Tuesday’s motivational speaker praised Channel Partners attendees for saving businesses during COVID-19.

Kelly Teal, Contributing Editor

November 2, 2021

4 Min Read
Kevin Brown at CP Expo 2021

CHANNEL PARTNERS CONFERENCE & EXPO — People matter to one another. That’s the main message motivational speaker Kevin Brown shared during his Tuesday morning keynote, “The Hero Effect: Creating a Culture of Heroes at Every Level.”

“What does a hero look like?” Brown asked. “When you look in the mirror do you see yourself or all the people who helped you become you?”

Business relationships go deeper than sales discussions and transactions, he said. The moment of “now” does not happen by accident; people do not enter our lives by coincidence, “and it has nothing to do what you do for a living,” Brown said.


Kevin Brown

“They come to you for who you are.”

Because of that, Brown advised, “be fully invested in this moment with them.”

And this moment of a pandemic-created “new normal” is really anything but, Brown said.

“This is a season,” Brown said. “And this season has brought change … chaos. … [It] has put us all in the same storm but we haven’t all been in the same boat.”

Channel partners have stood out throughout COVID-19, making sure clients and their own companies have had the tools to weather uncertainty — and leading the way in maintaining human connection while simultaneously working to meet corporate objectives. Brown lauded the audience for those mutual successes.

“Heroes eat change for breakfast,” he said. “The great ones see what everyone else sees but they understand it differently.”

If anyone might consider themselves ordinary, Brown exhorted them to rethink that conception.

“I don’t think there’s a person in this room, on this planet, who was put here to do ordinary things,” he said.

To that point, Brown added, channel partners may want to reevaluate “satisfaction” — as in customer satisfaction.

“‘Satisfaction’ is code for ordinary, and yet what do most organizations chase these days?” he asked. “Don’t you want enthusiastic ambassadors for your brand? Don’t you want unpaid spokespeople telling your story better than you ever could?”

How to be the Disney World of the Channel

Brown then dove into a story that unfolds over years about his autistic son and one remarkable chef at Disney World, Aunt Bea. Their relationship continues to this day, all because Bea took the time one morning to find out what Josh wanted for breakfast. She did not have the ingredients for apple pancakes — Josh’s favorite — that day, but the next, unbeknownst to the Brown family, she did. She had gone to the grocery store the previous evening on her way home from work to buy the ingredients for Josh’s favorite breakfast. And therein lies the lesson partners should take away, Brown said: “Give the people what they want or need, whether we have it or not.”

That line earned a rousing round of audience applause.

People will pay a premium for outstanding service, Brown said — as his many Disney World anecdotes affirm. Knowing that, he said, partners will want to ask what they can do with the resources they have to create the best outcomes. Don’t fall into the trap of forgoing premium experience, he added. Otherwise, “we become commoditized and compete on price.”

For Brown, talk of success has not come without his own hardships. At age 13, he suffered an unspecified betrayal from a trusted adult. That betrayal led him down the path of choices that ended up with him living out of his car. He left school in ninth grade. Then, a few years later, tired from depression and stagnation, he met the person who would give him the career break and encouragement he needed to turn his life around. Brown now uses those experiences to spur others toward greatness.

And that, he said, is the key — remembering that none of us goes it alone, that we all are made up of the people who influence us, and vice versa.

“Can you look in the mirror and see the faces of the people who made you better?” he asked. “Who looks in the mirror and sees your face?”

Want to contact the author directly about this story? Have ideas for a follow-up article? Email Kelly Teal or connect with her on LinkedIn.


Read more about:


About the Author(s)

Kelly Teal

Contributing Editor, Channel Futures

Kelly Teal has more than 20 years’ experience as a journalist, editor and analyst, with longtime expertise in the indirect channel. She worked on the Channel Partners magazine staff for 11 years. Kelly now is principal of Kreativ Energy LLC.

Free Newsletters for the Channel
Register for Your Free Newsletter Now

You May Also Like