This week we lost John McCain, and flags have flown at half-mast to respect his contribution and spirit. This isn’t about the side of the aisle that you favor, this is about honoring a hero who stood for his values and the values of this country.

We commemorate heroes who have shaped our country, humanity, art, medicine, technology and every facet of our world. We learned about these extraordinary individuals in school, books, and stories. You may aspire to be like these people and place your thumbprint on the planet but the voice in your head says, Who me? Yes, you!

YOU ARE AN EVERYDAY HERO..

The Everyday Hero is the person who makes a difference in their family and community. They are the friend who makes you laugh and helps carry your burden. They are the person who smiles at you on an off day. They are the person who rescues a puppy. They are the military officer who represents you in battle.They are the employee who makes a difference in your business because of their heart, commitment, and contribution.

The Everyday Hero is within every single human being on this planet, and is expressed through simple, ordinary actions. Hero’s have spirit, courage, and kindness, and are nurtured, developed, mentored, and supported by people just like you and me! Many are born with the traits of a hero, but it takes a leader to develop and bring out the best in others. If you look back over your history, you will likely think of a coach, neighbor, boss, pastor, parent, child, or teacher who saw a spark and encouraged you. These people saw inside and believed in you, and because of them, you achieved a level of “greatness” in your life.

Our world needs more heroes. It is our job to bring out the hero that lives inside of each of us, making this world a better place.

To prepare this blog, I asked friends and colleagues “Who helped you become a hero”? Some said, “I am not a hero”. I responded, “To me, you are. I have heard you talk about the difference you make with your family, the little league team, your company, your clients, your church, and the list goes on and on. You make a difference”. They become quiet, smile, and then say, “Thank you. I did not know”.

Those that started at junior levels and become senior in their organization all told me the same story. A senior professional took them under their wing and provided honest feedback with compassion and heart. Our job is to listen, pay attention, and act.

When I look back on my career, I am grateful to have had many people who said:
You should try…
You would be good at…
If at first you don’t succeed, pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and try again.
I believe in you.

As a leader our role is to impact performance by identifying skills, nurturing talent, and helping employees feel they are valued. While some may take a hand’s off approach, the best leaders take an active interest. Leadership attention fosters confidence, and impacts engagement, and productivity. This ultimately helps a company grow and evolve.

On Monday, we celebrate Labor Day, this holiday is a tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.

Take the time to identify an Everyday Hero. Take the time to thank the Everyday Hero. Be a hero.