Like many Aston Martin owners, as a boy I read Ian Fleming’s ‘Bond’ books and pictured the excitement of owning an Aston … the speed, the guns and the women I would enjoy as a result; ah … my boyhood dreams!
The dream continued as I came to own the bullet-proof, missile-firing, working ejector-seat … toy. As I grew older the Aston Martin model collection went into the attic and the ownership dream faded (but never truly went away) with family and the need for a ‘sensible car’. Then, in recent times, as I took my son to a karate lesson, he said that my bright, shiny, cardinal red, all leather, 2.0L Hyundai Coupe was for sissies. Ouch! As an army officer with scars from both Iraq and Afghanistan, that comment unexpectedly hurt. “Why?” I asked. “…because real men drive an Aston Martin…”; he had just seen Danial Craig, as James Bond in Casino Royale.
The Aston Martin dream returned that instant (not in my own interest, of course. I simply couldn’t disappoint my son, could I?) and the game was on. A few months later I was the proud owner the above DB7 dressed in British Racing Green.
Recently divorced and newly minted as a Business Consultant and Leadership Coach, I had noticed that meetings with clients often ended with them walking me to my car.
Since getting the Aston, departures last longer and I am getting more work. Furthermore, I am regularly approached by attractive women clearly interested in spending time with me … no longer the chaser, I am the one being chased. Wonderful!
Socially, I was always the family man and rarely invited to events outside of military functions, army Balls, formal dinners at the Palace and at the homes of friends. Suddenly, I am invited to join the boards of several companies, offered membership of an elite London Club and, wait for it … the CEO’s of three City firms are each cooking dinner for me in their homes.
Hmmm. Is there a connection between the DB7, women finding me irresistibly attractive, an improved social life and increased income? Time for some research and thinking time …
I recently (Jan 2016) stumbled across university research supporting the message car salesmen have trumpeted for decades … that women find men that drive powerful cars to be exceptionally attractive. The researchers showed pictures of a man to 300+ women aged 18-46 and asked them to rank his attractiveness. Half of the women saw this man pictured (in the same clothes) in a new standard coupe and the other half saw him in a supercar; guess which one got the higher rating (clue: not the Ford); supercar-man scored nearly double!
The research concluded that to most women ‘attractiveness’ is directly related to both ‘perceived social status’ and ‘perceived manliness’; the women clearly perceived Aston Martin drivers to have BOTH status and manliness (thank you Daniel Craig).
That led me to think about leadership, status and leaders, especially business leaders (different and yet so much the same as military leaders). To massively oversimplify, natural leaders typically dress better, talk louder, mix with their peers and are perceived to act confidently; traits directly linked to the earlier boast of multiple car salesmen and the perceived attractiveness of men.
I cannot and do not claim that owning an Aston did all of the above for me. What it did was to help shape perceptions – and discovering that attractive women now notice and chase me has done much for my post-divorce confidence!
All of the above led to the following observations and thoughts. Enjoy.
1. Leaders surround themselves with other Leaders.
2. Leaders differentiate themselves.
3. Leaders become the best they can be.
4. Leaders innovate and make their own rules.
5. Leaders continually adapt.
6. Leaders understand that failure leads to success.
7. Many women find proven leadership skills to be highly attractive.
8. Leaders are typically bold. Driving a supercar encourages a perception of boldness admired by many women.
9. Leaders inspire success in others.
Ps: The picture: that’s me in a DB9 racing a Ferrari (he won).