Business suits take away the humanity of real people: the suit covers up everything except the head and hands. The hands are used for shaking hands with others, making contact or establishing trust. And the head and face are designed to communicate and represent the intellect. Thus, the business suit covers up everything except the body parts needed to conduct business.
But what, exactly, is being covered up? First, business suits cover up the heart. In fact, they cover chakras one, two, three, four and five. And the fifth chakra, or the throat chakra, is constricted and tightened with a shirt, a tight collar and a tie. No wonder a lot of business people can't say what they really want to say.
Business suits cover up the heart, as if to say, "I'm an individual with intellect but no heart." And in fact, if you look out around the business community, you see that paradigm played out over and over again. It's all about making money, crunching numbers and doing the finances, but rarely about heart. Clearly, the predominant goal of most business leaders in this country is to make money. And all too often, it's to make money at any cost, no matter what the consequences to people and to society. Just make more money.
And then of course, our business and financial newspapers and magazines put these people up on a pedestal. They put them on magazine covers with a photo showing them wearing a business suit, and they say things like, "Look how much money this person made!" And even though the person might only be in their 40s, more often than not they look like they're about to die, because their poor health is quite obvious. Has anybody else noticed the shocking acceleration of aging in people like Michael Dell and Steve Jobs? Even Bill Gates looks like he's about to enter a retirement center.
It's also interesting that business suits cover up an unhealthy body. If you looked at some of these people without their suits, you'd be shocked. The business suit is a great cover up for an unhealthy body, a toxic liver and unhealthy blood. And to me, this unhealthy physical state also indicates an unhealthy mind that lacks clarity and lucidity. Yet, when the suit is on, all you see is the head, the face and maybe the hands.
You know what kind of business people I trust? People who don't wear business suits, but who dress in natural fibers like hemp, organic cotton or natural colors. These people who are willing to dress outside the box, be different and break the mould of the common business dress code are the people who earn my trust.
I like to do business with people who are grounded and in touch with themselves and the people around them -- people who can not only achieve good business goals of making money, keeping shareholders happy, creating new products through innovation and being able to market those products effectively, but who can also connect with people in society. I like people who can give back to those who are less fortunate and help teach others how to be more successful in their own lives... people who have a connection with the world around them, and aren't just walking through the business community with blinders on, trying to figure out, "How can I get more stuff for myself, my shareholders and my business buddies who have all conspired to put me in this position of power?"
Because that's the attitude we see all too often. It's what we saw with WorldCom, Enron and so many other American companies, including, I suggest, most of the pharmaceutical companies. Unfortunately, they are all about making money. That means marketing products, inventing fictitious diseases and making sure that patients get on a lifetime regimen of artificial synthetic chemicals sold at outrageous prices.
And it all comes back to the suit. I think the suit is a symbol of greed, capitalism and disconnection with humanity. It's also a symbol of a disconnect with the self, because by wearing a suit, we take on a business personality. You suppress your heart and your intuition, and you rely on, project and expose only your intellect. And that's too bad, but that's the way society operates today. Everybody wants to hear your intellect. They don't want to hear about your humanity or your connection with yourself or the people around you.
But don't let me be a pessimist; some of that is, in fact, changing. Some of it's changing in the employee-employer relationships that are now evolving. Employers are becoming increasingly concerned about the wellness of their employees. I admit that most companies are thinking about this only in terms of the bottom line, however. They've figured out that when their employees aren't sick, they're showing up more, being more productive and are ultimately making more money. But some businesses actually care about their employees and are interested in helping their employees find happiness and balance. They are true believers in corporate wellness programs, which is something I strongly support.
I think that here in corporate America, we need to stop treating employees as mere resources and machines, and start thinking about them as human beings. We need to really connect with them and find out what they need and what their challenges are outside of their work tasks. Where can they find balance in their lives, and how can we as employers help create environments and impart information that can help these employees improve their lives outside of work?
For those companies that want to experience a real revolution in wellness, drop the business suit dress code. Let people come into work wearing something comfortable and less constrictive -- something that frees up their throat chakra and stops constricting their necks. Something that gives them a sense of freedom in their wardrobe, which extends into their life and their creativity.
You will find that employees who are able to dress more liberally, with a greater sense of freedom, are in fact more creative. They're less uptight, they're more willing to speak out, participate and offer up new ideas. That is in fact a fantastic benefit and I encourage employers out there to lighten up a little bit and stop thinking about the business suit as a symbol of credibility, but rather as a restriction of creativity and connection. It is the connection between the employees, team members, managers and the people they manage in your company that will ultimately help make your company a greater success.
Why corporate America should drop its dress code and exchange business suits for comfortable clothing