Why Certain Experiences Have Extraordinary Impact

The Power of MomentsIt’s June so that can only mean one thing at DTSpade: Summer Book Club! Each summer we read a book (or two in this case) that relates to one of our company’s Core Values. The main value that we’ll be focusing on this summer is (I + MY NEIGHBOR) / LOVE because, as briefly mentioned, we have split into two groups to read two different books and teach each other what we’ve learned. We’ll also be keeping our core values in mind for each individual chapter. Each Tuesday for 12 weeks we’ll get together, share our notes and post them here for you to follow along.

Check out our other Summer Book Club option – Captivate: The Science of Succeeding with People, a book on cultivating relationships.

So let’s jump right in with…


Chapter 1 – Defining Moments

  • Defining moments shape our lives and most happen by accident or luck, but can they be manufactured?
  • Peak-end rule: people remember highlights and endings.
  • Moments are made of one or more of four elements:
    1. Elevation – defining moments are a bit more special than what came right before or right after. Upgrade sensory appeal and add an element of surprise (if appropriate). Transcend.
    2. Insight – if an experience can cause you to learn something new about yourself or the world surrounding. Realize.
    3. Pride – appeals to someone’s “best self.” Uplift.
    4. Connection – defining moments are social moments. Share.

You don’t need all four to create a memorable moment, but you do need at least one.

Chapter 2 – Thinking in Moments

  • We must learn to think in moments, to spot occasions that are worthy of investment. Three that deserve attention:
    • Transitions
    • Milestones
    • Pits
  • Transitions are natural defining moments; Bar Mitzvah, Marriage, New Job, Parenting
    • New job incorporates three at once: intellectual(new work), social(new people), and environment(new place). First Day experience.
    • Transition that lacks a moment – Reverse Wedding.
    • Fresh Start – create a defining moment between Old You and New You.
  • Milestones are landmark dates; certain birthdays, anniversaries, $1,000,000 Club. Some companies are creating them…
    • Can we create some at DTSpade? 10th deal closed? 100,000sf leased?
  • Pits are negative defining moments.. hardship or pain or anxiety. Pits need to be filled. Almost 25% of positive encounters were employee responses to service failures.
    • Doug Dietz – MRI machine – the experience needed work.
  • Transitions should be marked, milestones commemorated and pits filled. That’s thinking in moments. Not all fit these categories, some are random. What can we create here?

Chapter 3 – Build Peaks

Elevation: Defining moments rise above the everyday + Insight: rewires our understanding of ourselves or the world + Pride capture us at our best- moments of achievement, moments of courage, AND/OR Connection: are social – like wedding, baptisms, vacations, etc.


  1. Boost sensory appeal. Turn up the volume. Make things look better or taste better.
  2. Raise the stakes. pressure or stress with peer involvement, competition
  3. Break the script

Q: What would make someone pull out their camera for this?

Q: What does reasonable look like?

Chapter 5 – Trip over the Truth

  • Sh*t  Happens –  literally  saying what it is in every Language
  • Third world problem
  • Not a hardware problem, it was a behavior problem – great technology did not help
  • How do you solve a problem when everyone’s involved
  • Tripping over the truth  – the Aha moment
    • Flys – ignition Moment, what’s the Trigger
  • Not just being told or taught but  realizing for yourself
  • Professors did not teach what they really wanted students to Learn –  the Aha moment.
    • Focus on the problem- not the solution
  • How we need to look at everything we do?  examples of why it’s not working, let them learn

Chapter 6 – Insight

  • The Biggest take away from this chapter: Stretching leads to moments of insight.
  • Self-insight = a mature understanding of our capabilities and motivations.
  • Crystallization of Discontent (“This Isn’t me”)
  • Negative Peak (“This is rough but I have survived this and I can handle this”)
  • Mentors Push- Mentees Stretch
  • High Standards and Assurance + Direction and Support = Enhanced Self-Insight
  • “I don’t fear failure anymore. It’s not an obstacle to me.”
  • The Promise of Stretching is not Success, it’s learning.

Check back on July 17 for the next installment.