Monday, March 18, 2013

On who's authority

Authority is dominance.  In the animal kingdom, the authority figure is the animal in the group that is capable of making sure each member follows the rules.  To make sure we get the most out of all of our endeavours, we humans have advanced to the point of having an authority for almost everything.  

The question becomes, how does one display dominance (in your field)?  The animals use hair, feathers, and air to make themselves look bigger.  This display of puffing up, demonstrates the size and power they possess.  Trying to look bigger and fighting is a bit primitive, even if effective.  So, we have created symbols to designate power, dominance, and authority without all the puffery.  Titles, uniforms, awards, and surroundings are all status symbols.

If you are an authority, and you want to be treated as one, it is important to display these symbols so that you are recognized as said authority.  It seems silly to have to wear a well tailored suit to be seen as a successful businessman, but we have come a long way from flexing our muscles and showing our teeth.

Your website is suffering from white t-shirt and flip flops syndrome.  It's easier to put on a white t-shirt and flip flops than a freshly pressed suit and wingtips, but what you gain in time and comfort, you lose in perception.  

Does your website display your authority?