Every Monday morning at Summit Consulting Ltd a staff makes a presentation about a topic we chose in advance at the previous meeting. On 24th August 2020, Bruno Mwebaze presented to the team about the power of a dress code.
He made a nice talk. Below are summary notes about the talk. Enjoy.
“I will never forget the 16th of June 2019 when I missed the opportunity to meet the President of the Republic of Uganda because of my dress code. At the time I was at University, The State House had a program of engaging with the youth to explore direct interventions and project support, in addition to other government programs. I was lucky to be in a class that was chosen to participate in the competition for possible selection.
Our class was divided into groups. They gave us a task, which we did and were informed that we had passed. Our group of 15 students was selected to meet the President. We were all elated. We thought all of us in our group would meet the President.
They told us to stay ready. There was a catch.
Since the President is a very busy person, we were not advised of the exact timing. We were told to stay ready for an invitation at any time. For the next two weeks, we would come excited and ready for the invite. But it never came through.
We started forgetting about it altogether and resumed our normal lives. We thought it was a hoax.
However, when we reached the State House, they said all of us cannot meet the President. They selected five people from among us. The first key criterion for the selection was the dress code. My colleagues who were smartly dressed and presentable got the upper hand, yet they did not know what to present. I was the most knowledgeable about the project which had made us win. After being blocked at the reception, we were told to brief the well dressed so that they could present to the President! I regretted having come to School that day poorly dressed. It was too late.
Those who met the President progressed in their lives. Our project was funded and they selected a Chairman amongst themselves. They left us out completely. The last time I heard was all these people were recruited by the Government in the different institutions. The bad dress code made me lose a lifetime of opportunities.”
Indeed, good luck is when preparedness meets opportunity.”
You must dress for success. Many times, when I go with Mr. Strategy to clients, Mr. Strategy will get out of the car as I park it. He always asks you to accompany him to the meeting. Once he has gone through the security checks and reception, it is not easy to catch up, especially if you are not well dressed. The security guards, receptionists, etc will ask so many questions depending on your dress code.
Four misconceptions about dressing for success
Expensive. People that the more expensive your clothes are, the smarter you are. That is not true. Smartness has nothing to do with the price of the clothes. It has everything to do with how your cloth choices suit the occasion.
Not very important, what you say matters most. Before people listen to you, they listen to your sense of style. Your respect for the moment. You don’t expect meeting elders in torn jeans or dirty clothes, no matter how expensive they may be. Are you dressed for the occasion? Do your look and appearance inspire and communicate seriousness?
The truth about dress-code
The right dressing depicts the right attitude. Dress-code expresses personality. And people sometimes give the wrong personality to those who see them. And most of the time you do not always get a chance to explain yourself.
“Recently a friend saw me smartly dressed. I was going to a function. My friend said, “you are smart.” I just told him that “why don’t you tell me when I am not so that I can improve?” Many people when they see you badly dressed, they form an opinion and just keep quiet, they don’t mind telling you.” You must be careful.
Respect and association. People want to associate with folks who are smart. Even on social media, when you get a friend request, you check out whether someone is smart or not. You can easily miss great opportunities because of poor dress code
Dresscode has power. It speaks for you even without saying a word. It creates the first impression of your personality and outlook at life. Make use of that power.
Always remember, Deuteronomy 22:5, “a woman shall not wear a man’s garment, nor shall a man put on a woman’s cloak, for whoever does these things is an abomination to the Lord your God.
People expect you to dress for the occasion. Do so. Whereas you should not mind what others think, if you are truly going to live with people, you must accept some dictates of society. Dress for the occasion and gain an edge.
Copyright Mustapha B Mugisa, 2020. All rights reserved.