Drew Dudley: How to Work Less but Have Way More Impact

Listen to our exclusive interview with Drew Dudley:


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As you listen to our interview with Drew Dudley, you’ll soon see why he has been called one of the most dynamic speakers in the world. His talks on leadership are captivating and inspiring — so much so that his 2010 TEDx conference talk on lollipop moments was voted one of the most inspirational TED talks of all time. 

For the last 15 years, Drew has inspired countless individuals and corporations to expand their leadership capacity. In our talk, he discusses the importance of not going overboard in the amount of time you dedicate to your business. Working countless hours each week can become addictive, he warns. We promise ourselves that we’re working an insane number of hours now so that we can work less in the future. However, as company leaders, we become addicted to working too much and end up just following society’s expectations of putting in long hours.

Leadership is not martyrdom.

Working a meager 40 hours per week goes against most of what you’ve heard about scaling your business.

“We live in a 90-hour-per-week hustle culture and if you’re not burning the candle at both ends, you’re clearly not committed to your business.”

Drew points out he is failing himself if he’s working more than 40 hours per week. “If you overdo anything,” he adds, “you don’t love it as much.”

Remember Who It Is You Want to Be

Often, we lose ourselves in the process of setting up a new company to the point that we end up forgetting who we are. Drew points out that our values — those core beliefs that govern our day-to-day decision making — should be reflected in our businesses.

Research shows that clarity on personal values plays a much bigger role in happiness, productivity, retention, and overall effectiveness in the workforce.

Drew’s Six Key Values

Drew shared with us his six key values, each of which has a specific question tied to it that helps him make sure that he’s acknowledging the leadership skills in others. These values are:

  • impact
  • growth
  • courage
  • empowerment
  • class
  • self-respect

It seems logical to make business decisions that will avoid any immediate negative consequences. But what if those decisions go against your values? Drew points out that sometimes we sacrifice integrity in order to save the company. The problem is that you will always regret this down the road. Why? Because you’ve gone against the fundamental beliefs that make you who you are.

The Five Year Question

One amazing bit of advice Drew offers when faced with a critical decision to make is this: Ask yourself how a person you respect would react five years from now. Would they support you in having gone against your values to keep your business afloat, or would they be proud of you for sticking to what you believe in and doing what you feel was the right thing to do? Drew promises us that the latter is what will make us happiest in the long run.

Good leaders live their values whenever they get the chance and great leaders create opportunities to live their values.

We also recommend:

Transcription of Interview (Transcribed by Otter.ca; there may be errors.)

Adam Force 0:12
Hey, what’s up, everybody? Welcome back to the change Creator podcast show. This is your host, Adam Force. And if you missed last week’s episode, it was with Paxton Gray. He is one of the main guys over at 92nd floor. And he’s an SEO and content marketing and strategy expert. So we got into a lot of good stuff there. We even branched off and spoke about Cambridge Analytica. So that was a fun little tangent to go off on.

And today we’re going to be talking with Drew Dudley. Drew is a leadership expert. He’s worked with all kinds of major companies like JPMorgan Chase and major universities. But also, he had his first book, “A Practical Guide to Leadership That Matters” And he’s spoken to 250,000 people across five continents, doing TED Talks, and all that kind of stuff. So a lot of exciting experience and knowledge coming from Drew, we’re going to tap into that conversation in just a minute. And just yesterday, we were talking about how some people are getting very frustrated with their, you know, marketing, not connecting, they’re doing all the social media posts, they’re doing blog posts, podcast, you know, all this stuff. And they’re just not getting the results, you know, webinars that go out there, and they’re not making sales, and we totally get it. We’ve been there; this is a disconnect. You know, there are two things that have to happen: a good product, and a good offer. And then you have to have also a third thing, I guess, which is you’ve got to have your messaging line up. And that’s part of that offer, right? So, you know, when your messaging is out of sync, these things just don’t work.

So if you see other people getting results with the same stuff you’re doing, and you’re not getting the results, that’s usually why. And you know, we we ran a beta for our captivate program in 2018, and worked with a bunch of people like Jay Shetty, and Seth Godin, and got all kinds of advice and put together a program to help solve that problem — to fill that gap, you know, using storytelling, provide clarity, but also how do we use it with our businesses and our startups, and where do we apply it and all that kind of good stuff. So we are on version 3.0, of what we call the Captivate Method now, which is really exciting, guys. So our team has been putting it together, and we’re going to start getting our plans for release. 3.0 is not out yet. This is going to be a much more enhanced program and platform with major community forums and all that kind of stuff. Lots of coaching calls, live sessions, and goodies. So keep an eye out.

I wanted to just give you guys a heads up that we are working hard to help solve for that disconnect that is causing frustration. But more importantly, is causing entrepreneurs to give up on what they’re doing. Right from burnout or just financial strain. Okay? So we need your ideas. You guys are out there trying to change the world, we want you to succeed. So we’re working really hard to make sure you can overcome those challenges. Alright, guys, we’re gonna jump into this conversation with Drew and let’s see what he has to say. Don’t forget to stop by the App Store and leave us reviews. We appreciate it.

Announcer 3:03
Okay, show me the heat.

Adam Force 3:08
Hey, Drew, welcome to the Change Creator podcast show. How you doing today, man?

Drew Dudley 3:12
I’m doing amazing. I’m in my happy place when I do this interview. So I’m really excited to be here.

