look at, for instance, Albert Mehrabian, mentioned this years ago in a study that all communication is based on, you know, if you look at the 100% statistic, you're looking at 7%, that really is the word you speak. 38% is how you say the words, you know how to bring the words to life, I, you mentioned passion before and so on. And 55% was around how you look, and how you look is not just clothes and grooming, but it's how you carry yourself, you know, it's a whole package. So words, we know words have got limited use in isolation, but as a whole package, of course, that they have the impact. But it's the whole package that matters, not just the words, especially if you're talking about trust, and relationship building, you know, you can be very transactional sound very intelligent with your words. And still, you might do a deal, but you'll have no relationship. You know, this is the key, right? And we know in business, if you don't work on relationships, you're operating as a lone wolf, right? And before, you know, you're going to get burnt out doing that. It's only a matter of time, you know, could be 20 years, but it will be one-day relationships are everything. It's everything. Yeah, 100% absolutely, you know, no different right relationships at home. From a family point of view, if you don't get the personal aspect, friends, associates, and then of course, from a business point of view colleagues, and stakeholders, and so on.

Jon: So we've mentioned the word the keyword authenticity. What does authenticity mean? Well, let me give you my explanation, we'll see what you can add to that. It means basically, something original, something solid, real, not a fake. Yeah. So from that perspective, if we can use that explanation regarding authenticity, what would you say? Would you say that's okay with you as well? Or would you have some other great words, that all relate to the word authenticity?

LIoyd: Well, I guess what I just heard from you suggests that authenticity equals originality. And I suppose in business, if you find out with, you know, with an offering, that is just a copy of many, many other brands in the marketplace, you're not giving your customer or your client, a reason to do business with you. I remember I remember reading a small ad in a newspaper, in Canada, in the early 70s. And it was a small and to open up a business selling hamburgers. And maybe this was a lot of money in those days, I don't know. But for $5,000 down, you can have your own hamburgers, restaurant. And I remember thinking to myself, hamburger joints are a dime a dozen, there is no room for another hamburger company. Well, it turns out that this hamburger company, was McDonald's, really. And back in the early 70s, you could get a McDonald's franchise for $5,000 down. And like I say, that was probably a bit of money in those days, but nothing compared to what it costs today to open a McDonald's franchise. And of course, McDonald's had something which differentiated them from all the other hamburger joints in town. And so I guess in that sense, you could say that the founders of that company, were very authentic. 

Jon: Very authentic. So authenticity lends itself to creating a premium brand for yourself. You know, at a premium price as well.  Because if it's not authentic, what we're suggesting then is it's there not a copy? And a copy is cheap. So you don't want to be a professional You don't ever want to come across as cheap, right? 

LIoyd: That's right. And if you're just a copy is perceived as a copy, then there's no way that you can add value. Because you're constantly looking to copy your opposition. So you're so the clients getting second best if the good business with you.

Jon: Yeah, right. Right. So authenticity is the key here. 

LIoyd: You gotta bring something new to the table.

Jon: Bring something new to the table. And if you look at it, from that point of view, as well, you're talking about your picture as well. You know, you can talk about also from a media perspective, if you're fronting the media, you know, if you've got just an inauthentic script that, you know, one on one script that anyone else has got when they facing, for instance, a journalist that's not authentic. And I think that I the world, you know, certainly people can pick up on that, that might not be able to exactly pick up every nuance of it. But they will say, certainly in their mind, something's not right in you know, and I think we can all understand that one. 

LIoyd: Yeah. And of course, when, you know, when you say you're going to do something, that you do it. If you don't do it, then you're not very authentic, and finding excuses for your failure is also not very authentic.

Jon: Yes. Right. So what you're saying is, then be your word, take accountability, be responsible. So with that, then can you share with us also to share some as well, common mistakes that people make when they are developing their authentic personal Newick? Maybe I'll start. So here I am. I fly to Hong Kong. And I'm 16 years old to go and check out some factories around textiles. Right, in that, at that time, I wasn't involved with fashion, it was an exploratory trip. And I remember getting picked up at the hotel, by a limousine to go to this factory somewhere in deep outer aspects of Hong Kong. And I was dressed to get these singlets shorts. It's fine. Hong Kong, very hot, very hot. But my point is, and thongs, Aussie thongs, so I got there and is vice president of this company, mature lighting, you know, obviously, affluent and upper class, if I can use that term. And I'm thinking, well, she's very dressed up and so on. Right? Like I, and I'm, you know, like, a young Aussie kid trying to explore business opportunities. Anyway, she was very nice to me. She was very polite, she gave me samples. Also the stuff I like the limo back at the hotel. And of course, I came back to Australia. But that story that was virtually over 40 years ago, I have never forgotten it. And I just think about it, right? I teach this stuff. And I did that as 16-year-old thinking I was really cool. But it absolutely, in my mind a disaster looking back now, but he was very polite, of course. So So that was one personal example. Can you think of any?

LIoyd: I don't know that I can match that one. I think I don't know that I can single out one particular story other than possibly meeting you 20 years ago when you took one look at me. And you said, you need to be packaged up. And you proceeded, proceeded to do exactly that. And of course, I've been loving the results of that packaging ever since. And I drove all of my employees around the bend with that, yeah.

