Most everyone is familiar with the old adage “Dress for the job you want, not for the job you have” right? It’s a classic piece of advice for those looking for career success. But, this idea doesn’t just apply to individuals. Businesses, organizations, communities, cities and even a whole state can embrace the idea of becoming what we want to be - starting with your outward appearance.
I'm not talking about a short cut, trick or scam. This is not “fake it until you make it” or “the clothes make the man (or woman)” advice. Nope, no way, no how, never, not that at all. I don’t believe in that approach. But I do believe that a few (of many) keys to success include attitude, attention to details and being in control of your own story.
We "dress for success” by telling our story. Don’t let others decide who we are, what we can do and how we can (or cannot) do it. Don’t let them tell everyone else who we are. Control the narrative by suiting up. Oklahoma is open for business. Not just some business, but all business. We're dressed for the job we want, but we're not waiting for permission or approval. We have our own style, and it's time to show it off like an NBA all-star walking into the Chesapeake Energy Arena.
There are plenty of days the Oklahoma business attire is work clothes, best for labor in a factory or oilfield. Boots, jeans, a jacket and gloves. But there are also plenty of days our wardrobe contains tailored suits, lab coats or a Mark Zuckerberg / Gary Vaynerchuk hoodie (for all you entrepreneurs out there). Whatever is the most appropriate to your task is what you should wear. When you want to change that idea, wear something more appropriate to where you're going, not where you've been.
Personally, my weekly attire ranges from the traditional suit and tie to office casual depending on my schedule and duties. Some days allow for jeans and a t-shirt. I prefer something in the middle. But when I travel outside our state, I try to look my best to represent Oklahoma as professionally as possible. Collectively, we can all present our city and our state in the best light by dressing ourselves, our brands and our economic ecosystem for the future, not the past.
No matter what color your tie you rock - Sooner crimson, Cowboy orange or Thunder blue - show the world who we are. Formal or casual, put your best foot forward and success will follow.
CEO & Chief Strategic Idealist
The Golding Group
Oklahoma Venture Forum Chairman 2019-2020