The Finest of First Impressions

I'm going to do something dangerous, and possibly ill-advised here, and enter the debate on dress codes. 

Yes, before you say it, I know I'm hardly one to have much of an opinion on clothing, or fashion, but...

Last week, I gave a Secrets of Success aspiration talk at the excellent Harington School in Rutland. 

You always know what kind of a school you're visiting - well run, with high standards, or sadly otherwise - within the first few minutes.

If everything is organised, you're expected, there's someone waiting for you, your presentation is loaded up and ready to run, then it's going to be a good session. 

But Harington managed to achieve something I've never known before in terms of a welcome - 

Two students were awaiting my arrival at the train station!

Thank you Joe and Jamie, and your entire school, for looking after me so well, and such an uplifting day. 

But back to the point of the blog, and look at how smart the young gentlemen are.

(Certainly more so than the strange creature in the middle of the photo.)

The students are asked to dress as though for work, and I felt that ethos through the entire school. 

There was a quiet, well disciplined, and powerful sense of getting on with their job - to study hard and do the best they could.

I know many consider ties, jackets and suits outdated, but for me - 

The pervasive smartness, running through all the young men and women, gave me an immediate understanding of the school, a subtle way of keeping all the students in the team, sharing a common goal, and, perhaps most importantly...

It showed respect. For their visitor, for each other, and for their shared philosophy. 

And that's something which is always going to help you get along well in this thing called life.