Surprise Work Trip

December 20th, 2011 by Rich Christiansen

One of the traditions that I have began with my children is a sheer delight. Just before they get ready to permanently leave the home I take them on a surprise “work trip”. So far they haven’t really figured out exactly what this will entail.

This weekend I was able to continue this tradition with my second son Matthew—who is simply an amazing young man, and someone that I thoroughly enjoy being with.

Two weeks ago I made arrangements and then told Matthew, “I have a really nasty project I need to have you help me with.” Being a very dutiful and good son, he said, “Dad, I’ll be delighted to help.” I had him block out Friday at about 9:00 p.m. and all day Saturday. When he showed up I told him to make sure he brought his warm jacket and tennis shoes, because we would be pretty active. However, I had secretly loaded our golf clubs in the trunk. We got in the car and I headed south for a surprise golf trip.

About halfway to St. George, Utah, the destination of our gold expedition Matthew still had no idea where we were going and he finally asked, “So Dad, what are we going to do?” Then I sprung it on him and he was ecstatically excited!

We had the most delightful day bonding and spending time together.

I remember when I started this tradition with my oldest son John. He really loved musicals, so we loaded into the car and headed north. I played the music to Wicked as we drove. It wasn’t until we got all the way to Salt Lake City and pulled into the airport parking lot, that he realized that I was taking him on a trip. We flew out to Los Angeles to see Wicked.

This tradition has created surprise and delightful memories that the boys will continue to talk about. It is important that you also do this in your work environment and for yourself too.

I often comment that we are nothing more than Pavlov’s Salivating Dogs. Indeed we have to give rewards and feed that inner animal. Surprise and delight go a long way in helping to get yourself loose, fluid, happy, and in the right, positive mindset. Not to mention—it’s just plain fun.

There is nothing better than the delightful surprise that feeds a life full of good memories and passion. Far more powerful than handing someone a stack of dollars is helping to make a meaningful memory.

Please make sure that you do that in your business, because it really is about the memories. It really is about the experiences that make it meaningful and lasting. Go forward and motivate yourself and your team and have a blast doing it!

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