Jon: Because when I mean, when we use that term for the benefit of our listeners, what you're really talking about is you created a standard. Yeah, a world-class standard for your company that took it to the point where the company got listed. And of course, you know, made a lot of money. Right? So so if you look at it really, from a big picture perspective, without getting caught up in the detail, where, you know, people would say, Oh, it's fake or superficial, all that stuff that you hear all the time. You were very savvy, and strategic, without actually using those words. You know, you instinctively knew what you had to do. And I think that's the key, right? Because every great entrepreneur, a business leader, or any leader for that matter, has got a good instinct. And we know that you know, we know that basically perception is reality. Looking at back now are all the successes I can see. I can see. It wasn't actually an accident. What do you think?

LIoyd: I guess I don't like to go around bragging about how good I don't think that comes out very well. But like you said, I intuitively instinctively knew what has required what my clients wanted from me, some of them wanted miracles. And so if it was up to me to deliver a miracle, which I think I can say that in most instances I did.

Jon: Yeah. Because I recall I mean, obviously, for people to come on board, and virtually believe, right, or certainly follow a great leader. They have to trust. Yeah, they've got to see what's in it for them. And I mean, all of the work that you did with your team, and some of the support staff that we did, there was a connection there, that we're going to do that, because it's actually good for you. And it's good for your definitely your career. But also personal perspective, you could actually help even you with your family, right? Your family, right? I mean, when you have, when you face the mirror, you feel good about yourself. That's it, then you're projecting that with the people you come in contact with. And when you so if you can imagine the opposite of that, when you don't feel good about yourself, you're also projecting that, yes, you know, totally. 

Jon: So Lloyd, one final question. So what would you advise your younger self right now about your personal and business success ago, and how it was elevated by having an authentic personal image? 

LIoyd: Well, first of all, go meet Jon Michail. I'll spend the first 15 or 20 years of your career in the darkness. Secondly, I would say, Have faith in yourself and trust in yourself. Because there are way too many detractors out there that will try to tell you that you're, you can't do this, or you can't do that. My advice is to have faith in yourself. And don't take advice from anyone who earns less than you. 

Jon: Yeah, that's a good one. That's an interesting one. So, obviously, I so what I hear you there saying is, if you're going to start a business, talk to a business person. 

LIoyd: Yeah. What a successful one, right? No point talking to a failure.

Jon:  Well, but look, we learn a lot of my failures as well, right? 

LIoyd: Well, failures are for them and not for me. 

Jon: Yeah, that's right. But everyone has fives as well. It's just and sometimes I'll just cover them up better. That's the reality. Right? For me, success is really, at times all the five years you've done it, you know, I'm sure your muskets had five years as well. 

LIoyd: Oh, yes, absolutely. But I'm not going to him for the spanners I'm not going to embrace it for his experience. And I'm certainly going to him for his success, for sure. 

Jon: For sure. So, so from the point of view, just finally on that, your younger self, what really landed for me was of course, believing yourself.  What you just say. So, you know, it's so difficult at times with clients as a coach, when I believe in the client more than they believe in themselves. Because, you know, it's a gift that you can draw out and inspire people. But somehow people in God blocks, you know, of course,  we breakthrough there, right. But the bottom line is, let's assume, forget about the clothes. Forget about the groom. Forget about all of that. Believe in yourself. Because if you don't believe in yourself, why should anyone believe in you? 

LIoyd: Absolutely.

Jon: So LIoyd, I did say to you, it's the last question. But I've got one more final one for you. And that is, before we finish, what are your three top tips for leaders and entrepreneurs on how they should present an authentic personal image?

LIoyd: I would say not necessarily in the order of importance, but be authentic and believe in yourself and your passion for what you're on about. And they demonstrate a high degree of ethical integrity. I think integrity and honesty are key to success shall deliver on the promise, deliver on the promise. 

Jon: Awesome, awesome. Well, with that. Look, I want to really thank you for the opportunity to chat with us today. Folks, we're coming near the end of the show. I'd like to thank again, Lloyd for taking the time to be with us and share his wisdom is actually an authentic guide that I love and respect for a long time. And I know that I know that he's got the evidence to prove that so this is not a fake story that you hear a lot of success. Well, you know entrepreneurs and business people out there so I want to thank you. I want to thank you for also had the courage you know, for having the courage all along to really be yourself. So I sincerely appreciate you coming in. 

LIoyd: Thanks. It's been a pleasure. 

Jon: Well, you can all find me on social media. You can follow me on Twitter at Jon underlying Michail, on LinkedIn is Jon Michail, and on Facebook as Image Group International. I hope you have enjoyed this episode and that we have given you some practical insights. If you have a specific question on how to create an authentic personal image, please email me and I will help you on your journey. The email is on the description of the episode as follows. And also remember to subscribe to the podcast on the platform that you're listening to. So every time we have a new episode every week, you'll be notified. If you liked this episode, please share it with friends, family and colleagues. Last but not least, I can't ask you to write the show on Apple Podcasts. For this, you just need to click on the link on the episode description. Thank you all. I look forward to chatting again next week and wishing you abundance in all you do.

Jon Michail’s Personal Branding Masterclass" Podcast is sponsored by Image Group International, a global team of practical, digitally savvy personal brand and image strategists, based in Australia, committed to maximizing your impact, influence and authority in the business world.   To learn more and apply for your personal coaching, seminars and group workshops please visit or call 1800 631 311.