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  • Translator: Joseph Geni Reviewer: Morton Bast

  • I wanted to just start by asking everyone a question:

  • How many of you are completely comfortable

  • with calling yourselves a leader?

  • I've asked that question all across the country,

  • and everywhere I ask it, no matter where,

  • there's a huge portion of the audience that won't put up their hand.

  • And I've come to realize that we have made leadership

  • into something bigger than us; something beyond us.

  • We've made it about changing the world.

  • We've taken this title of "leader"

  • and treat it as something that one day we're going to deserve.

  • But to give it to ourselves right now

  • means a level of arrogance or cockiness that we're not comfortable with.

  • And I worry sometimes that we spend so much time

  • celebrating amazing things that hardly anybody can do,

  • that we've convinced ourselves those are the only things worth celebrating.

  • We start to devalue the things we can do every day,

  • We take moments where we truly are a leader

  • and we don't let ourselves take credit for it, or feel good about it.

  • I've been lucky enough over the last 10 years

  • to work with amazing people who've helped me redefine leadership

  • in a way that I think has made me happier.

  • With my short time today,

  • I want to share with you the one story that is probably most responsible

  • for that redefinition.

  • I went to a little school

  • called Mount Allison University in Sackville, New Brunswick.

  • And on my last day there, a girl came up to me and said,

  • "I remember the first time I met you."

  • And she told me a story that had happened four years earlier.

  • She said, "On the day before I started university,

  • I was in the hotel room with my mom and dad,

  • and I was so scared and so convinced that I couldn't do this,

  • that I wasn't ready for university, that I just burst into tears.

  • My mom and dad were amazing.

  • They were like, "We know you're scared, but let's just go tomorrow,

  • go to the first day, and if at any point you feel as if you can't do this,

  • that's fine; tell us, and we'll take you home.

  • We love you no matter what."

  • She says, "So I went the next day.

  • I was in line for registration,

  • and I looked around and just knew I couldn't do it; I wasn't ready.

  • I knew I had to quit.

  • And she said, "I made that decision and as soon as I made it,

  • an incredible feeling of peace came over me.

  • I turned to my mom and dad to tell them we needed to go home,

  • and at that moment, you came out of the student union building

  • wearing the stupidest hat I've ever seen in my life."

  • (Laughter)

  • "It was awesome.

  • And you had a big sign promoting Shinerama," --

  • which is Students Fighting Cystic Fibrosis,

  • a charity I've worked with for years --

  • "And you had a bucketful of lollipops.

  • You were handing the lollipops out to people in line,

  • and talking about Shinerama.

  • All of the sudden, you got to me, and you just stopped.

  • And you stared. It was creepy."

  • (Laughter)

  • This girl knows what I'm talking about.

  • (Laughter)

  • "Then you looked at the guy next to me, smiled, reached into your bucket,

  • pulled out a lollipop, held it out to him and said,

  • 'You need to give a lollipop to the beautiful woman next to you.'"

  • She said, "I've never seen anyone get more embarrassed faster in my life.

  • He turned beet red, he wouldn't even look at me.

  • He just kind of held the lollipop out like this."

  • (Laughter)

  • "I felt so bad for this dude that I took the lollipop.

  • As soon as I did, you got this incredibly severe look on your face,

  • looked at my mom and dad and said, 'Look at that! Look at that!

  • First day away from home,

  • and already she's taking candy from a stranger?'"

  • (Laughter)

  • She said, "Everybody lost it.

  • Twenty feet in every direction, everyone started to howl.

  • I know this is cheesy, and I don't know why I'm telling you this,

  • but in that moment when everyone was laughing, I knew I shouldn't quit.

  • I knew I was where I was supposed to be; I knew I was home.

  • And I haven't spoken to you once in the four years since that day.

  • But I heard that you were leaving, and I had to come and tell you

  • you've been an incredibly important person in my life.

  • I'm going to miss you. Good luck."

  • And she walks away, and I'm flattered.

  • She gets six feet away, turns around, smiles and goes,

  • "You should probably know this, too:

  • I'm still dating that guy, four years later."

  • (Laughter)

  • A year and a half after I moved to Toronto,

  • I got an invitation to their wedding.

  • (Laughter)

  • Here's the kicker: I don't remember that.

  • I have no recollection of that moment.

  • I've searched my memory banks,

  • because that is funny and I should remember doing it and I don't.

  • That was such an eye-opening, transformative moment for me,

  • to think that maybe the biggest impact I'd ever had on anyone's life,

  • a moment that had a woman walk up to a stranger four years later and say,

  • "You've been an important person in my life,"

  • was a moment that I didn't even remember.

  • How many of you guys have a lollipop moment,

  • a moment where someone said or did something

  • that you feel fundamentally made your life better?

  • All right. How many of you have told that person they did it?

  • See, why not?

  • We celebrate birthdays,

  • where all you have to do is not die for 365 days --

  • (Laughter)

  • Yet we let people who have made our lives better

  • walk around without knowing it.

  • Every single one of you has been the catalyst

  • for a lollipop moment.

  • You've made someone's life better by something you said or did.

  • If you think you haven't,

  • think of all the hands that didn't go up when I asked.

  • You're just one of the people who hasn't been told.

  • It's scary to think of ourselves as that powerful,

  • frightening to think we can matter that much to other people.

  • As long as we make leadership something bigger than us,

  • as long as we keep leadership beyond us

  • and make it about changing the world,

  • we give ourselves an excuse not to expect it every day,

  • from ourselves and from each other.

  • Marianne Williamson said, "Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate.

  • [It] is that we are powerful beyond measure.

  • It is our light and not our darkness that frightens us."

  • My call to action today is that we need to get over our fear

  • of how extraordinarily powerful we can be in each other's lives.

  • We need to get over it so we can move beyond it,

  • and our little brothers and sisters and one day our kids --

  • or our kids right now -- can watch and start to value

  • the impact we can have on each other's lives,

  • more than money and power and titles and influence.

  • We need to redefine leadership as being about lollipop moments --

  • how many of them we create, how many we acknowledge,

  • how many of them we pay forward and how many we say thank you for.

  • Because we've made leadership about changing the world,

  • and there is no world.

  • There's only six billion understandings of it.

  • And if you change one person's understanding of it,

  • understanding of what they're capable of,

  • understanding of how much people care about them,

  • understanding of how powerful an agent for change

  • they can be in this world,

  • you've changed the whole thing.

  • And if we can understand leadership like that,

  • I think if we can redefine leadership like that,

  • I think we can change everything.

  • And it's a simple idea, but I don't think it's a small one.

  • I want to thank you so much for letting me share it with you today.

Translator: Joseph Geni Reviewer: Morton Bast

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A2 US TED lollipop leadership moment laughter day

【TED】Drew Dudley: Everyday leadership (Drew Dudley: Everyday leadership)

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    ying posted on 2017/01/14
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