Does Being a Gentleman Have Business Value?

In the cut-throat business world, does it help to be a gentleman? And what does it mean to be a “gentleman” in the 21st century? Those are questions raised by a recent article in The Times of London.  The author writes: 

Trevor Pickett, the owner of the eponymous luxury leather goods brand Pickett, aims to do business “the right way”, but fears that he’s in a minority. “The idea of being a gentleman in business is definitely dying out,” he says. “But when your back’s against the wall in any industry you fall back on the relationships that you have built with people. You can’t do that if you’ve just screwed them on price, for example. That’s just not the way we do things.”

The article concludes with the following list of what it takes to be a modern day “gentleman.”

1. Some things don’t change: say please and thank you and ask questions about other people rather than talk about yourself.
2. Be punctual. Tardiness does not make you look important, it turns you into an arrogant incompetent who thinks that his time is more important than other people’s.
3. The modern gentleman cares about the planet. Be environmentally aware (but not obnoxious about it).
4. Open doors for people and stand up when they enter a room, but do this for men as well as women. The modern gentleman doesn’t treat women like porcelain.
5. Be modest. Bragging is distinctly ungentlemanly.
6. Be a good father. Nothing is less charming than a man who leaves childcare to women.
7. Be honest about wherever you have come from in life. Pretension is spineless.
8. Flirt – with everyone. Good flirting is a form of politeness. Pay compliments and put your companion at ease.
9. Do not phone/text/check your BlackBerry incessantly.
10. Dress tidily. Whatever style you are going for, scruffiness just isn’t in.

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