The Power of Moments: Why Certain Experiences Have Extraordinary Impact - book cover
  • Publisher : Simon & Schuster; 1st edition
  • Published : 01 Oct 2017
  • Pages : 320
  • ISBN-10 : 1501147765
  • ISBN-13 : 9781501147760
  • Language : English

The Power of Moments: Why Certain Experiences Have Extraordinary Impact

The New York Times bestselling authors of Switch and Made to Stick explore why certain brief experiences can jolt us and elevate us and change us-and how we can learn to create such extraordinary moments in our life and work.

While human lives are endlessly variable, our most memorable positive moments are dominated by four elements: elevation, insight, pride, and connection. If we embrace these elements, we can conjure more moments that matter. What if a teacher could design a lesson that he knew his students would remember twenty years later? What if a manager knew how to create an experience that would delight customers? What if you had a better sense of how to create memories that matter for your children?

This book delves into some fascinating mysteries of experience: Why we tend to remember the best or worst moment of an experience, as well as the last moment, and forget the rest. Why "we feel most comfortable when things are certain, but we feel most alive when they're not." And why our most cherished memories are clustered into a brief period during our youth.

Readers discover how brief experiences can change lives, such as the experiment in which two strangers meet in a room, and forty-five minutes later, they leave as best friends. (What happens in that time?) Or the tale of the world's youngest female billionaire, who credits her resilience to something her father asked the family at the dinner table. (What was that simple question?)

Many of the defining moments in our lives are the result of accident or luck-but why would we leave our most meaningful, memorable moments to chance when we can create them? The Power of Moments shows us how to be the author of richer experiences.

Editorial Reviews

"I read this cover to cover and learned something new on each page. Beautifully written, brilliantly researched--I'm recommending it to everyone I know!"-Angela Duckworth, New York Times bestselling author of Grit

"The most interesting, immediately actionable book I've read in quite a while. I walked away with new ideas for motivating employees, delighting customers, engaging students, and even planning family vacations. If life is a series of moments, the Heath brothers have transformed how I plan to spend mine."-Adam Grant, New York Times bestselling author of Give and Take, Originals, and Option B with Sheryl Sandberg

'Chip and Dan are amazing and impactful story tellers. In The Power of Moments, they are able to use stories to display a powerful truth, that we can be more impactful as leaders and as people by recognizing and creating more "moments". At Virgin Atlantic, helping our people create [such] amazing moments for each other and for our customers is a nice new way of articulating an underlying goal of great leadership. This book truly frames that thinking in an easy to understand and engaging way. Perhaps even more importantly, I can see many similar opportunities in my life as a husband, father and member of a community.'-Craig Kreeger, CEO of Virgin Atlantic

"A sincere introduction to how readers can shape and improve the peaks in their own experiences. Infused with positivity and enthusiasm…. Readers hungry for a bigger slice of life will find this book valuable. Heuristic advice and life-affirming direction form a gratifying combination in this motivational handbook."-Kirkus

"This terrific book is bursting with practical insights and memorable stories on every page. It's as relevant to product designers and meeting planners as it is to teachers and parents. I've already put many of its novel suggestions to work. Don't miss it."-Eric Ries, author of bestselling author of The Lean Startup, The Startup Way

"Flat out amazing."-Jake Knapp, New York Times bestselling author of Sprint

"Chip Heath of Stanford and Dan Heath of Duke argue persuasively that any organization that creates peak moments--for its customers, its employees, or its students--will enjoy benefits that range from fanatical loyalty to revenue growth. In this entertaining and informative read, they explain just how to create those moments and how to turn them into a competitive advantage."-BizEd

"The Power of Moments packages together countless hours of research and interviews, as well as dozens of illustrative examples, in digestible, accessible, and entertaini...

