—Halton Industry Education Council Conference
Drew Dudley helps us understand leadership in a more nuanced, practical, and entirely hopeful way. We've made leadership into something bigger than us, Dudley says, something beyond us. We've shrouded it in arrogance—turned it into something few of us will publicly admit to possessing. Leadership, he says, is now about changing the world and nothing less. But Dudley, who has spoken at TEDxToronto and other high profile venues, has other ideas. As the founder and director of one of the largest leadership development programs in North America, he embraces the idea that leadership can't really be taught, only learned—an idea that has resonated with thousands of people over the years.
Redefining Leadership and the Power of 'Lollipop Moments'
An affable and captivating speaker, Drew Dudley recasts our notions of leadership. By making leadership into something bigger than ourselves, Dudley says, we fail to acknowledge the everyday leadership that effects us in innumerable ways. When it becomes outsized, we are given an excuse to not expect it from ourselves and from those around us. Instead, we need to redefine leadership as being a series of "lollipop moments"—those moments when something you've done has made someone else's life fundamentally better. How many lollipop moments occur every day? Dudley asks. And how many go unacknowledged? How many lollipop moments we create, how many we acknowledge, and how many we pay forward—this comes closer to a true measure of leadership. A born storyteller with infectious energy, Dudley tells us that leadership is, at its core, about striving to act in a way that has a positive effect on your own life, and the lives of others.
Quieting Your Inner Bully
“No matter how old you are, you're too young to settle.”
Drew Dudley wants to talk about "the list" that exists in people's heads about what they have to do in life to consider themselves a success. This list—that we're all guilty of having—are disempowering and often causes us to turn away from our true passions. In a sense, Dudley says, we are our own worst bullies. Adding insult to injury is the fact that bullying breeds fear: we won't make changes in our lives because we're afraid of ending up with less than we have now, even if we aren't happy. So, we settle. With compassion and storytelling, Dudley shows us how to break out of this bullying cycle. Doing so is the only way to become better leaders, and to live happier lives. We can't lead others until we can lead ourselves, Dudley explains. We must be able to the question, "where in my life am I settling?" and then we must refuse to do it for a single day more.
Changing the Game: Selfless Work Makes Us Happier
The working world is too often treated like a game, complete with rules to learn, bend, and break, and worst of all, a system of winners and losers. It leads people to feel, also, that we live and work in a world of scarcity—that when someone else gets a bonus, or a big break of some sort, it means there's less for us to gain. We put great emphasis on achieving things that might be out of our control, and have less to do with our work ethic and contributions than we might think: things like promotions, bonuses, and even office recognition, which depend heavily on finances and office cohesion. Still, we focus on these goals, and convince ourselves that they are the means by which we will feel needed, secure and satisfied with our jobs.
But what if we focused on other goals, like making an impact on society and adding value to it, without being sure that we'll receive anything but a pat on the back? Could this more selfless work model actually be more compassionate and fulfilling? Drew Dudley says, it can. In optimistic and inspiring talks, Dudley pushes his audiences to embrace the world of work as a world of abundance, where there is satisfaction and fulfillment enough for everyone who is adding value to their industry. Rather than making money and promotions our goal (which really means putting your fate into the hands of someone else), Dudley urges us to work toward a happiness that can't be bought, or framed, or praised by someone else's standards. By doing so, you CAN be in charge of your own success.
Thank you, Drew for your inspiring words. I truly believe that if we all asked ourselves the six value add questions every day, we will all be more fulfilled and enrich the lives of those around us. Numerous members of our group have let me know how your words yesterday have impacted them in such a positive and inspirational way. One of my colleagues has already taken the steps to repair a relationship with an old friend. You are an amazing individual and we are so lucky to have spent our Leadership Retreat morning with you.
HIEC Conference Halton Industry Education Council
I don't normally do this, but we have never had a keynote speaker that everyone ranked so high in our evaluations! You received 5.30 out of 5.00 on the evaluations and the individual feedback was awesome too. I put some of the comments below: - Drew Dudley was an amazing speaker he has articulated the traits in a leader that I believe in! Great event! - There is not enough words to express the value in hearing Drew Dudley. A true wow moment in my day...my lollipop moment! - Drew was awesome! - Drew Dudley's speech was extremely motivational. It taught me different ways to look a simple life accomplishments. His words gave me a sense of a different future for myself and how I may want to start living my life ("one interaction at a person at a time"). The good you do always comes back to you in one way or another. His words made me wonder if the things I am aiming for in life are actually worth. I also loved and felt motivated by everyone who stood in front of us and said a few words. - Drew Dudley is very inspirational! Judging by the captivating audience, he didn't just empower me but everyone so thank you for making my day. - Thank you for Drew! Truly inspiring and refreshing as usual HIEC has another great event!
Beaming. That’s the only way I can describe the faces of the United Way staff team as Drew began to speak at our community celebration event. Drew took the time to learn about our organization and the goals of our event in advance, and the result was a seamless, poignant, and unbelievably relevant message that really hit home with our guests. Drew is relatable and inspiring, and he made each and every person in the room feel appreciated and valued (which was our top goal for the night.) Thank you, Drew—for your amazing effort, of course—but mostly for making our faces hurt from smiling so much.
Drew blew us away. We had 400+ people at the event and usually, by Saturday afternoon, we've lost a lot to distractions - hanging out with friends, gone off to do sponsor stuff, whatever. But on Saturday afternoon at 3:30, we still had most attendees eagerly awaiting the last session. We were scheduled to start right then, but we decided to push it back by 15 minutes - people were enjoying talking to the sponsors and each other, so I wanted them to not feel rushed. We started at 3:45 and I had asked Drew to keep it high energy, given that this was the end of a long tiring schedule. Within 5 minutes, Drew had the place in stitches. Within 10 minutes, he had the place in tears. He pulled out every story he had, I think. He worked with the audience and challenged them. He fed off their energy and they off his. He managed to take every lesson, every learning, everything we'd said over the last two days and bring it home. There was not a dry eye in the place. When he sat down, the audience stood up and would probably still be applauding if he hadn't said it was getting embarrassing. It was, beyond a doubt, the perfect ending to our conference. Drew is an absolute gem. We are finalizing our post conference survey and will share with you and Drew any feedback we receive once we send it out. I expect it will be a lot.
Drew Dudley’s presentation was excellent and we were very pleased to have him speak. He was also great with our team and the conference attendees. Working with Lavin was easy to make the arrangements for his session. Overall it was very smooth and a positive experience!
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