I was shocked last week when my boss forwarded an email to me from our area manager indicating that the dress code for managers and salespeople in our area was being relaxed for the summer months (June 1st thru September 30th). I am no longer required to wear a tie Monday thru Thursday during this time period. In his memo, our area manager stated that he had reconsidered his long-held stance on more formal attire after reviewing the acceptable social norms in the industry.
Ties have been a requirement for managers and salespeople for years, and I honestly did not expect this news.
Thanks to my area manager’s memo, I learned somethings about leadership:
5 Things I Learned About Leadership When The Dress Code Changed
- Leaders requires flexibility. Our area manager could have kept things the way they have always been. Instead, he adapted. Flexibility in leadership keeps your business headed in the right direction especially when business currents change directions. Don’t get so stuck in your ways that you miss opportunities to take your organization to a better place.
- Leaders lead best when they give and take. Our area manager gave into a long-standing “tradition”. In return, he got more respect from his team. There are trade-offs in business when it comes to leadership. If you want to take your leadership to the next level, learn to make these trade-offs.
- Leaders must be aware. Our area manager was paying attention to the industry, and he noticed that ties were no longer the norm during the summer. If you want to be a great leader, pay attention to what is going on around you. Visit your customers. Watch your competitors. Learn. And learn some more.
- Leaders understand how the little things matter. A tie is a little piece of fabric that hangs around ones neck. It’s a simple thing, but it meant so much to many of the employees impacted by the simple change to the dress code policy. If you want to become a better leader, find ways to impact your employees through simple actions.
- Leaders listen. Employees have been asking for a relaxation of the dress code during the summer for a few years, and our area manager listened. If you want to improve your leadership, take time to listen to your team.
While my ties will miss getting out of the closet the next few months, I’m happy to give my neck a break.
What’s the dress code at your place of employment? What changes would you like to see in the dress code? Share your thoughts in the comments.