Do you adapt your style to your environment? Or are you the type of person who is known for always being “on point?” Have you adapted yourself to become your brand? These are 3 questions that I’ve seen come up in various forms recently especially as we’ve moved to teleconferencing and having to live in a virtual world during this global pandemic called COVID-19. Also known as the Corona virus ak.a. #darona or if you’re a little tiny bit more #theRona. Regardless, a lot of my co-workers and other peers who are now working from home have said that they were doing teleconferences from their pajamas or in their robes. I found their comfort in their home and utilizing the right to choose to go on-screen or not to be commendable.
Yet, my take own take on work from home particularly for parents who are simultaneously home-schooling their children differs from some of these practices. In fact, an article I recently received from my mother about recommendations from a home-schooling teachers of 10+ years (if I recall correctly) said to let the kids stay in their pajamas longer. My own personal experience, growth and, development have taught me to value my routines related to self-care. For example, I have a self-care routine that requires me to get fully dressed in the morning partly because it makes me feel good. And, I like the stability of my routine. Equally important, I like my kids to be fully dressed in the morning too because they need me to teach them to establish good habits and be ready for whatever the day has ahead of them.
Furthermore, I was always taught to be readily available and quickly adapt to multiple environments because you never know where we are headed next. To paraphrase an old-school saying Al Grace of Loop Capital Markets taught me well: I may be going to see a man about a dog. Consequently, I am one of ‘those types’ of people who wants to know how I am supposed to show up to a date ,for example. I can not tell you how many times I’ve been annoyed about a date night gone wrong simply because my date did not tell me where we were going and I also failed to ask or push for more answers. This results in me ending up dressed inappropriately or having to bring flat shoes just in case my heels will be problematic.
So, why do I adapt to my environment? This is a firm belief and principle of my life and it is important you understand its foundations. I adopt to my environment because I am around a lot of different types of people and I love meeting new people. I also know that it makes me more relatable when I dress appropriately. Also, I grew up in a household where we were taught to constantly be “on point.” The reason why we constantly had to be on with best foot forward is because my dad whose surname I still use proudly is a local celebrity of sorts. My dad Kenny R. Williams, Senior is the executive vice president of the Chicago White Sox. Do know what it was like growing up always feeling like you had to represent? It was hard sometimes and occasionally it was fun. I am a more laid-back person but I was taught to behave a certain way. I was taught to adapt to my environment and again to adapt quickly. This is because things could changed in our house rather quickly especially when there are five kids and two adults living there. Yet, you probably know that old adage: to whom much is given much is expected.
And while I was in that amazing Facebook group I mentioned earlier I was speaking with another member and she explained her own rationale for adjusting her attire in the professional world. Allow me to introduce Tee Goldsmith-Irby who is a fellow entrerpreneur who is gracefully permitting me to share her feedback on my perspective in that amazing FREE Facebook Group from my fellow Duke alumna Shalena Diva. In this group where we responding to a feedback request regarding appearances she said my own take: “It makes sense. I agree with you. If my outfit was blue, than my shoes had to be blue. My hair was always done, and one day I did not roll up my hair , but there was still a curl and a man said to me “what’s up with this” and pointed to my hair. I told him nothing and this is what the people was going to get for today. When you work 5 days in an office building, it is challenging to be put together each and every day. I started to change the way I looked to a laid-back look and, as you stated, if I wanted to take it up a notch a couple of days out of the week, I did. Of course, it is different for individuals who are in an office setting versus online talking to hundreds or thousands of people; yet, in my opinion, I would rather exude confidence than focus on the details of how I dress as long – as I’m clean.”
Her agreement was affirming. So, to reference hip-hop, let’s all be “so, so clean,” “fresh to death,” “fly,” or simply “dress to the nines” to match our environment and adapt according. I look forward to hearing your comments or you can even just tell me if you know the original creators quoted in my hip-hope reference for our amusement. Thank you all so much for going on this LITE journey with me. I appreciate each and everyone one of you. Cheers and I would be remiss in my faith if I didn’t say Happy Easter to all those who celebrate.