How One Person Can Impact an Entire Team

February 4, 2009

AlexShane_captioned Awhile back, I attended a National Speakers Association meeting in New York City.  At that conference, I met Gregg Gregory, a certified professional speaker.  Gregg speaks to an array of business professionals on how leaders can motivate, recognize and empower employees to achieve top notch service.

One of the stories Gregg frequently tells at his speaking engagements is called "How One Person Can Impact an Entire Team."  This story was inspired by an experience Gregg had one night at the Atlanta Marriott Northwest and how the superb service he received from one of our associates set a great example for the rest of the staff.


It's a very moving tale about how Alex Shane and the rest of the hotel's staff supported Gregg when he suffered a personal loss.  Since Gregg is the professional speaker, I'll let him recount that night's events for you.  All you have to do is click the video player below.

Gregg's story is a great example of how excellent customer service can touch our guests.  I want to personally thank Alex Shane and the rest of the staff at the Atlanta Marriott Northwest for embodying the Marriott Spirit to Serve day in and day out.

I'm Bill Marriott and thanks for helping me keep Marriott on the move.

How One Person Can Impact an Entire Team


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I wanted to take a moment and update this story --- the original story took place at the Atlanta NW Marriott hotel in October 2001 and we were blessed with Rocky in our lives in November of 2001.

On January 19th after 14 years with us Rocket J. Dog passed away guarding over us in his favorite spot looking out the front door. We were blessed to have him in our lives and he is missed greatly.

Thank you Mr. Marriott for allowing this platform to share the story of Alex and it is through this event in 2001 that I have been a fanatical and loyal member of the Marriott Rewards Program.

Marriott Hotels have truly allowed me to "Travel Brilliantly"

Great story! ...and you are 100% correct. I used to work at a residence inn, and we took in over 45 families that lost their homes to a recent tornado. Getting to know people that are going through a tough time in your hotel is something that a lot of hotels don't do, and it should be more of a common practice.

Great story! ...and you are 100% correct. I used to work at a residence inn, and we took in over 45 families that lost their homes to a recent tornado. Getting to know people that are going through a tough time in your hotel is something that a lot of hotels don't do, and it should be more of a common practice.

Just stayed at the Rennaissance Hotel in Pittsubrgh for the first time. I have stayed in most downtown hotels, but the property and the staff were tops from the bellman, to the waitresses to the front desk. Really made a difference to our trip.

Thank you to sharing such this excellent story. I will bookmark and share on training for my staff shortly.

Dear Mr. Marriott,
WHAT A REMARKABLE COINCIDNECE. This past Tuesday and due to perhaps a dose of bad luck I had my differences with the reception manager of the hotel I worked for and I ended my work at a prestigious European luxury chain. However had things rolled out just fine with my manager I would have given my five colleagues at the guest service (operator) a PowerPoint presentation on team work. My presentations are a very simple mix between pictures and relevant bullet points. I came up with this idea when studying cinema and film directing at a college nearby my home in Amman Jordan. During our studies on how cinema films were developed through the past decades and during related topics our lecturers stressed the fact on how pictures leave a strong effect in a person's mind. Bingo and in no time my first presentation on the importance of using guest names was perfectly presented. I even gave it successfully to another department in my hotel as well. Another one followed and on all three presentations I had wonderful feedback from my colleagues as well. Mr. Marriott this is what made the difference to me; that I got the message through clearly and using my own simple training methods of slideshows mixed with relevant bullet points. My third presentation was going to be about team work but my differences with my manager intervened. It is a nice one on how team work was the most effective medium in achievements during our human history and on how we can relate this to our present. I even give small pieces of advice on the know-how of fitting into a team. By this I hope to create natural awareness and willingness inside the trainee for team work. If you want I could share the presentation through your blog with the rest of the readers. As I said it might be something simple and straight to the point in my own training methods but my colleagues loved my trainings.

Bill, this is exactly why I stay at Marriott. Having stayed at hundreds of properties in the states and around the world, your hotels offer the kind of service and level of consistency that make me a loyal guest. What a great example of customer service.

Thank you everyone for the kind words about this story. This story turly touched my heart when it happened and continues to do so everyday. Alex Shane is a very special woman

I've stayed with Marriott properties for years and service this good is truly a rare gem -- it goes beyond 5 diamond service -- thank you for sharing this wonderful and touching story.

A touching and wonderful story. It reminds me of exceptional service I have received over the years at Marriott properties!

Memorable Service is never forgotten. My Grandmother always said He who practices hospitality entertains God himself.

I am jumping up and down! This is a fantastic story. I will send Alex shane a card....way to go and thank you for sharing this excellent story.

This is a wonderful story and it reminds me of the old adage that "what people remember most, is how you made them feel!" Too many service providers go through the motions and play back the script that their training told them to use- Welcome to Marriott, can I help you? Or- Did you find everything you needed today? As a business traveling road-warrior, what I want when I come into a Marriott lobby is someone to welcome me home. I need a human connection. Alex, you did all that and more- you cared! I hope I can come to your hotel soon. Karen

I too had service this good - in Buellton, CA about three weeks ago. It must be in the Marriott water!

This is an incredible example of customer service. The Marriott family should be proud to have created such an environment that fosters such incredible levels of service to shine and be recognized. What a moving presentation and an excellent example of teamwork. I am excited to share this story with my team to inspire them to achieve similar results. Thank you for sharing your inspiration and dedication to customer service.

Hi Gregg,
Wow what a great story. You have touched my heart. Not only about receiving great service, but how a dog can change someone life.
I have put to Golden retrieves down in the last two years, and after hearing your story I had tears as well.
Make it a blessed day!
Edward Albert