Unleashing your HERO

Excerpt from our Annual Conference Keynote Speaker Kevin Brown

During the pandemic we’ve heard the words hero and essential on a daily basis. We’ve watched as everyday people in communities, families and organizations all over the planet rise to the challenges we’ve all faced during the crisis. And while we may not all be in the same boat, we have all most certainly been in the same storm.

One of the things that I have noticed during the past fifteen months is that crisis never makes heroes, it simply reveals them.

We have watched people and organizations use this season to create new opportunities to serve their customers. They are not bogged down trying to manage change, they are busy leveraging change and solving problems for the people they serve. They understand that the goals haven’t changed, simply the path has changed. As leaders, they have gone to work managing human realities and corporate objectives. Focused on taking care of people and adjusting to the current circumstances while preparing to accelerate growth in the future ahead.

In the past decade, I have been around the world sharing an idea called The HERO Effect® with high achievers and world class organizations. An idea that all started with one simple question. A question that changed my life forever. Here’s the question;

What does a hero look like?

From our military men and women to world changers and first responders, we all recognize and believe in heroes. In fact, if you ask most people what a hero looks like, they will define heroes as “ordinary people doing extraordinary things.”

While that is a noble ideal, we respectfully disagree. After chasing down heroes all over the world, from every walk of life, we believe that the definition of a hero is just the opposite.

A hero is an extraordinary person who chooses not to be ordinary.

This changed everything.                                    

What I have learned is that heroes do certain things better than everyone else. They show up with a different mindset and focus. Specifically, I noticed four fantastic qualities that are evident every time a hero shows up:

1. Heroes help people—with no strings attached.                                              

Everyone comprehends that heroes help people. We understand on some level that helping others is a key ingredient to success in life. We have heard from many sources that serving others is the pathway to making a difference and creating wealth. Yet, even though we are taught this idea of servanthood, it has been my experience that most people actually don’t get it.                                               

I have observed that most people try to be helpful to the extent that it’s worth their anticipated return on investment. They evaluate if it is worth their time and attention to give something more for a greater something in return. In other words, there is a motive. There’s quid pro quo. It is conditional upon another person’s action. Many people bargain, negotiate, and work an angle to get what they want. Heroes don’t do that.                                                                                                                                

Heroes help people ... with no strings attached. No pretense. No conditions. No agreement. No contingencies. It’s the dot, dot, dot that separates the hero from everyone else.

Heroes approach their work and their life very differently. They bring a passion and a focus on the outcome for their customer, student, co-worker, and friend that is different from almost everyone else. They are not caught up in transacting business. They are deeply caught up, however, in transforming moments and leaving the people they serve wanting more.                                              

Heroes step up and deliver excellence every single time, and because of this, their fans evangelize their story to the rest of the world. In business, they drive new customers and more business to heroes again and again and again.                                                       

You can become the hero whom people yearn to be around because they know that you operate with a “no strings attached” mindset.                                                                                                

2. Heroes create an exceptional experience for the people they serve.

Heroes make life better. They simplify things and are easy to do business with. Heroes know that the easier it is to do business with them, the harder it is for the competition to take their customers. Heroes dominate the emotional space between their customer’s head and their heart. They know that if they make an emotional connection, people will fight to find the logic to support their decision to do business with you.

Exceptional service is worth going out of my way to invest my time and money with someone who is amazing at their job. That is what I want for my business, and it’s what I want for my personal life with my friends and family: to be the only choice; to be the obvious choice. Isn’t that what you want?                                     

The Non-negotiables                               

The number one thing that keeps you from being your best is your decision to be ordinary. Deciding to show up and be like everyone else. Deciding to do the minimum required to get by.

If you want to be your very best, then decide on your non-negotiables. A non-negotiable mindset deals in absolutes—the things that won’t be compromised—there is no bending or flexing. The things that you refuse to sacrifice at any price.

What do you stand for? Decide what will not be compromised in your life. Decide how others will define their experience with you. Decide your own operational philosophy for life that will reach beyond your professional life and into everything you do.                      

3. Heroes take responsibility for their attitude, their actions, and their results.

There’s a motivational quote that says, “If it is to be, it is up to me!” How true it is.                                             

Unfortunately, many people have modified that quote to say, “If it is to be, don’t look at me!” Average people are content to move their own integrity outside of their responsibility. They look to the people around them and point the finger. They blame leadership. They spend more time looking for the reasons they can’t get it done and zero time figuring out how to make it happen.                                    

Heroes act differently. Heroes are the epitome of what it means to take responsibility for their results. They own the moment and know that every moment matters. They spend their time looking for ways to make it happen and produce the best possible outcome for the people they serve.                                 

Heroes take responsibility and lead by example.

4. Heroes see life through the lens of optimism.                                                               

Optimism is different than positive thinking. Positive thinkers are great pretenders. If they encounter a challenge, roadblock, or obstacle, they pretend that it doesn’t exist. They believe if they ignore it, it might just disappear.                                 

The optimist, on the other hand, encounters the same challenge, roadblock, or obstacle, and they face it head on. They don’t pretend it doesn’t exist. They acknowledge it as a problem that requires focus and attention to conquer.

Optimism gives heroes a couple of secret weapons. First, it gives them supernatural vision. It allows them to see what others cannot see. They see their jobs, their families, their communities, and their lives in a new light. They see things not as they are but as they can be—people not as they are but as they can be. They see situations and circumstances not as they are but as they should be.                                     

Second, optimism is the great equalizer. It helps us process information differently—to see what others see but apply it in a different way. Heroes use this power as leverage to stay one step ahead of everyone else and act in a manner that seems to give them a slight edge.

 “[Optimism} is like a muscle: the more you use it, the stronger it gets.”

-     Robin Roberts

In order to serve others, heroes rise above the challenges and adversities of everyday life. They have conditioned themselves to be bigger than their problems. They lift themselves and others up and provide a new perspective.

Heroes look for solutions instead of reasons that it can’t be done. They learn how to look from above the fray where they can think, create, and decide on the things that are most important to move their highest priorities forward.                           


Each of these qualities seems so simple, don’t they? However, if you were to be a champion of all four of these simple qualities, you would be a hero to everyone around you. That is a choice that you can make, starting now.

Kevin Brown, Motivational Speaker & Author

Kevin Brown’s unconventional path to business and personal success has taught him that winning in business and in life requires anything but conventional thinking. With a streetwise aptitude and a never quit attitude, he worked his way from the front lines in business to the executive boardroom. For two decades, Kevin was a sales and marketing executive that helped grow a little-known family business into an industry giant with annual revenues reaching two billion dollars. After a career in franchising, Kevin decided to retire from corporate America and pursue his passion for bringing The HERO Effect® message to as many people and organizations as possible. Kevin is on a mission to help people and organizations embrace a simple philosophy that separates world-class organizations and high-performance people from everybody else. He is passionate about helping people expand their vision, develop their potential and grow their results. To learn more, visit www.KevinBrownSpeaks.com.

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