When Business and Glitter Mix


" Pride goes before destruction, and arrogance before failure."Proverbs 16:18 CJB

I had a breakfast meeting recently with clients to cover our typical business issues.  It had been a while since I had last seen them, so I was certain to present a comprehensive "state of the business."

We ate at a lovely restaurant and I thought the meeting went well.  However, I did notice the person on my right seemed mildly distracted.

Finally, the bill was paid, and as we stood up to leave my client asked, in her best nonchalant voice,

"So what made you decide to pierce your nose?""Um. Excuse me?" I replied "Your nose?" she said slowly "What made you decide to pierce your nose?"

I didn't mind her direct question, but I was completely mystified because, to the best of my knowledge, as I told her,  I hadn't pierced my nose.

"Oh."  Her voice suddenly turned hesitant. "It looks like you have a diamond right there." She said as she pointed directly at my nose.

I put my hand on the place she identified, and, after brushing my skin,  discovered I was wearing a diamond-sized flake of silver glitter on my snout.  Apparently my daughter's glitter project had hitched a ride to the office with me; home crafting had blended in with work without permission.

After my client and I shook off our mutual embarrassment and laughed, I realized (AGAIN) how ridiculous it is to walk through life expecting to be "pulled together."

I SO wanted to make a good impression.

I wanted to be an" Executive" who inspired trust, confidence, and, well, "pulled togetherness."  I worked hard on the content of my meeting and was confident in my "A game."  Whatever confidence I had, however, evaporated in the glare of one shiny, silver flake of glass.

Whether it's a window washer surprise, dog hair on my clothes,  a poor wardrobe choice, or just a messy art project,  I feel as though humility is an inevitable part of my career life.

I don't mean that as a complaint, but as an observation.

I often wonder if I should stop fighting the inevitable appearance of a less than well-polished life.

  • Does embracing humility make sense as a career path?
  • What would happen if I quit trying so hard to be "together" and focused, instead, on being transparent?
  • How would that change my stress levels?

Have you ever asked yourself those questions?  Is there any reason why we can't all drop our facades and embrace the faint shiny traces of our personal life in a work setting ... even if those traces are found on our nose?