Remember Napoleon? OK, so he met his Waterloo, but it wasn't because of height.
In my experience in the corporate world, the bias against short men is every bit as strong as the bias against women, however, it's mush easier for a man to overcome this bias by being aggressive.
At 5'7", I certainly qualify as being short. However, playing corporate softball and being an expert in handling the bat made me a perfect lead-off. At the end of the season I was batting .811. The next closest was .640.
I disagree that taller people are able to relate to customers better or to be better leaders. I found that my height made it easier to interact with customers because my size was not threatening. As for performance, as a unit manager I was given the nickname of "The plumber". Why? Because I was sent in to clean up a store, get the maximum performance out of existing employees, interview and hire better quality people with positive attitudes and to get double digit increases in sales. As a generality, I agree with you. A height challenged person needs to take every opportunity to show they are the better candidate for promotion, and by at least a two digit performance.
I never thought of this before, but maybe this is one of the things that places women at a disadvantage in the corporate world, also. Most higher level, female executives I've been acquainted with are considerably taller than the average woman.
- 11/14/2009 5:14:39 PM