I may have a problem. Sixty high-quality hats and counting. I’m not sure when a collection becomes a vice. And I’m not asking. Panama, fedora, trilby, cowboy, porkpie, top hat, fisherman, and sombrero. Leather, wool, felt, rabbit fur, or straw, and every color – even purple.
Practically, where does one even put so many hats? For now, I use two spinning displays as you find at stores, so I can easily select one to match my daily attire. These hold 24 hats each, leaving a dozen or so on nearby hooks.
On the rare occasion I appear hatless, an acquaintance will greet me with “Hey, where’s your hat? I almost didn’t recognize you.” Wearing hats has become part of my identity, my personal trademark. I feel underdressed without one. Meeting someone for the first time, I usually just say I’ll be the guy in the hat.
Not just any hat will do, either. It must be high quality, not necessarily expensive, just unique and well made. I haven’t worn a baseball cap in twenty years.
Okay, but why? Is it fashion? Attention-seeking? Individual expression? Rebellion run amok? Ego? After lots of thought, it comes down to this: I’m a 57-year-old kid. I love hats, it’s fun, people like them, and nobody can stop me. Plus, all the reasons above, too.
Years ago, I cemented my relationship with hats by including one in the logo of my business, Building Trust. Literally, a hat became my brand, and any vestigial guilt disappeared. After that, whenever I traveled I sought out the oldest or best hat shop in town. And while hats don’t say anything about the services we offer at Building Trust, you can trust that I’ll be the guy wearing a hat.
So where do I go from here? I’ve been called “the man of many hats” so often, it’s like I have a reputation to uphold. Better go shopping.
I am [now] making [trust] deposits daily. Your workshop taught me… to trust and lean on others… and to take constructive criticism as a teachable moment. Your role play hit home with me; I have not held others accountable as I should. I need to rely on my boss and co-workers, and communicate without talking things personal. I really enjoyed the workshop…
Patty Fitzwater Recovery Aide NAMI of Wayne & Holmes Counties / MOCA House December 10, 2014
“Bruce was easy to work with and tailored his presentation to our company’s needs. Our training session, running effective meetings, is a classic training issue that very easily could be considered “common sense and common knowledge”. However, Bruce’s presentation was fresh and applicable. Many tips and suggestions were implemented immediately.”
Neena Miller Director of HR, Weaver Leather November 23, 2014
"I was able to really dig deep with Bruce and my Building Trust classmates to improve my communication process and really put myself in my clients’ shoes. I can’t recommend the course enough, it was so beneficial and is something I put into practice each and every day."
Nadine Nocero Account Manager, SyncShow Interactive November 21, 2014
“Bruce is an energetic presenter who brought real world insights to our management team. Leadership concepts were presented using basic examples that will allow for simple implementation.”
Tony Snyder CEO, Pomerene Hospital November 11, 2014
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