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Why Adding Inches Can Improve Your Career
This entry was posted on January 21, 2013.
Height is inextricably linked in our subconscious to power, and therefore it is unsurprising that taller people tend to do better in business. By almost all measurements, taller people rise higher in business, earn more money and progress further in their careers. The question at hand is why do taller people (especially men) have an advantage and does adding inches to your own frame help you reap those same benefits?
Why does height matter?
According to a recent poll over 30% of Fortune 500 CEOs are 6'2" or taller compared to the 3.6% of the general American population, and that is just one statistic of many that demonstrates what many have long suspected: taller people tend to do better in business. The answer to why is long and complex, but generally height factors into our social interactions (and consequently business success) in two ways: the way we see ourselves and the way others perceive us. Generally speaking, men are more self-conscious about their height than women because height is more advantageous and desirable for men in evolutionary terms. Tall men are statistically more likely to be stronger and healthier, the former helping then win respect among their male peers and the latter helping them win over women (who biologically desire healthy children). Taller people therefore are often perceived more positively when it comes to leadership skills.
A lack of height however produces two disadvantages: a problem with self-confidence and a problem with perception. Shorter men may feel self-conscious about their height which can be massively damaging to their confidence and therefore ability to lead, which is also compounded by the innate preference people have for tall leaders. The interaction of these two factors puts taller people at a massive advantage compared to their peers and helps them progress to the highest echelons of the business world.
The Attractive Factor
Perhaps one extra unorthodox reason why height translates to business acumen is sheer attractiveness. Taller men are generally seen as more aesthetically attractive and it can be suggested that being perceived as good looking would help bolster the charisma and confidence needed to lead in business. Many people while cry out that they would never be so superficial as to like their leaders on looks, but you must again remember that this is all subconscious feeling. We are programmed to admire strength and good looks, and it is hard to logically override our evolutionary impulses.
So is it worth adding inches?
Many men artificially add inches to try reap all the above benefits that being tall seems to bring. Being even just a few inches taller can not only help with your own self-confidence but also make people interact with you in a different way.
Many people who use visual tricks to make themselves appear taller or wear shoes with lifts report their social interactions taking a massive bump, and in business it is the connections you make that carry you to the top.
If you believe a lift will help your confidence then go for it, but remember that in the end confidence comes from within. Being comfortable with yourself and your body is the only way you can project confidence and lead others.