The history of the necktie traces back to 1618. During the 30 Year War, pieces of cloth worn around the necks of Croatian mercenaries caught the eye of Parisians. They dubbed it the “cravat” and a fashion craze exploded. Softchoice has taken the necktie fashion craze even further…not only with a jacket, but by fashioning it into one of the company’s most prestigious sales awards – the Softchoice Tie Jacket Award.
So where did such a crazy idea come from?
Years ago, a Chicago-based sales director spotted a piano player wearing the jacket in a Chicago piano bar and he had to have it! He paid the piano player a rather exorbitant amount of money to claim it as his own. The purchase kicked up quite the hoopla in the Chicago office, and became an admired and coveted item. Eventually turned into a sales award amongst the team, word then spread like wild fire aross the company.
Fast forward to today: the Tie Jacket has become embedded in our culture, and up for grabs each year to an outstanding sales employee across North America. The winner should not only deliver stellar sales results but also demonstrate true leadership by embodying Softchoice’s values. It’s all about how the winner gets things done differently, cares for others, shows customer passion and continuously strives to grow professionally and personally. What better way to show the vibrancy, passion and energy that our top sales employees exhibit than through our very own ‘technicolor dreamcoat’!
I was honoured to win the Tie Jacket a few years ago. I can tell you, it’s become one of the major milestones in my life. The second I was announced as the winner at our company’s annual kick-off event, I was beyond excited! I walked on stage while 800 of my co-workers, from all across North America, cheered and celebrated with me. It was truly a special moment.
And, it may seem crazy, as I didn’t win a car, or a trip, or a large bonus cheque. But what I did win was a heightened sense of pride when I looked inside the jacket, and saw my name embroidered along with all the past winners. You see, the biggest rewards often come from something that may seem simple, but symbolize so much more. The Tie Jacket is a symbol of the values, beliefs and culture of Softchoice, and I am proud to be part of that.
Tiger may have slipped on the Green Jacket many times in his Masters’ career but he should be so lucky to wear the Softchoice Tie Jacket. I know I was!
Aryn Dewar, IBM National Account Manager