Friday, October 28, 2011

FRED Friday...Meet Mike

FRED Friday…Meet Mike

I met Mike Moshenko about one year ago.  Like me, he moved to Las Vegas to be on the opening team at The Cosmopolitan.   

Mike has gone OneMoreStep after OneMoreStep in his role on the Identity Leadership team (our department) since day one.  I’ve enjoyed his leadership style, his personality, his compassion, and his servant heart.

Before moving to Las Vegas, Mike worked in Table Games for 11 years at Motor City Casino in Detroit, MI.  Needless to say, running a loyalty-marketing program, leading a team of over thirty people, and working hand in hand with several partner departments…in the ever changing, ever dynamic, never a dull moment, sometimes…no…always crazy casino marketing environment, was quite a change. 

Mike came to me early on with concerns about “leading” and “managing” this many people in this new environment.  I remember him telling me, “Honestly, Taylor…any feedback you can give me on anything at all…please give it to me straight…I want to get better.” 

Mike and I have enjoyed an ongoing dialogue since that very day.  I remember telling him that this job can and probably will get annoying at times…but at the end of the day, it’s about people…so make it about them – either Guests or the folks on our team.  From the time he joined the team, Mikey has truly made it about them.

Over these last 12 months, if I’ve walked by the Identity Membership booth and seen Mikey hugging or hi-5-ing members of our team once, I’ve seen it 1,000 times…no exaggeration.  I get feedback from folks all the time about how “Michael is always there for us”, “Mike helps us out when we’re busy”, “Mikey is always approachable”, “Mike teaches us knew ways to do things”…He makes it about them.

Rarely have I seen an individual create relationships with people quite as frequently or quickly as Mike.  He values people and loves making magic.  Once on his day off, he made a special trip to our off-site warehouse location to give restaurant gift cards to a few folks with whom he partners on a daily basis to order our supplies.  OneMoreStep Moment, it gets better – before he went to purchase the gift cards he found out what each of their favorite restaurants were (in routine conversation), and he made sure to buy gift cards to their favorite restaurants. 

Even OneMOREStep…they weren’t all the same restaurant!  He went to multiple restaurants to purchase multiple gift cards for his partners…just…because…because they were such a big help to him and he wanted to do something nice.

In a One on One meeting a few months ago, Mike came to me and said that he loved our team and enjoyed working with us, but his passion still remains with Table Games.  He was honest and told me that he’ll stay in our department as long as we need him to, but if/when an opportunity ever opened up in Table Games, his true passion, he’d like to be considered.   

We both put our relationship skills to the test for a couple of months with our Table Games partners…and I’m proud (yet sad) that Monday, October 31st, Mike will join our Table Games team at The Cosmopolitan. 

He has always dreamed of working in Las Vegas in Casino Operations, in the Table Games department – dealing cards, relationship-ing with Guests and coworkers, and of course being a leader among his peers.  As of Monday, he’ll be living his dream.  I couldn’t be happier for him.

Mikey Story for the road…

Thursday evening was my last night working with Mike.  I gave him a thank you card as part of his "going away", and I was chatting with him as we often do before I leave work for the night.  A Guest came up and tapped us both on the shoulder and asked us if she was heading in the right direction for the buffet. 
I snapped a quick shot of Mikey literally going OneMoreStep...nailed it

Mike stopped me in mid-sentence, “T. Scott, will you excuse me one second…”, then he turned on a dime, put his arm around the Guest, and said with a smile, “I’ll walk you right up to the Wicked Spoon myself, how’s that…

The Guest and the rest of her party smiled as Mikey of course engaged them in what was undoubtedly great conversation as he personally escorted them to their dining destination for the evening.

I just stood back…smiled to myself…and thought about what was happening.  Mikey’s leaving us the same way he joined us – making it about them.  Loving.  Serving.  Leading.

Thank you, Mikey, for your leadership and compassion in our opening year.  It has been an absolute pleasure. 

Have a great day.


Wondering what FRED FRIDAY is? Visit the original FRED Friday post here to find out what I mean by a "FRED"...Click here - FRED FRIDAY


  1. Great post, Taylor. You are a gifted writer and tell stories that are very inspiring. I'd like to meet Mike someday. Sounds like a true Fred.

  2. What a great story; I love it. All the best to an inspiration to me, Mike, on this October Friday.