HIGH POINT — You may be familiar with the phrase: To everything there is a season. The keynote speaker for this year’s Furniture Today Leadership Conference believes this period during the pandemic is just that, not a new normal, but a season or an era that’s ripe with opportunity.
Kevin Brown, motivational speaker and author of The Hero Effect, told conference attendees that it is what we do with this season is important.
“This is the time to grow ourselves, and our businesses to make a mark on the communities that we serve,” Brown said. “An important question to ask every day of your life is, ‘What can I do that would add value?’”
Brown has spent many years asking others what a hero looks like and has heard thousands of answers including that heroes are members of the military, essential workers, healthcare workers and elite athletes.
It has been said that heroes are ordinary people who do extraordinary things. But Brown disagrees. He believes that heroes are extraordinary people who choose not to be ordinary.
Brown has outlined four qualities that demonstrate this belief. First off, he believes that heroes help people. The difference is that they do it with no strings attached, expecting nothing in return.
“Secondly, heroes create an exceptional and exquisite experience for the people they serve,” Brown said. “Nothing is random and everything is intentional. From the minute the customer walks through the door there are touchpoints all along the way; nothing is left to chance.”
Third, heroes take 100% responsibility for their lives and everything in it. They work to do what they can with what they have to create the best outcome.
And finally, heroes see life through a lens of optimism, not as it is but how it should be.
“No one notices normal,” Brown said. “If the people you serve are ‘satisfied,’ that doesn’t get you a ticket to the dance. We need enthusiastic ambassadors and unpaid spokespeople to tell our story and make that connection of the heart.”
Brown said the idea is to give the customer what they want or need whether you have it or not. You can either exceed their expectations or miss them completely. And when you miss them is when they often decide to share their negative story with the world.
“Heroes go the extra mile which is generally one more step than everyone else is willing to take,” Brown said. “In the absence of it, your business will be commoditized and compete on price alone.”
Leaders often need to rewrite the storyline they are given, according to Brown, who said the pen is always in your hand to write a new vision for yourself.
“How do you own a moment in time so fully and completely that it transcends everything else?” he added. “You need to take your customers places they’ve never been and own this moment, own this season. If you don’t, then someone else will.”
Brown said to consider what lingers after you leave, what remains in the hearts and minds of the people you serve. “The lens of optimism gives the hero supernatural abilities to take advantage of things others don’t know are there,” said Brown. “Saying ‘I’m proud of you’ are some of the most powerful words someone can hear.”
Brown said he learned that it’s important to show up when you can make a difference, not to rest on past successes and to stop chasing things that have been in front of you all along.
“People don’t come to you for what you do. They come to you for who you are. They want to be around you. They want to be led by you,” Brown said. “You need to honor them by giving all of you at this moment – this season.”
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