I am on a Gondola full of people ready to descend. It is dark and we can see so many beautiful lights in the valley below. Unexpectedly, Sweet Caroline by Neil Diamond starts to play, and everyone sings along…
You never know when a Leadership lesson presents itself. My family was visiting Palm Springs and decided to take a Gondola ride. It was 30C in the valley. The top of the mountain is 8500 feet and only 12C. A sudden change in temperature for us vulnerable Canadians. On the way up the gondola driver pointed out interesting sights and fun facts about the area. Up top we had a beautiful hike with many amazing views. I recommend the trip if you are in Palm Springs. It was getting dark and colder so we boarded the gondola to head down. I expected that the driver would share more fun facts on the way down. I noticed him logging into his phone that was connected to a console. I thought that was a really weird way to signal the tower below it was time to go. Then he pressed play.
What an unexpected surprise. Sweet Caroline!!! Everyone started singing along. People were laughing and talking excitedly when the song finished. Then came ABC by the Jackson 5. Everyone was still singing and dancing (safely of course in a gondola). I had just had a great experience at the top of the mountain, was now seeing the beautiful lights in the valley, and had the fun of sharing the music with many others. I had a bounce in my step coming off the gondola and good vibes for the rest of the night.
I just finished the excellent book The Power of Moments by Chip and Dan Heath. My Gondola experience illustrated their idea of Breaking The Script. Something unexpected happens that creates a wonderful memory. I had no expectation of music on the ride down. It is a great memory that will stick with me for a long time.
I highly recommend The Power of Moments. It speaks to so many things we do and aspire to in Student Leadership. It confirmed me beliefs I hold, gave me ideas to think about, and a plan for how to create memorable moments. I encourage you to give it a read.
Activity Idea – The Golden Ticket
The best part of this activity is it was completely created and run by students. It was also simple and effective. The goal was to give a boost to students who could use one. My class created a google form which was sent to staff asking them to recommend someone who deserved a Golden Ticket. They were also asked to say why they were recommending that student. My class was added to the list students they also felt could use a boost. Students were given a Golden Ticket, which told them to report to the Leadership room. There they got a treat bag with a card attached that told them why they were recommended. It was fun to hand a student their bag and say, “Read why someone thinks you are awesome.”
Looking for a speaker?
As things hopefully keep opening up, please consider having me come to your school or conference to work with students and/or teachers. Click here https://brentdickson.net/speaker-presentations/ to see what presentations I offer. Or if you are looking for something different or more specific, let me know. I’m flexible like Gumby.