Kevin Brown

How to be a hero

‘Heroes are those who choose not to be ordinary,’ says motivational speaker Kevin Brown.

November 10, 2019

What does it mean to be a hero?

Many people believe heroes are ordinary people who do extraordinary things, says Kevin Brown, a motivational speaker who addressed the 2019 CUNA Lending Council Conference.

“But we’re not ordinary,” he says. “The day you were conceived, you were dropped off at the pool with 100 million other kids. We’re all unique, but somewhere along the way we’re convinced that we’re ordinary.”

Heroes, Brown says, are people who help others with no strings attached.

“Heroes are those who choose not to be ordinary,” he says. “Too many people and leaders make ordinary choices every day. Heroes doing things differently than everyone else.”

One hero in Brown’s life is his hair stylist, Rebecca, who put him at ease during his first visit to the salon.

“She made me feel like the only person in the room,” he says. “When you make a connection, it’s game over. I drive by 20 salons to get to her. Don’t you want to be the choice, not a choice?”

Heroes also create exceptional experiences for the people they serve. “They’re the first to raise their hands to make the best possible outcome,” Brown says.

Take “Aunt Bea,” a chef at a Walt Disney World restaurant. She went above and beyond to connect with Brown’s autistic son, Josh, when he was nine years old.

The family still keeps in contact with her more than 10 years later.

“One moment in time will change your life if you’re willing to let it,” Brown says. “Heroes see life through the lens of opportunity—life not as it is but how it should be.”

He suggests asking yourself two questions:

  • When you look in the mirror, do you see the faces of the people who made you better? “Thank them before it’s too late.”
  • Who looks in the mirror and sees your face?

“Who’s better because of you? When you talk about heroes,” Brown says, “start there.”

Click here for more conference coverage from CUNA News. Learn more about the CUNA Lending Council, a member-led professional society for credit union executives, at