This past week I did a speaking engagement at a company called Rackspace in San Antonio, Texas - a company who is the world's leader in hosting all due to their amazing "support". From the moment I walked in, I knew this was a special place. The office was no frills, but each cube was decorated as if it were entering into a Mardi Gras parade contest. Then my host warned me that the CEO was kinda crazy, and absolutely fanatical, and to be ‘ready' when I met him. I just smiled, for I have often heard my staff explain me in the same way.
Photo with Lanham and Graham, CEO and Chairman of Rackspace
As I rounded the corner to the "support" area, I saw a strait jacket on the wall in a glass case. Surrounding it were pictures of different employees wearing the strait jacket with big smiles. I have seen some interesting fashion since we started TOMS, but without a doubt this was a first...strait jackets? Of course I had to ask.
Turns out getting the strait jacket is the highest award at Rackspace, and it is given to the employee who demonstrates the most fanatical support to its customers, someone who is so "fanatical" that they literally need to be restrained, hence the strait jacket. Wow, this is my type of company! No nonsense, all the focus on the customer, and having some fun while doing it.
My talk went great and after I was done, they presented me with a custom pair of TOMS they made, with their logo sewed on the shoes’ canvas. With a little extra touch, they glued in special orthodics to the insoles for, well I bet you can guess it, "support".