A most intriguing encounter happened to me last week while flying from Austin to DC. I met a man, Luis Gonzalez Jr., a Viet-Nam vet, who was holding what looked like a leather-bound scrapbook. It had the U.S. Navy insignia on it.\nMy curiosity was piqued. Being an avid scrapbooker, I couldn\u2019t help but ask to see his scrapbook. We only had a few minutes before boarding, but he began to show me the photos and other memorabilia inside his scrapbook.\n Lyria Charles \nLuis Gonzale Viet Nam veteran's' scrapbook\u00a0\n\nTurns out the scrapbook was a memorial to 20 men who lost their lives during battle on the USS Newport News in 1972. One of the ship\u2019s gun turrets exploded inwards in the heat of battle, killing the 20 men; many who were Luis\u2019 friends.\nBoarding the plane I was so delighted to find that Luis\u2019 seat was right next to mine. I knew this was providence \u2013 so much more than a chance meeting.\nA scrapbook brought to life\nWe went through his scrapbook and I savored each page, each story. The photos of the sailors \u2013 many very young men; their stories as Luis told me about their jobs on the ship and their families that Luis has made it his mission to meet over the years.\n Lyria Charles \nLuis Gonzalez Viet-Nam veteran's scrapbook - 20 heroes\n\nLyria Charles\nHe brought each person\u2019s story to life for me. And as I listened, I couldn\u2019t help but think about the sacrifice these men made. And not just these men, their families too.\nWhat makes a hero?\nAs Luis closed the book and I sat pensively thinking about these men and their sacrifice, I thought about heroes and what makes a person a hero. The word sacrifice kept coming up.\nI thought about heroes and sacrifice in the context of corporations and organizations. While not paying the ultimate price of giving their lives, we do have people in every company and organization who we can call heroes.\nPeople who go beyond the call of duty to sacrifice their time, energy, and self-promotion for the greater good. People who many times go unnoticed and uncelebrated; yet without their contributions, things would have turned out very different.\nCorporate scrapbooks\nOrganizational culture is shaped through people. We can have all the systems, processes, and technologies in place, but it is people who make the difference.\nAnd as I mused over the stories that Luis shared as we looked through his scrapbook, I wondered what a \u201ccorporate scrapbook\u201d would look like.\nHow do we capture the stories of the people and teams who made a great impression on the company\u2019s history and culture? How do we celebrate the sacrifices these heroes made? How do we weave their stories into the fabric of our organization\u2019s culture?\nHow do you celebrate YOUR heroes?\nI\u2019d like your thoughts on this. Please leave a comment and let us know how you celebrate your heroes and the contributions they made to your organization.