Traditional "good looks" can bolster someone into a position of leadership, but they can't depend on their looks alone to thrive. They need to mix it with smarts, body language, just the right amount of social butterfly-ness and a pinch of luck wouldn't hurt. However, if you really want to optimize your career, don't forget about taking care of your looks, too.
It might sound vapid or even sexist, but people like what they like--and follow what they follow. Fortunately, today's technology allows you to change and "fix" parts of your appearance that aren't traditionally manager-worthy. How can are you willing to go to look like a leader? Here are a few of the body attributes that scream leadership:
1. Straight, white teeth
Numerous studies have linked the appearance of teeth to how successful a person is, how attractive they're deemed, and how happy they seem. Note that this doesn't necessarily indicate how healthy your teeth are (although it can), and it's more important to have a healthy mouth than a flawless one. However, orthodontics, whitening treatments and even porcelain veneers can all help you get that youthful, glowing smile people tend to trust.
2. Clear, bright skin
It's really unfair--acne can extend well into adulthood (in fact, it can last your whole life) and it's often a case of bad luck and skin reactions rather than how much greasy food you eat. Regardless, the clearer and more beautiful your skin, the more likely people are to follow you. It's been ingrained into society that acne is "gross" and perhaps a result of poor habits. People trust others with clear skin, even though there's no reason to do so.
3. A full head of hair
This goes for both men and women. At times, baldness in men can be seen as a sign of wisdom and a shark-like ability to lead a company, but not if it's that classic male pattern baldness that you haven't buzzed yet. Healthy, thick hair is a sign of virility and youthfulness--and that's what people want in their manager. Luckily, you can fake it to some degree with hair products and consider vitamins or scalp massages to stimulate growth.
4. The right kind of wrinkles (if any)
For a man, horizontal wrinkles on the forehead can be a sign of experience. However, anyone with deep frown lines or those vertical lines between your eyebrows might look angrier than they are. Nobody wants to follow a leader who looks perpetually peeved. In extreme situations, you can consider Botox. Otherwise, simply practice smiling more often and/or relaxing the face.
Tall people are leaders, or so thinks society. Both men and women with a little extra height are more often listened to and thought of as experts. Even though height is completely genetic and has nothing to do with your ability to lead at all, shorter people can still get the brunt of this stereotype. Practice better posture and perhaps invest in shoes with lifts if you want to compete.
7. Manicured hands
This one is completely in your control: One of the first places stress shows in the body is in the hands with bit nails and torn cuticles. Indulge in a weekly manicure (polish is optional) and show that you're in control and yet still have time for self-care.
There's some incredible competition out there, so take time to stack the odds in your favor.