Our ritual requires that we wear the chosen accessory for the entire day. This means everywhere we go. Client meeting? Check. School function? Check. Potential new business meeting? Well, Mark’s newsboy cap that he was wearing backwards may have been left in the car for that one. Diane’s fashion turbin was probably the most unexpected of our unexpected accessories. She proudly wore this season’s newest must-have accessory throughout her day. Briana looked at home in her fedora-style hat, donning it with such confidence. While Brent was a little unsure of himself, citing incidents of road rage waged against him and his hat. Hmmm. You’re not getting out of this that easy Brent. He played along nicely throughout the day though and we even gave him a nickname, which will remain our secret. I wore a straw fedora which I was not comfortable in at 8am but did not want to remove at 8pm. So much had changed in those 12 hours. For me individually, for our team and for others that we came in contact with. This simple ritual just might have the ability to inspire others in whatever ways they need to be inspired.
As I remove my hat that I put on for the first time a mere 12 hours ago, I reflect on how the simple wearing of an accessory can change so much. My outlook. The perception of others. The office atmosphere. Not just for the day, but possibly forever. We are already a strong team, but participating in this ritual together makes us feel connected in a way that feels, well, different. Not necessarily in an us vs. them way, because we are anything but exclusionary. But something about walking down Mills Avenue together toward our chosen Adventure Lunch spot that makes us feel like we might be part of something that may be bigger than the simple wearing of a necktie or hat or feather or whatever chosen accessory of the week.
We went to Tako Cheena for our adventure lunch. We ordered a variety of asian-inspired tacos and burritos with names as interesting as they tasted. Indian Yellow Curry dusted on Crispy Tofu, African inspired braised beef burrito, and sauces that include Tomatillo & Kaffir Lime Leaf or Roasted Guajillo, Tomato and Siracha. We even splurged with some shared desserts. Our lunch conversation was a much needed diversion from work which was surprisingly absent from our discussions. While we didn’t solve any of the world’s problems, we did have a lot of fun talking about everything from Spin-the-bottle (seriously) to Halloween costumes and other things that fall in the “you had to be there” category. Conversation turned to work on our walk back to the office and we busily got back to it upon our return, rejuvenated from our diversion and departure from the every day routine. Maybe that is the true gift of this ritual.