How to Inspire Action – Honor Everyday Heroes

Effective Leaders Recognize Everyday Heroes

Communication is key to effective leadership. In fact, in challenging times it becomes even more important to communicate well. As a leader, how do you inspire others to action? One way is to recognize and share the stories of everyday heroes.

Who Are These Everyday Heroes?

How do you judge a company? Most likely it’s the same way I do. You judge by the interactions you have with the company’s ordinary, everyday heroes. These are the people who open your taxi door, check you into the hotel, or welcome you with a smile for a 6:30am breakfast.

As an executive speech coach, many of my clients are leaders. Often, I challenge them to find examples of everyday heroes, because these examples make the best stories. They are stories of people who embody a company’s values or simply exhibit common decency.

I could regale you with stories from my client’s presentations. These are inspiring stories of everyday heroes who came up with ideas that saved or made their companies huge amounts of money.

One Hero’s Story

Many years ago, I interviewed a wonderful woman who worked for Sprint, Nancy Albertson. I doubt if she remembers me; I never will forget her.  During my research process for the speech, I asked the conference chair for an example of someone in her company who had come up with a good idea. She told me, “Nancy Albertson came up with an idea that has already make us $17,000,000.”

When I called Nancy, I asked, “Just for my notes, what is your title?” She said, “Patricia, I am just a secretary. I guess you could call me a big gal with big ideas.” As she talked about her idea, she said, ‘You know, Patricia, I am the only person in the history of Sprint who received a second award for the same idea. It is a lot tougher to come up with ideas that make a company money rather than ones that save money.”

I was curious about the winner’s acknowledgement and reward. My curiosity overcame my British reserve. I asked, “Just between us girls, don’t you ever fantasize, ‘What if they gave me 1%?’” Her reply was a lot more gracious than my question.

“Patricia, we do fine. It is such an honor and a privilege to work for a company that actually cares what I think.” In your leadership presentations, do you include stories of YOUR everyday heroes?


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“Your presentations on storytelling and superstar sales presentations, and executive speech coaching have had a tremendous impact on our business.”

– Tom Esposito, Director Channel Marketing, Zebra Technologies

Companies that want to drive sales and gain a competitive edge hire Patricia Fripp to help them improve their important conversations and presentations. Kiplinger’s Personal Finance wrote, “One of the best ways to invest in success is to learn presentation skills from Patricia Fripp.” Fripp was named one of the “Top 25 Women in Sales” and is among the “Top 30 Coaching Gurus.”

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