I love this photo of my daughter Emma (hard to believe she’s 11 now). I use this photo in my seminars, not only because it brings joy, but because it highlights the power of “one degree.”
It’s a topic I cover in my book One Degree and in my travels across 10 countries. Just as heating water from 211 to 212 degrees takes it to the boiling point, even a small one degree shift can create a powerful pool of possibilities.
Back to the photo. Emma was 2 at the time. We got an early start at Disneyland and ordered pancakes. To our surprise, out comes a “Mickey Mouse” shaped pancake. Wow! Here eyes grew wide and her smile lasted throughout the day. This was the power of one degree at work. For Disney, it required very little effort or cost to move three pancakes from a typical stack to create Mickey Mouse on a plate. It’s still just pancake batter, but the one degree shift brought enormous joy and embodied Disney’s brand—and it worked in a big way. The smile says it all!
Ahh, one degree! It’s about making small, intentional improvements that can turn the mundane into the marvelous. When things aren’t going just right, resist the temptation to make massive reactive changes. Instead, focus on small, proactive refinements based on your strengths.
You’ll soon recognize one degree all around you. It can be the difference in why some ads inspire action and others don’t…or why you’re loyal to one brand over another…or how small changes in how you deliver a message seem to captivate people’s interest.
In my performances as a magician, I use the power of one degree to heighten amazement and create stronger connections with my audience. It can be a simple as a pause…or adding a simple visual prop…or asking a curious question.
I also use one degree approach in business. In my work as a nonprofit CEO and speaker, I focus one uncovering pivotal one degree strategies to bring Team, Brand, and Cause into optimal alignment.
Success is closer than we think…just one degree away.