I had an entirely different blog post planned for today...and then I saw the below photo (and story) a friend had posted on Facebook. old man valentine

"So today I was in Hallmark buying my mom a birthday card when I noticed this old man stnding in front of the Valentines card section contemplating which one to get. I decided to go over and I asked him “Are you getting a Valentine’s Day for your wife?” to which he replied, 'No my wife died three years ago from breast cancer, but I still buy her roses and a card and bring them to her grave to prove to her that she was the only one who will ever have my heart.' "

I cannot confirm whether or not the story is true or not, but this much I know - it is powerful. I clicked on the original source this morning. In 23 hours the original post had received 373,317 likes, 119,745 shares, each of the 20,875  comments reflecting a range of emotions - hope, joy, sadness, nostalgia.

According to Hallmark, Americans send 144 million greeting cards for Valentines Day each year. I wonder if any of the cards exchanged yesterday generated even a fraction emotional connection to the brand like the above story did. The story of a little, old man (and his big love) inspired people around the world to feel, talk, connect and share. It didn't cost a penny, just a single question and a few minutes of conversation.

This is Word of Mouth - and Word of Heart.

If you open the Brains on Fire book to page 5, you'll find a quote from our Chief Inspiration Officer Greg Cordell. "Your company is the stories people tell about it."

Are you having conversations with your people? Are you asking them questions? Do you know your company? More importantly, do you know the stories are people telling about it?