A career-changing moment or experience
My turning point took place over a series of events spanning seven years. It all began with a stay at a Marriott hotel in
Atlanta, Ga., in October 2001. I was
beginning a two-day training workshop at 9 a.m. the following day.
At 4: 15 a.m., my wife phoned to tell
me that our dog “Hollywood,” died
suddenly. We don’t have any children of
our own, so we considered Hollywood
as our only child.
Alex Shane, a hotel employee, helped
me through this extremely difficult time.
She even allowed me to cry openly at
the front desk. She also left a sympathy
card on my bed when I returned from
my program that first day.
As I slowly recovered from my
dear Hollywood’s death, I reflected
on Alex’s comforting words. I knew
I had a story to share … which I did
hundreds of times. When I returned
to Atlanta several years later, I invited
Alex to my program and asked her
to join me on stage. She received a
well-deserved standing ovation that
afternoon. The keynote was video
taped, and it became a part of my promotional marketing.
Flash forward seven years.
My father passed away less than
a month before the 2008 NSA
Convention in New York. I really was
not feeling up to attending; however,
I had already paid for everything so I
decided to go. I was just going through
the motions and not actively participating as I normally would.
I was sitting in the balcony for the
lunch session when Bill Marriott, CEO
of Marriott, came on stage. Being
a Marriott hotel chain fan, I leaned
forward and paid attention. I had not
looked at any of the breakout sessions,
but when I heard Mr. Marriott was
doing a CSP/CPAE congruent session
after the lunch session, I immediately
went to my room and changed from my
golf shirt and khakis into a suit and tie. I
was the first person in the CSP session.
When I was at an NSA DC Chapter
meeting at the Marriott Hotel in
Bethesda, Md., in December 2009, I
saw Mr. Marriott standing outside. He
called me over to introduce me to the
GM of the property and recanted the
story to him. I also learned that Mr.
Marriott told my story at a general
manager’s conference for the non full-
service brand properties, and showed
my video, “How One Person Can
Impact an Entire Team.”
My speaking career has been rede-
fined by this experience, and how one
person’s kindness can have a positive
impact on a business.
With 25 years of real-world experience, Gregg Gregory, CSP, teaches organizations how to get their employees to “play nicely together in the
sandbox.” His background in real estate,
mortgage banking, event planning and
production, and radio-TV broadcasting gives
him a clear understanding of the different
aspects of business and how different people
work. Visit http://TeamsRock.com.