The Power of Lollipop Moments
OK, we have something different for you on our today’s menu: a TED Talk by Drew Dudley. And, oh boy – what a TED Talk this one is!
About Drew Dudley
Drew Dudley is a Canadian motivational speaker and a former Director of a leadership development program at the University of Toronto. He has been featured on Radio America, Huffington Post, and Forbes.com. Dudley is the founder and Chief Catalyst of Day One Leadership.
“Everyday Leadership Summary”
Let’s start with the accolades!
Drew Dudley has been described by an Oxford professor as “one of the most motivating and inspiring speakers on leadership out there right now.” And even though he has one more speech attached to his name, the description is based on a single 5-minute TED Talk!
The talk was voted “one of the 15 most inspirational TED talks of all time” by TED. It was listed first on both Time’s “7 TED Talks That Will Make You a Better Leader” and Inc’s “25 TED Talks That Will Make You a Better Leader.”
So, you have the best of both worlds: a motivational story, and an original vision about what leadership is. And both go back to the moment when Drew Dudley, a leadership educator, left Sackville’s Mount Allison University.
He was suddenly approached by a young woman. She told him that four years earlier he had completely and utterly changed her understanding of leadership.
It was the girl’s first day of college. Unknown to practically everybody, she was determined that it would be her last as well. She felt as if she didn’t belong there.
But, just as she was about to tell this to her parents, she saw a strange-looking man in the background. He was wearing “the stupidest hat” and a big Shinerama sign, promoting the fight against cystic fibrosis by handing everybody lollipops.
You’ve guessed it – it was our keynote speaker, Drew Dudley himself.
He came close to the girl and her parents and gave a lollipop to the boy standing next to her. He jokingly uttered: “You need to give a lollipop to the beautiful woman standing next to you.”
The boy felt embarrassed but gave the lollipop to the girl nevertheless. She accepted it with a smile. And then the moment happened. Dudley turned to her parents and with a severe look on his face, said to them:
“Look at that! Look at that! First day away from home, and already she’s taking candy from a stranger!”
Needless to add – everybody erupted with laughter. And just like that, the girl knew hat she was exactly where she was supposed to be.
The story has three interesting twists and, of course, a moral.
First of all: it is a moment Dudley has no recollection of. Even when recounted, it was just another day at his job for him. However – and this is the second twist – he had so much influence on the girl and her future that he even received an invitation to her wedding.
You want to know the third twist?
Her husband was the guy who handed her Dudley’s lollipop.
And the moral? Well, it’s fairly simple one. Namely, leadership is not something only a few of us can do. It’s something everybody has already done.
The only thing that’s wrong with it is its definition.
Key Lessons from “Everyday Leadership”
1. Everyone Has Already Been a Leader
2. It’s the Lollipop Moments Which Make All the Difference
3. Change Just One Person’s Understanding of the World
Everyone Has Already Been a Leader
If you’re like most of the people, you probably think that being a leader is about being “visionary, emotionally intelligent, disciplined, and charismatic.” If you’re like Drew Dudley, you either think that every person on the planet has these traits, or that being a leader is merely about changing a person’s life.
And you have probably already done this. Whether you know it – or not.
It’s the Lollipop Moments Which Make All the Difference
Drew Dudley changed the life of a girl he spent merely a second with by handing a lollipop to the boy standing next to her and making a joke with her parents. It was the original “lollipop moment.” Now, for Dudley, it’s the symbol of the power of everyday leadership. Everyone has contributed to one – and everyone has experienced one.
And the latter ones should tell the former ones as soon as possible.
Change Just One Person’s Understanding of the World…
OK, says Dudley, may it be so. But, what is the world, he asks? There are seven billion understandings of it! So, shouldn’t it count if you can change one of them? Aren’t you contributing to a more beautiful and better world?
Yes. Yes, you are. And you should value that.
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