It’s 8:30 in the morning and you’re hard at work in the States. A+ Corporation’s International Sales Manager Ken McKay is sound asleep. Slacker? No, it’s just 8:30 tomorrow morning in New Zealand and Ken is just beginning a 38-day whirlwind working tour of Australia and Asia.
Ken traveled to 10 cities in seven countries in three continents in just over five weeks. With 27,500 airline miles on the 11 flights held in this adventure, he could have completed a trip around the world with a couple of thousand miles to spare. (One flight alone was 6500 miles.) The 67 hours he spent in the air represent 2.8 days, the same length of time it takes to binge-watch the 67 total episodes in five seasons of The Walking Dead. Longer if you fast forward through commercials.
Did you know that Indonesia is the fourth most populous nation in the world? Add Ken to that number. His trip included work in not only Indonesia and New Zealand but Taiwan, Korea, Malaysia and Australia as well. And let’s not forget that connection in Japan.
Get tired of your commute to and from the office? To make it to work and back, Ken traveled through Milwaukee, Chicago, San Francisco, Auckland, Melbourne, Jakarta, Kaohsiung, Kuala Lumpur, Seoul, and Tokyo, returning through Chicago and Milwaukee to his home in Wisconsin.
To fulfill his mission, Ken has to be more than a stellar salesperson on the ground. He has to know the mores of customer cultures while practicing skills as a strategic planner, life coach, trainer, sales manager, encourager and more. He has to be comfortable with people who work in every aspect of our business including researchers, engineers, sales representatives, area managers, sales representatives and company presidents.
Ever lost your luggage? Then you know how flexible Ken must be when the airline loses and bruises your display board for the first of three international conferences in three countries. Nothing that he and duct-tape couldn’t fix. He conducts in-house trainings with Power Point presentations subtitled in Korean. He deals with the complexities of territory realignments and expansions where a single sales territory may be larger than the size of the entire United States.
Hotel rooms are lonely and convention centers are not glamorous but Ken takes the bouts of jet lag and boredom in stride. He enjoys people and the daily changes of pace and scene, happy to meet the challenges.
This morning, think about a member of our sales team whose sales acumen and tireless effort make it possible for us to manufacture and distribute our products every day. Take a moment to wonder, where in the world is Ken McKay?
Fun fact: Ken loses an entire day en route to New Zealand but gains it back coming home 5 weeks later.