Do Looks Matter?

We saw the contrast in the presidential election between the youthful,energetic Obama and the older McCain. Did looks make an impact in the election? Researchers in Switzerland would probably say yes. They found that voters may be heavily influenced by physical appearance even at an early age. They showed adults photos of two unknown candidates and asked them to choose the candidate they preferred. Seventy per cent of the time they selected the winning candidate. The results were duplicated when kids were choosing the candidates. They concluded that voting decisions are not made on the issues but more frequently on appearance. While it's possible to change one's mind after hearing the issues, first impressions have staying power.
So what about leadership? Job candidates? John Lennon once sang, "Got to be good lookin' cause it's so hard to see..." If it's advantageous to have good looks, it behooves leaders, candidates, job seekers and anybody trying to influence others, to be as attractive as possible. There's a reason image consultants have a thriving business.