The Power of Moments

Takeaway Notes

Thank you for reading the No Greater Service takeaway notes on The Power of Moments by Chip Heath & Dan Heath.  As leaders, it's important to learn something new each and every day.  The best way to continue this education is by reading.  Each month I challenge myself to read one leadership book and pull out 2-3 big takeaways that I personally want to enact in my own leadership.  

In this month's notes I discuss: the importance of retraining our brains to think about & create moments, how understanding your purpose at work is more important than being passionate about your work, and how the best method for growth is to not be afraid of action.


1.  Life is Measured in Moments, Moments we Create

We tend to think in terms of goals, but we must train ourselves to think in moments.  When thinking back over the last month, year or even a lifetime, we remember the big moments (good or bad).

Moments do not just happen to us, they are created.  The real magic happens when you start intentionally making moments for yourself and others.  Moments can be created for transitions (new job or role, a big move or promotion), milestones (birthdays, anniversaries, birth of a child), and pits (deaths, illnesses, heartbreak).  For all of these, moments can be created to elevate the transitions and milestones or fill the pits to make the circumstances more manageable.  If done well, these moments will be remembered forever.

Once you start intentionally making moments, you will be the creator of lasting memories for yourself and others.

"We can be designers of moments that deliver elevation and insight and pride and connection.  These extraordinary minutes and hours and days - they are what make life meaningful.  And they are ours to create." 

2.  Purpose Trumps Passion

Passion is when you are excited or enthusiastic about the work you do.  Purpose is when your work contributes to something much larger than yourself.  It is less important to be passionate about your work than it is to be connected to the purpose of your work.

To get to the purpose of your work, ask yourself why you do the work you do.  It might take several times asking why to get to the true meaning of your work.  You know you've reached the meaning when you reach the contribution.  Once you understand what you're contributing to the whole organization, it's easier to transcend your daily tasks and be happy about the work you do everyday.

"People are connected tightly together as they realize that what they're doing is important and urgent and bigger than any of them" 

3.  Action Leads to Insight

We need to rethink our definition of failure.  Failure is not trying something and getting an incorrect result.  Failure is simply not trying something.  The more we attempt, the more self-insight we gain.  It is commonly thought that we should gain insight (through reflection) first before putting something into act.  This is incorrect.  We should act more and gain insight from our actions.

When we put ourselves in more situations where we act, we put ourselves at risk of failing & force ourselves to stretch.  A coach or mentor's role is to put us in these situations with their support if we fail.  The mentor's role is to push us while being supportive, and the mentee's role is to stretch and grow.

"You'll never hear someone say, 'Yeah, the best coach I ever had was Coach Martin.  He had no expectations whatsoever and let us do whatever we wanted.  He was a great man.'"

Author: Jeff Dreher

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