Have you ever experienced something that takes your breath away? Perhaps it was the first time you saw your spouse or when you held your new baby? Maybe it was when you received bad news?

Throughout my life, I have experienced numerous breathtaking moments. For example, when my children were born. As I gazed at them, I could not imagine anything more beautiful. Another moment was when my mother passed away unexpectedly.

Recently my husband and I celebrated our 25 wedding anniversary. When I close my eyes, I can still remember how I felt when I saw my husband waiting for me at the altar on our wedding day. Breathtaking moments create lasting memories.

While those family situations were breathtaking moments, there are many other opportunities to experience moments that take your breath away. Maybe it is a beautiful sunrise or sunset. How about a beautiful pair of shoes or a gorgeous dress?

Over the course of my travels, I have visited many beautiful locations. However, while they were memorable, only a few took my breath away. The sunsets on the island of Santorini, Greece, gazing at Michelangelo’s statue of David, and preparing to ski down the Swiss Alps are just a few moments that took my breath away.

Recently I had another breathtaking moment during our Alaskan vacation. During our cruise, we had the opportunity to visit the face of the Hubbard Glacier, where it meets Alaska’s Disenchantment Bay. As I gazed at the Hubbard Glacier, I was mesmerized by its size and beauty. It was absolutely breathtaking!

The Hubbard Glacier was named after Gardiner Hubbard, who founded or co-founded Bell Telephone, the first president of the National Geographic Society, and a regent of the Smithsonian Institution. It is the largest tidewater glacier in North America. The glacier starts in Canada’s Yukon and is 76 miles long, 7 miles wide, and over 1200 feet deep.

While the Hubbard Glacier is a spectacular natural wonder, unfortunately, the glacier is only accessible by ship, which offers several leadership challenges.

First, when selecting the best route, the Captain must remember the face of the glacier is about 400 feet of ice above the water, meaning most of the glacier is below water.

Second, the Hubbard Glacier is an active glacier, which means it continues to grow. Ice from the Hubbard Glacier takes over 400 years to travel the glacier’s length. So the ice at sea level is over 400 years old.

The Ship’s Captain’s goal is to create the best experience possible for the passengers; while balancing the ship’s safety. Therefore, the Captain must make decisions based on:

  • Accurate and current information
  • Experience navigating in unique environments
  • Skill and patience in selecting the best route

Based on their knowledge, experience, and skill, the Captain will make the best decision to create an exceptional customer experience while maintaining safety.

“Knowing where things are, and why, is essential to rational decision making.”

-Jack Dangermond

Like the Captain, decision-making is a critical skill for leaders.

A leader’s goal is to create the best solution possible without compromising the stakeholders. Therefore, leaders must make the best decision when challenging situations arise.

Are you using your knowledge, experience, and skill to make the best decision?



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Dr. Kim Moore

About the author

I'm Kim, your Educational Leadership Guide. I equip educational leaders with research-based and experientially learned educational leadership principles and best practices to promote student success.