Hey Blog Reader! I haven’t asked much of you. I’m usually just happy someone has read what I have to say. And I’m honored and humbled that you have taken the time to see what’s happening over here at “Stealing Second!” But today is a little different. I’m asking you to do a little more than just read the blog. There’s an assignment at the end of this post, and I hope you’ll participate!
Every summer, I share this video with our teen leadership groups. It’s an inspiring video by the founder of Nuance Leadership Development Services, Drew Dudley. It’s just over six minutes long, and well worth the investment!
What are Lollipop Moments?
To me, lollipop moments have these characteristics:
- They are “Life Changing”
- They are typically inconsequential to the giver of the lollipop moment (they rarely remember sharing them)
- They can have a positive or a negative effect
- They are incredibly powerful
My Lollipop Moment
After watching Drew’s video for the first time, I immediately knew what my Lollipop Moment was. I bet you did, too!
During my senior year of high school (twenty-five years ago, but I remember it like it was yesterday), I was visiting with my English teacher about a research project. At the end of our discussion, she asked me, “What are you going to do with your life?”
I had thought about several possibilities, but not the one she suggested:
“You should consider becoming a teacher. The great thing about teaching is…you’ll never stop learning.”
I don’t know what she saw in me, but there was something that made her think I would be good at it. And that was it…that single moment changed my life, and changed the lives of the students I’ve influenced over the last twenty years!
The Power of Lollipop Moments
Ironically, “Lollipop Moments” was a topic on the agenda at our assistant principal meeting this week. Our Directors of Leadership showed Drew’s video, then talked about their experience with lollipop moments. I was inspired by the story that our leadership director, Dustin Blank, shared with us. He graciously gave me permission to share it here:
At one time Mr. Blank was a soccer coach. As with most sports, only a certain number of players could be on the team. And so, after several days of observing the work of his players, he cut the team from 21 players, to 18.
Of the three players cut, two seemed to be content with having had the experience of trying out, realized they didn’t really work hard enough to make the team, and went on their way. The third girl, however, was a hard worker. She was always early to practices, did everything that was asked of her, and never complained. Regardless of her work ethic, though, Dustin felt she wasn’t talented enough to make the “top eighteen,” and was cut.
After the announcement was made, the young girl came to Dustin and said:
“I knew I wasn’t the best player. I knew I wasn’t the worst either. But I knew there was a chance I wouldn’t make the cut. I just want you to know, that the reason I even tried out, was because I knew you would be a good coach. And I knew I would learn a lot from you.”
Dustin went on to tell us that, those words, on that day, made a huge impact on the rest of his life. They changed the way he approached coaching.
Here’s my takeaway
Teachers don’t always realize how powerful their words are! And we don’t know when one word, one sentence, one interaction with a child, will change their lives forever. So choose your words carefully, everyday. And intentionally create lollipop moments for your kids.
Please share your lollipop moment with us! Either in the comments section below, or on Twitter (use the hashtag #lpopmoments), or both! Not only would we like to hear your experience, but the person who gave the lollipop moment would like to know, too! Why not do the “AP Assignment,” and give that person a call!