Readers Top Reviews

JulesCraig MillarLyn
Highly readable, instantly engaging, and packed with thought-provoking and interesting stories of how some experiences stand out and, as importantly, why they do so. The authors offer stimulating ideas on how to create them with a good use of anecdotes and examples, and a clearly articulated rationale. Whether it is for colleagues or customers, family or friends - this book inspires the reader to look to create memories and experiences that will stick in the mind and further inspire others to design more of the same. A memorable and inspirational read.
Daniel Usman
Learned so much from this book. Moments helps break the circle, it helps to be reborn and appreciate life. It took me a while to read, probably because I didn't want it to finish. It is a great resource for anyone looking to create everlasting experiences that could empower others without costing you. It was ok on kindle and I also had the audtory in my kindle. This meant I could listen during my commute. However, the book maybe better if you're more hands-on person. This is because of the references, resources and amendix that it comes with. Simply brilliant book!
All of us have defining moments in our life. These moments are so etched in our memories that we recount them with enthusiasm to our friends. In the pangs of despair, we are ready to trade anything to revisit some of these moments. In this book, the Heath brothers namely Chip and Dan, tell us about the power of these defining moments. Furthermore, they also show us how to create such moments in our lives, both professional and personal. Anyone can summarise the importance of defining moments and the way in which to create these moments in a few pages. So it is a difficult task to keep the reader engrossed and glued to the power. For this purpose, the authors dedicate a majority of the book into four section corresponding to the four elements which create moments. At the end of each section, there is a summary and a clinic. You can use the former as a cheat sheet while the latter gives you a scenario to practice. Moreover, each of these sections has numerous examples taken from individuals and companies. You can finish the book on a long haul flight. That is how simple and engaging the book is. All of us know the power of moments as we all have experienced it. But we may struggle with creating those moments for others. It is here the books helps us. We can use these principles and hacks in both our personal and professional life.
Ian Mann
In everyone’s life, there are moments that have enormous impact. The moment when you look at your manager doing the same work as you, only with larger numbers, and you realize that you will be her if you stay in this job for the next ten years. And so, you make plans to leave. That moment when you find your calling because of something someone says spontaneously, as they catch you doing something exceptional. In very accessible book, the brothers, Chip and Dan Heath examine defining moments, identify the traits they have in common, and what makes a particular experience memorable and meaningful. They demonstrate how defining moments share a set of common elements. More importantly, they demonstrate how you can create defining moments by using those elements. Why would you want to create them? “Our lives are measured in moments, and defining moments are the ones that endure in our memories,” they explain. Their insights are critical lesson for anyone in a service business (as we all are), in management, and in our personal lives. A study of hotels reviewed on TripAdvisor shows that when guests say they experienced a “delightful surprise,” (or what the Heaths call a “moment’) 94% unconditionally recommend the hotel, but only 60% of guests who were “very satisfied,” will do the same. Can you remember your first day at your current company? Most likely it was not a defining moment. The receptionist didn’t think you were starting until next week. She shows you to desk with the previous incumbent’s remnants. Your boss has not arrived yet. Eventually, a friendly person from your floor introduces herself and then interrupts 11 people by introducing you to them. You have managed to annoy all your colleagues within the first hour. You immediately forget all their names. Compare that to joining John Deere office in Asia. Soon after you accept employment there, you get an email from a “John Deere Friend.” She introduces herself and shares some of the basics: where to park, what the dress norms are, and tells you that she’ll be waiting to greet you at 8:00 on your first day. The flat-screen monitor in reception has a headline: “Welcome, Sam!” Your John Deer Friend shows you to your desk where there is a tall banner that alerts people that you are new. People stop by during the day and introduce themselves. The background image on your monitor is a gorgeous shot of John Deere equipment on a farm at sunset, with the caption: “Welcome to the most important work you’ll ever do.” The first email you receive is from the CEO of John Deere with a short video, in which he talks about the company’s mission, and closes by saying, “Enjoy the rest of your first day, and I hope you’ll enjoy a long, successful, fulfilling career as part of the John Deere team.” There’s a gift on your desk - a replica of John Deere’s 1837 plow, and a c...
Kristin J. Arnold
I'm a big fan of Chip and Dan Heath, bestselling authors of Made to Stick (which explained why certain ideas catch on while others die), Switch (Which showed us how to make changes at work and in life), and Decisive (which explained how to make better choices). As of today, they just launched their newest book, The Power of Moments: Why Certain Moments Have Extraordinary Impact. In this book, The Heath Brothers dissect what, specifically, makes a particular experience memorable and meaningful. Then, based on these attributes, they challenge us to "be the author of them." So why should you care? In business, the whole notion of creating an exceptional customer experience (CX) is at the top of everyone's minds. And some have done a great job at defining some basic attributes. (For example, see Lior Arussy's book, Exceptionalize It). The Heath Brothers take it one step further to provide further ideas to springboard and implement CX thinking. It certainly has got my brain thinking! In my life, I can also see how these principles apply. Many years ago, after my second child was born, a dear friend shared her secret to raising great kids. She said, "Your job is to make positive memories. As they get older, that's what they remember." And now that my kids are grown and flown the nest, when I asked them, "What do you remember about your childhood?" they replied some simple things - like making sure I made a favorite chicken buffalo sandwich for school. I never understood how that was important, but now I do. (hint: it relates to a transition and connection). So if you want to be more intentional about making magical moments at work and in your life, I highly recommend this book.

