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Landing Your Pivotal Moment

Leadership, Event Purpose, Strategic Planning | August 2018

Human beings are wired to seek pleasure, constantly on the hunt for that moment when everything comes together, where the world shifts and we feel like nothing can stop us.

As business leaders, we are no different. We coach, mentor, coax and cajole our teams to seek the energy that comes from being in exactly the right place, at the right time.

But with a limited number of minutes in the day, and a very human condition of not being able to always be “on”, how do we know that we are putting our efforts into what has most value?

And how do we recognise it when we get there?

In the 13th minute of the second half of the quarter final of the 2011 Rugby World Cup, Dan Carter finds himself out the back of the pack when the ball comes his way.

Though the score is in the All Blacks’ favour, the Australians have had the momentum since half time, and are starting to come back.

So what does Dan do?

He drops a field goal and scores three points.



Momentum shifts back to the Kiwis.

Because the All Blacks recognise this as their pivotal moment in the game, they know what to do with it. They use the momentum generated and go on to win.

They’ve prepared for that moment, they’ve planned for it, they recognise it and then they execute on it.

Bringing it back to business.

For the majority of us, success is not down to blind luck.

Dan Carter didn’t automatically pass the ball on. Steve Hansen didn’t place those players on the field in random combinations, hoping one would arrive at a kickable position from the scrum.

Things could have gone an infinite number of ways, but it was the focus of effort and preparation that ensured they could recognise and leverage the pivotal moment when it happened.

They recognised the symptoms of success that they had been planning for. They knew what they had to do to be unstoppable.

We are in the business of supporting success in this pivotal moment; helping leaders plan for it and prepare their teams to leverage off its energy.

We work with leaders in large organisations to craft events that are focused around generating the types of settings where big shifts can actually happen.

Often we see leaders who know what they want to achieve by bringing their people together at a one or two day event, but feel like it is ‘hit and miss’ as to whether or not the event successfully moves their people from one place to another.

Other times, we see leaders who aren’t clear on their pivotal moment, but know that something needs to shift. They need help to identify where their time and effort is best spent in doing this.

It’s part art and part science and part many years of built up experience in helping prepare for these pivotal moments.

Harnessing success off the back of a major event isn’t about one person’s efforts or one person’s view.

It’s about creating an environment where individuals contribute to something more than themselves, and a shift occurs.

It can be as subtle as a feeling of new found confidence or as obvious as a drop goal in the 13th minute of the 2nd half.

The only failure would be to not grasp the moment and run with it.

Phil Thompson is the strategic brains behind Edge Creative. He's been creating high-impact events that bring companies, their employees and their business goals and visions together on scale since 1994.