The Hero Effect

Keynote speaker encourages Partners in Progress attendees to become everyday heroes to their customers. 

“What does a hero look like?” This is a question Partners in Progress Keynote Speaker Kevin Brown asked the audience during his session, “The Hero Effect: Transforming Ordinary People into Extraordinary Heroes.” 

“Many define heroes as ordinary people doing extraordinary things,” explains the author of “The Hero Effect” and “Unleashing Your Hero.” “But I don’t think we were ever ordinary in the first place.

"We were all born extraordinary," Brown insists. "As we grow, we just learn to stop believing that. When we were kids, we played games inside of large boxes, creating imaginary worlds. Now we are told to think outside of the box, but the real game is played inside of the box.”

He told the story of his son, Josh, who was told at 5 years old that he was autistic and would have a tough road ahead. Instead of taking the storyline life gave him, he worked hard to earn his high school diploma. A big fan of Disney, his parents took him there for the first time at 9 years old. Since he had a very special diet, they were concerned about food choices. A Disney chef listened to their concerns and though she couldn’t make what he wanted on that first day, she made such a positive impression on Josh that he wanted to return the next day for breakfast. The chef had gone out of her way to buy the special ingredients necessary to make Josh’s favorite breakfast: apple pancakes. Josh and the chef kept in touch. After graduation, Josh and his parents returned to Disney to find out that this chef built an entire special menu for kids like Josh that Disney didn’t have prior to his first visit. In 2016, they served over 1 million kids just like Josh with this special menu — all inspired by this one 9-year-old kid with autism. 

“A hero doesn’t have to be about grandiose, life-changing things,” Brown says, encouraging the audience members to think about how they can leave legacies they can be remembered for in their work. “More often than not, a hero is made through small, everyday things and collaboration and innovation. 

“Heroes are people who choose not to be ordinary,” Brown adds. “Heroes are the people who solve problems and make life better for the people in front of them every day. In the end, you can never go wrong by doing the right thing.”