The Importance of Being Different

Murray Pratt Blog, Business Insights, Humor

Fancy socks and dress shoes

“Hi Murray… are you busy?”

“Oh, hi Erick. Umm… no I am not busy. Thanks for dropping by.”

“Sure you aren’t busy?”

“Nope! Go ahead”

“Prab says that you have to concentrate on your ‘Thought Leadership’ work so I should approach you carefully so I don’t catch you ‘mid-levitation’.’’

“Ha-ha-ha. Nope, feet firmly on the ground right now. I  have some time. What’s up?”

“It’s about Brad”


“Yep, Brad. Well—I will just go ahead and say it. Well… his socks are bothering me.”

“Brad’s socks are bothering you? Wow… I mean wow. How do his socks bother you?”

“Have you seen them?”


“All of them?”

“Well… at least a year’s worth.”

“Well, they’re sort of hard to miss aren’t they?”

“Umm… well, yes they are unique. Great colors. Nice stripes and checks. Unique designs ‘n all.

“I mean – like those are really loud socks, Mr. Pratt.”

“Okay, how can his socks bother you?”

“Well, when I am coding I am trying to watch the screen closely… but out of the corner of my eye I will often catch a glimpse of his socks. All the stripes, diamonds, two and three tone sock patterns can disrupt my line of thinking – my logic flow – especially when I am coding. If he was wearing socks that were dark blue, or black, or brown… something monochromatic – I could handle it”

“Okay… well, I guess it’s each to his own… Did you ever talk to him about it –tell him that his socks were disrupting your logic flow?”

“No. I didn’t want to offend the guy. I was hoping that he would figure it out by watching people’s reactions – see it in their eyes. Like sometimes I don’t think they even go with his outfits.”

“Well Erick. It really is a matter of taste. It’s not like someone wearing cologne or some perfume that you have an allergy to. It’s not like he isn’t bathing every day. He looks pretty slick. Hair is always in place, nice clothing and his socks are like his ‘calling card’ – his ‘personal brand’.”

“Personal Brand?”

“Yes, there is something that everyone wears, or does, that conveys a sense of their individuality. Think about John’s purple shirts, the shocks of purple in Jessie’s hair. Even the hoodies that you guys like to wear – everyone has their thing. Sort of like my blog.”

“Your what?”

“My blog. I like to write a blog. I think it makes me different.”

“Oh, yes. Some of the guys have a bunch of emails from you. I think they have a file for them. Not sure what they are about – some of the guys find them quite weird when they read them.”

“Well, that’s fine. But that doesn’t mean I should stop, right?”

“No. I figure they must be useful somewhere”

“You see, Erick. It’s our diversity that makes us strong. We are all different. We are all unique. We have some young people, and then some other people who are at the upper limits of the ‘young spectrum’.”

“ You mean old?”

“Watch it! What I am saying is that we each come with a different perspective. We come from different cultures and backgrounds. We have men and women in equal measure. Our life experiences are different. And, of course, we like different things.

But that difference is exactly what can make our trucking software company and our freight brokerage software company great. How we tap into those differing perspectives and communicate with each other gives us the ability to come up with better solutions for our customers – customers, who for the most part, look and act like us.”

“You mean some trucker would have socks like Brad?”

“No – no one can ever have socks exactly like Brad. That is truly unique.”

“You know he has hangers in his closet for each pair?”

“Really, he does? How do you know that?”

“I asked his wife at the Christmas party.”

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