Every once in a while, I am reminded of how people perceive one another. We have expectations. We believe that smart, successful people look a certain way, act a certain way, and dress a certain way. And yet, this is our own expectation not the other person’s. But at some point, this all changes. Once a person hits a level of growth or success it simply doesn’t matter anymore.
Think I’m off base? Think of some of the most successful people on the planet: from Buffett to Bezos to Branson. If any one of these gentlemen were to walk into your office today wearing jeans, slacks or even Bahama shorts, you most likely wouldn’t care. Their names are well known, they are legends in their fields and they are people you would love an opportunity to get to know better. Basically, their personal brands are so big that you wouldn’t even care if they wanted to chat with you at the pool wearing only a speedo.
Having met some highly successful people the one thing that amazes me is that they genuinely don’t care if you are wearing a suit, slacks and a button-down shirt, or jeans and a tee. They care more about what information you can provide, what you are ready to discuss and what you bring to the table. They have seen very nicely dressed pretenders and very casually dressed brilliance.
So, the next time someone comes to a meeting in jeans and a t-shirt pay attention to your perceptions. If you are you judging them based on their attire, ask yourself if that is what you are really buying. Try to see beyond what they are wearing. If you pre-judge them based on your own expectations you will never know what they are truly made of or what they can bring to the table.