As we have mentioned previously, we want 2015 to the be the year of the Gentleman. Indeed, we want all the men of the world to start thinking about Being a Gentleman. Now I am not going to bore you once again with our definition of a Gentleman, you can find what we think here on our Perfect Gentleman’s Manifesto and throughout the Code of the Gentleman website.
What I want to talk about is the practical aspects of being a Gentleman and put that question that has been hijacked many times from the 1990’s Christians – “What would a Gentleman Do?” (#WWAGD)
It is actually a question I am asked on an almost daily basis, on a wide array of areas including sartorial advice, proper etiquette, dating tips and more. The questions range from the serious and probing to the downright silly. But I give all of them due consideration and answer them to the best of my ability. I am fortunate to have depth of knowledge on this subject and I have been living this all my life, but particularly deeply studying it all for the last few years. So, I wanted to write this today to help you answer the ‘What would a Gentleman Do?’ question, when you find yourself in a tricky situation with no immediate resources to hand.
When I was thinking about this article, I thought about the famous Nordstrom Employee Handbook. Nordstrom, the upscale US department store, previously gave all it’s new employees a single 5 by 8 inch card with 75 words on it, they were:-
Welcome to Nordstrom
We’re glad to have you with our Company. Our number one goal is to provide outstanding customer service. Set both your personal and professional goals high. We have great confidence in your ability to achieve them.
Nordstrom Rules: Rule #1: Use best judgment in all situations. There will be no additional rules.
Please feel free to ask your department manager, store manager, or division general manager any question at any time.
Simply put, the Nordstorm Rule, as it became known, was ‘Use Good Judgement in All Situations’. This holds true in being a Gentleman and life in general, but the tricky aspect of this is to find out what is good judgement is.
The question I ask myself is, “Would my Grandparents have been proud”. My maternal Grandmother was a character who did everything with dignity and style, and my paternal Grandfather was a military man and a model of decorum and propriety. I think about them watching down on me and wonder how my actions will be looked on by them. The smile from my Grandmother and the nod of acknowledgement from my Grandfather.
We would also say to live by the three words that are our Mission Statement – Respect, Style & Gentlemanliness. Respect – is your next course of action respectful? Especially to yourself and others. Style – this is not fashion, it is understated elegance and is not about the price tag. Gentlemanliness – would others consider your actions to be those of a Gentleman? Would you be called that for doing the thing that you are considering?
So join us on our mission, in thinking, being and behaving like a Gentleman.