Some CEOs of major brands and corporations have what I like to call The Converse Factor. These are those top managers wearing blue jeans and Chuck Taylor's to work every day. People like Spike Lee, Mark Zuckerburg, and the late Steve Jobs. While studying business I was told wear a black or blue suit, pull your hair back into a bun, and give a firm handshake. It was easy until I realized how much of a hugger and non-suit wearing person I really am. I’ve often wondered, in this society of carbon copies and uniforms, how did these guys manage to change the game wearing sneakers.
Here are a few of my speculations (ones that I am implementing in my journey of entrepreneurship).
Start as Your Self:
You’ve already failed if you start out trying to be someone you aren’t. Don’t force your square self into a round hole. Work is like finding a mate; multiple levels must line up to be a success. Be sure that the company you work for or are in the process of building fits your character, matches your vision, and suits your style. You have a greater chance of succeeding when in an accepting environment; one that is open to your uniqueness.
Deliver Quality + Results
Quality outshines appearance. Producing quality results not only draws people in but makes them respect you. And this is within any industry. Be great at what you do and it won’t matter what you look like.
Push Others to Do Good
Personality and the desire to see others do well is key. Whether you are the boss or intern being a team player and working for the greater good of the organization stands out. Making employees, bosses, and co-workers look good inevitable makes you look good.
Create Your Own Lane
If all else fails create your own lane. I believe it’s what Lee, Zuckerburg, and Jobs did. It’s most likely the personal inspiration behind 40 Acres & a Mule, FaceBook, and Apple. Each faced a decision to conform or to think different. The young filmmaker who collected soda cans in order to speak forth a particular voice; the introverted college kid who wanted more friends; and the adopted child who dropped out of undergrad in order to take the classes he wanted to take. It’s what I did (and am still doing).
You might want to try it too. Wear Converse.