How one can impact an entire team October 2001, after delivering two days of training in August, GA, I drove across Interstate 20 to Atlanta. The next 24 hours, during my stay at the Marriott Northwest hotel, were some of the most emotionally turbulent hours I had ever spent. It was a front desk clerk by the name of Alex Shane that got me through this most difficult time, enabling me to deliver two more days of training.

Almost immediately, this experience became a powerful story about amazing service and how one person can impact an entire team. A few years later, I was back in Atlanta delivering a keynote speech and invited Alex to join me as I shared that story with 500 people. At the end of the keynote speech, I invited the audience to meet Alex and had her join me onstage where she received a standing ovation.

In July of 2008, the National Speaker’s Association’s annual convention was held at the Marriott Marquis in Manhattan. This was just a few short weeks after the passing of my father and I really did not want to go. Encouraged to go by friends and family, I reluctantly went and had the pleasure of meeting the CEO of Marriott hotels, Bill Marriott. I shared my story about Alex and how her kindness got me through that time with him. I also shared that this is the reason I am now an extremely loyal Marriott advocate. He was touched by the story and asked if he could see the video.

The following week, I dropped a copy of the video off for Mr. Marriott at their headquarters office. On the day before the memorial service for my father, I received a call from Mr. Marriott’s office. I learned that he was touched by the story and wanted to share the video on his Marriott on the Move blog, which he did in in February of 2009.

Since then, Mr. Marriott has shared the story and the video at general manager’s and hotel owner conferences across all brands of Marriott Hotels. In many Marriott properties, this video is now part of the on-board training program for Marriott employees, now known as ‘Brilliant Hosts’. In fact, I was checking into the San Diego Marriott Marquis and Marina this year when Ashley, a newly hired front desk host, recognized me from the video. It is amazing how powerful one story from a decade ago is still impacting people across the United States.

Now comes the part where I would like your help. As of today, the video has received over 94,000 (nowhere near viral) views on YouTube. I would like to reach 100,000 views in the next 30 days. If you are looking for a touching and powerful personal story to share with friends and family over the holidays, please view and share this story about the kindness of one young woman. Her small and simple, yet very powerful, act made a huge impact on my life and continues to have the ability to influence thousands across the country.
I invite you to view the video at Then, if you are as touched as Mr. Marriott was, I encourage you to share this story with your teams, friends and contacts. Let’s share a little act of kindness over the holidays.

Happy Holidays to everyone and always remember that good days are for average people and, since you are not average, be sure to make today and the New Year AMAZING.

Gregg Gregory, CSP
Teams Rock!


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