Sabin Muntean

Karlsruhe Institute of Technology


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Share your own "lollipop moment"

As Chee Yen Lau perfectly summed up Drew's talk: "How inspiring!! Short, concise and every single word he uttered was essence!!! :) "

I am looking forward to now hearing more about your own lollipop moments - how have you changed other people's lives in deep and meaningful ways, in what ways have you been leaders?

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    Feb 14 2012: There is already an "official" site open for "lollipop moments". It has a few inspiring stories to tell.
    Here is a link:

    I like stories:
    the best.

    Enjoy getting inspired!
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    Feb 14 2012: I've been inspired to reminisce about some lollipop moments of my own, so here's one of the experiences I've recalled:

    I've been out grocery shopping last year, when I saw an elder lady trying to open a plastic bag while struggling with a couple of vegetables in the other hand. I've approached her and opened the bag in an attempt to be helpful, but it's been more than that. She looked up to me with a gratefulness I've never experienced before, thanking me in the most sincere way that a person can thank another.

    I've learned that by noticing and helping others, the reward is far greater than a simple "thanks". I doubt anyone would've helped her, and I'm glad I got the credit and blessing for that.

    Words can't explain the recognition I received for such a simple, and unnoticeable gesture.

    Just for the record, I live in Bucharest, and it's not as friendly as some might know it.
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    Feb 13 2012: Can you clarify what a "lollipop moment is"?
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      Feb 14 2012: I recommend you watch the related TED talk that Sabin linked in the question. It is very inspiring.
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      • Feb 18 2012: Also could be known as ahah moments--

        Also, trigger moments, the last drop of water needed to make a waterfall seen. . . The other person may have no idea what you are now able to see because of their influence, and I believe often does not, but that is unconsequential because once you can see it, you always have that moment:)
  • Feb 18 2012: I’m glad that you gave us a chance to talk about our own “everyday leadership”, thanks.
    Well, it's a kinda long story, so let me just tell you the summary for you.

    There was a time when I decided to forgive one of my friends.
    She lied to me and didn't apologize to me.
    Instead of asking her to talk to me the whole story and apologize, I just sent her a hopeful message.
    I don't remember exactly what it was, but I think I sent her a message that contains some famous quotes and this:

    "feel free to count on me whenever you want to."

    It’s true that I was sincere, but it wasn't “that” profound.
    I just wanted to practice good deeds that I'd learned in the church.

    But, few days later, she confessed the truth in front of everyone in my class and even cried and said that she really appreciated what I'd said to her.
    That was a pretty dramatic moment for me.
    I'd never thought that she would really be grateful for me.
    As you can see from my case and other people’s cases here,
    we learn and realize very important things from a very tiny accident, which is actually not meant to be that profound.

    Your every deed can be incredibly impactful and meaningful to your friends, but also, it can be really hurting.

    One thing I realized from the experience is that "impact" is sometimes more powerful than you expected.
  • Feb 18 2012: [Part 1/2]
    About six-seven years ago when I (at the age of 15-16) was together with my [now] ex girlfriend we often went out to a park in central Gothenburg with other alternative people and got drunk. One person that often came there to the park was this huge (yet more skinny than muscular) guy that had a reputation of being violent and often getting in to fights. However, my girlfriend at the time somehow already had a quarrel with him and one night it actually led to a bit of a physical confrontation between the two, but as she wasn't strong enough to inflict any meaningful damage to him, and the place being somewhat crowded he didn't really fight back with any real strength or intent, but nevertheless me and her left earlier that evening due to that.

    Some time later, most probably a few months later, me and her attended to a private party where the guy i previously described and some other familiar faces from that park also attended to. Due to it being an apartment it was pretty crowded. This huge guy then pointed at me to his friend in the hallway, saying "We'll crackdown him later." Me, who had been stupid enough to drink 0,7 liter (24 oz) vodka (I'm lucky I didn't have to be hospitalized) had problems walking straight, and even more so trying to defend myself against someone who actually been in fights after adolescence, something that I still don't have. Some time later I got in an armchair, and well, being stupid I took one of the beers on the table that I knew didn't belong to me and opened it, which appeared to have been that big guys sitting place for the evening or something, and his beer. He kicked be with his heel (with boots on) towards my groin, but luckily missed all vital parts and only hit a bit on the side of the inner leg.
    After that he and my ex had a confrontation in the bathroom which was escalated compared to the one in the park, but no one was injured luckily. After that we left the apartment as soon as we could, and he didn't follow us.
  • Feb 18 2012: [Part 2/2]
    About four years later when going out with my closest friend and her boyfriend plus some more, that guy was there... I'm usually a rather quiet person in larger groups, but with alcohol that often goes away. So I expressed to my closest that I didn't like having him there based on the previous encounters with him, and then to him and he seemed like ashamed of it. But my friends did seem to want to have him there so I went along with it.
    When we later the same evening took the tram we sat in seats with two rows of two seats aimed at each other and talking. The guy that I have had a quarrel with dropped his lighter on the floor and I was quick to reach to it and pick it up and give it back to him. But when I do just that his facial expression change completely, and with his eyes locking on to me as if they just had turned magnetic, thanking me and saying that no one ever had done something good (unselfish) for him. At that point I was just baffled. I couldn't say a word as I was completely taken off guard, not understanding the reason for his reaction even the slightest. I still feel baffled over how me picking up a lighter for him could be such a big deal for him. I've given food, drink and coffee to seemingly homeless people, but their gratitude never came anything close to this guy who I, from my perspective, did something that required minimal effort. I stretched my arm down to the floor, grabbed the lighter with my fingers and lifted it back up, but the reaction that I got felt like I just solved a major problem in his life. Sure, I was a little forgiving, but is that really me showing leadership?
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    Feb 17 2012: I think the interesting thing about these moments is most often, we don't know them when we are engaged in them. So often the things we do and say affect others in ways we may never understand...and my hope is that, when my time here on earth is done, there are more moments in my life that have impacted someone else positively than the other way around. What's beautiful about "lollipop moments" is not only the act itself, but the fact that it has been openly acknowledged as impactful.

    I teach at a major university. I have a lot of opportunities to influence others in their educational journey and I am hopeful that there have been some interactions in my college classroom that have been memorable and perhaps pivotal in some way. I hope so anyway. These moments are important. These are moments where I am situated to make a difference. And I hope that, at least on occasion, I do. While these moments are important...I have to believe that it's the moments in which we aren't situated to make a difference that are most powerful.

    I can remember a time, as a young mother with three kids under the age of 5, when I was shopping at the grocery store with all of the kids. An elderly lady dropped her change all over the ground. I had my youngest on my hip and was trying to keep my older two kids in arm's length, and I took a moment to help her pick up her change. It was no big thing to me, something I wouldn't have thought twice about. But she stopped me, and she told me how much she appreciated what I did and she looked at my children and told them what a great mother they had to teach them how to help out others in a time of need. That moment. That one right there is the lollipop moment in my book. My act of kindness didn't change her anywhere near as much as her acknowledgement of me changed me.
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    Feb 14 2012: It is a wonderful talk, and I thank you for directing me to it. I absolutely believe in the power of these little acts that can have surprising impact and am grateful for the opportunities to do them. I wouldn't have called this leadership but rather an absolutely accessible sort of daily service any of us undertake to do.All it takes is noticing the opportunity and letting ones heart be ones guide.