Short Excerpt Teaser

The Power of Moments 1 Defining Moments

Chris Barbic and Donald Kamentz were sitting at a pub in Houston, recuperating from another 14-hour day running their start-up charter school. They were drinking beer. Watching ESPN. And sharing a Tombstone pizza, the bar's only food offering. They had no idea, on that night in October 2000, that they were moments away from an epiphany that would affect thousands of lives.

ESPN was previewing the upcoming National Signing Day, the first day when graduating high school football players can sign a binding "letter of intent" to attend a particular college. For college football fans, it's a big day.

Watching the exuberant coverage, something struck Kamentz. "It blows my mind that we celebrate athletics this way, but we don't have anything that celebrates academics in the same way," he said. And the students at their school-primarily kids from low-income Hispanic families-deserved celebrating. Many of them would be the first in their families to graduate from high school.

Barbic had founded a school to serve those students. He'd grown disillusioned teaching sixth grade at a local elementary school. "I saw way too many of my students head off to the local junior high excited about school and eager to pursue their dreams, only to return a few months later with that light in their eyes totally gone." They would come back to visit him, telling stories of gangs, drugs, pregnancies. It crushed him. He knew he had two choices: Quit teaching to spare himself. Or build the school that those students deserved. So in 1998, Barbic founded YES Prep. And Donald Kamentz was one of the first people he hired.

In the pub that night, as they watched the Signing Day preview, they had a sudden inspiration: What if we created our own "Signing Day," when our students would announce where they will attend college? The event would allow them to honor all graduating seniors, since it was a condition of graduation at YES Prep that every student apply and be accepted to college, even if they ultimately chose not to attend.

Their excitement grew as they shaped the idea: They would call it Senior Signing Day, and for that one day, graduating seniors would be treated with the same hype and adulation as college athletes.

About six months later, on April 30, 2001, they held the first Senior Signing Day. Roughly 450 people crammed into a community center next door to their campus: 17 graduating seniors and their families, along with every other student in the YES Prep system-from juniors to sixth graders.

Each of the seniors took the stage, announcing where he or she would be attending college in the fall: "My name is Eddie Zapata, and in the fall, I will be attending Vanderbilt University!" They would unveil a T-shirt or pennant with their chosen school's insignia. Many of the students kept their final school decision a secret from friends, so there was suspense in the air. After each announcement, the room erupted with cheers.

Later, the students would sit at a table, with their families crowded around them, and sign letters of matriculation, confirming their enrollment in the fall. Barbic was struck by the emotion of the "signing" moment: "It hits home-the sacrifices that everybody had to make for their kids to get there. No one did it alone. There were lots of people involved." By the end of the ceremony, there were few dry eyes in the room.

Senior Signing Day became the most important annual event for the YES Prep school network. For seniors, the event was a celebration, the capstone of their achievement. But it held a different kind of meaning for younger students. At the third Senior Signing Day, which had expanded into an auditorium at the University of Houston, there was a sixth grader in the audience named Mayra Valle. It was her first Signing Day experience, and it made a lasting impression. She remembers thinking, That could be me. No one in my family has ever gone to college. I want to be on that stage.

By 2010, six years later, the senior class had grown to 126 graduates, and Signing Day had expanded so much that it had moved to the basketball arena at Rice University, in front of 5,000 people. 90% of the graduates that year were the first members of their families to go to college.

The keynote speaker, U.S. secretary of education Arne Duncan, was moved by what he saw. He scrapped his prepared remarks and spoke freely: "No basketball game, no football game begins to compare to the magnitude and im...