My wife and I just got back from a fantastic trip to New York City to celebrate 7 years of marriage. While many people plan vacations to rest, our vacations are usually planned around how many experiences we can pack into a short time.

While the focus of our time in New York City was fun and celebration there is always a small part of me that loves to observe and learn. I want to take a few minutes to share 4 observations from 3 unique experiences in NYC – specifically as they relate to us as volunteers and as leaders.

1st Experience: Monologue Rehearsal for the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon

While we did not score tickets to see an actual taping of the Tonight Show, we did get tickets to sit in on the Monologue Rehearsal for the show. This is where Jimmy Fallon tests jokes out on a live audience to see which jokes land and which fall flat.

  • The pursuit of excellence is never done. (click to tweet) According to a staffer, the monologue rehearsal with an audience happens because Jimmy requests it. Let’s be honest, he is at a point in his career where he could get by with something just shy of excellent. Jimmy is still pushing, willing to do the work required to make each show as successful as possible. He embodies the idea that our pursuit of excellence is never done.
  • You are never too low on the org chart to make a difference. (click to tweet) Once you arrive at the monologue rehearsal you have a little over an hour of standing and waiting. This time could be wasted time, but I watched as interns, pages and low-level staffers worked the room engaging with guests. Each one engaged as if it was there specific job to make the whole experience a success.

2nd Experience: Roxy’s Delicatessen

One of Cami’s favorite NYC stops is a small place called Roxy’s that has amazing cheesecake. We thought it had closed down, but were so excited to hear they had moved just a few blocks away.

  • One bad experience can ruin a history of good experiences. (Click to tweet) We’ve had a number of good experiences at Roxy’s over the years. Unfortunately at their new location we walked in and quickly found that the service had gone down hill quite a bit. We left Roxy’s sad to have had such a poor experience and wondering if we would ever want to go back again. That one bad experience affects the way we view our previous good experiences.

3rd Experience: Hamilton

We have been beyond excited to finally see Hamilton on Broadway. It was the winner of 11 Tony awards and is bringing fresh attention and momentum to live theater.