If there is one Conversational Marketing Expert (CME) at Incept that puts his performance where his mouth is – and quite literally, as he is part of a rap group – Michael Jackson (MJ) is the guy that comes to mind. When you meet Mike you can already tell by his mannerisms that he is as animated as a Looney Tunes’ charater and full of positivity. A great asset amongst our employees, Mike is the type of employee that really brings our company culture full circle. He is someone you can talk to about anything, and you instantly feel this type of friendliness in each conversation.
I remember recently I was having a pretty rough start to my morning. My heat wasn’t turned on yet in my apartment, so I woke up to find myself in an extremely cold daze. To make matters worse, I had overslept my alarm, and my brain had kicked itself into that “fight or flight” mode in an effort to make it to work on time. To top it off, my Z28 was thirsty for some 93 octane, but I just couldn’t afford to waste time stopping for gas. After slamming gears down I-77, crossing my fingers and coasting on fumes, I pulled into Incept’s parking lot and flew up the flight of stairs to the time clock to punch in. I found a slight glimmer of victory as I had managed to make it on time and could feel a relieved smirk grow across my face.
I found a seat right near the big screen so that I could watch the Cleveland Browns get destroyed that Sunday, and, sure enough, across the rows I caught a glimpse of my man, Mike Jackson. The thing is, he didn’t seem like himself. He seemed quieter than usual, but without a doubt was still on top of his call performance. I had to ask, “Mike, whats going on, man?” He then proceeded to tell me about how the night before he learned that one of his close cousins who he had grown up with had tragically died in an automobile accident. And I thought my day was going bad!
That put things into perspective for me really quickly. At Incept we have a bereavement policy that states you are allowed to take up to thirty days off work to grieve the death of a loved one, yet Mike was still sitting in the office making calls. I even tried to tell him he could go home, but he gently smiled and told me, “that would be the easy way out.”
Mike told me he’d rather try to come in and work than grieve for his cousin (who went by the name Sully) initially, because it was a more constructive way to deal with the situation rather than sit around. He knew he could have called off, as he had a very legitimate excuse to do so, but just the way he explained things to me really struck me hard. I was dealing with just another run-of-the-mill bad day while Mike was going through a life-changing ordeal in losing Sully. On top of it all, his call quality was excellent (as usual), and he was seemingly well above goal.
It isn’t until you put yourself in someone’s shoes that you get a real idea of how dismal and minuscule your problems are when compared to something like that. Mike received Incept’s R.A.V.E. award (Recognizing and Acknowledging Values in Employees) for being tenacious in the way he dealt with such a negative event and used it to fuel his drive. That is something I wanted to recognize and still can’t get over.
It really makes me question if Mike, a really happy-go-lucky kind of guy, can have life throw him a curve ball like that and still hit a home run, then what makes your bad day so bad that you can’t give it your all at work?