Adam Force 3:19
Awesome. Yeah, so we were just talking before this chat, and you know, the name keeps escaping me. We tell me that happy place again. Where were you in Canada?

Drew Dudley 3:28
Oh, I’m in Cape Breton Island. So the northern tip of Nova Scotia. And if anyone out there is listening, make this part of your to-do list in your life.

Adam Force 3:37
I’m actually going to write it down so I can look it up when we’re done. Okay. Cool. So yeah, what are you doing out there, you just want to vacation, you got some stuff going on for work? Tell me what you have going on these days

Drew Dudley 3:52
Well, actually, what happened was I have a speech that is happening this Friday, and it’s Tuesday right now. And one of the things when I talk about my work, and we’ll probably get into this a little bit later, is making sure that I never lose sight of the fact that leadership isn’t martyrdom. And you know, it’s all about 90 hours a week and the hustle culture, particularly in the entrepreneurial world is just like, if you’re not burning the candle at both ends, you’re not really committed to your business and to growth. And one of the things I’ve discovered, you know, after doing things on my own now for over 10 years, is that basically, when you’re empty, you have nothing to give. And so I came out here because even though it’s only three or four days of downtime, and hiking, where I can continue to work on ideas, I can continue to work on speeches, and sort of write as I walk, ultimately, I’m so much better at my job if I take even two or three days in a place that makes me feel refilled, as opposed to trying to pack it into, you know, two weeks of vacation once a year. It really is a way of recharging. So it’s something I try to scatter throughout my work. And you know, this might be sacrilegious in the entrepreneurial world. But I’ve come to believe if I work more than 40 hours a week, I’m actually failing myself because I love my work. But if you overdo anything, you don’t love it as much. So for me, it’s sort of like as long as I keep my work organized and efficient and I don’t work more than 40 hours a week, one, I better at my job, and two, work always stays a treat. Because I mean, you could love pizza, man, but if you eat pizza for a month straight, even this thing that you love begins to lose a little bit of luster. So I’m out here to follow my own advice.

Adam Force 5:39
Well, I love hearing that because I’m with the man I’m on the train of you know, not agreeing with this, like I work 100 hours a week, it’s the only way to succeed. And like, you know, I see too many times otherwise, that people who work hard but smart and you know, you accomplish the things that you need to do in a reasonable amount out of time. Right? And you know, I always said when I was in the corporate world, I was like, just because someone’s coming in early and staying late doesn’t mean they’re getting more done.

Drew Dudley 6:09
Yeah, and I think one of the things that gets me is this idea that we convince ourselves that we’re only doing it temporarily, right, like I’m working 90 hours a week now, so that I can, you know, spend more time with my family or I can have freedom later on in life. And what happens is, it’s an addiction, right? So you tell yourself, you’re doing it to create all this time and freedom and security later on. But we never stop doing it, when we have the opportunity to start living a life that sort of is better for us. We just don’t, because we’ve never trained ourselves to do it. And I think that’s something is that we always rationalize that approach is temporary, for long term gain. But I found very few people that once they get, you know, to that place they were chasing, ever give up the lifestyle and and I was one of those people and I am much more productive, much more successful, and much happier now that I’ve sort of said, Hey, those hundred hour a week craziness that I did 10 years ago, they got me to a place where I could take that philosophy. And I actually seize that opportunity. I see a lot of people who don’t.

Adam Force 7:15
Yeah, no, it makes sense. And there is that culture today. And I mean, I guess it’s been around for years, but you hear the words “grind” and “hustle” in everybody’s entrepreneurial vocabulary. And after a while, it just drives me nuts. Everyone’s like, Oh, I’m grinding. I’m hustling. I’m like, and so I don’t know, I feel the same way on different levels with that. And I’m certainly not afraid of hard work. And I do lots of that myself. But I guess it depends on how we define that and what we’re actually spending our time doing, exactly.

Drew Dudley 7:48
Because when you grind things like if you really think about what a grind is, there’s a purpose to it, right? You’re grinding something to sharpen the saw, right? Yeah. And ultimately, if you don’t stop and say, okay, the grinding has now accomplished its purpose, what happens if you leave anything up against the grindstone for an indefinite amount of time? It just gets worn down to nothing. And when you wear yourself down to nothing, that’s a hard hole to climb back out of. And so I’m not saying don’t work hard. And I’m not saying don’t be passionate, I am saying that you need to build a business that serves your life. And by that what I mean is that you need to build a business that is going to give you the last day of work that you want. Look ahead and say, What do you want the last day of work of your life to look like? How do you want to feel? And make sure that you’re building a company that creates that and serves your life, as opposed to you creating a company that you are then a slave to forever. And yeah, you created it. But now it’s now it’s your master. And I think that that’s really important. Because if something you build becomes your master, you know, why did you build it?

Adam Force 8:55
Yeah, and I think something that you said there really stuck out, which is you build a company that serves you. And you know, everyone can have a slightly different variation of what success means to them, right? So you can run a million dollar a year company with you and a partner. And that could be more than enough for your lifestyle, you know, you don’t have to have 100 million dollar a year company. So don’t let other people define what success looks like for you. Right?

Drew Dudley 9:22
Yeah, because for me, success is being completely happy with what you have, even as you’re driven to try to accomplish more like my job and what we managed to build, I’m still driven to take on new challenges and grow. But if there was never another day of growth for the rest of my life, in terms of business, I am really happy with the life that has been created around me. And so I think that true success is when you can say I am driven, I want to get more, I want to grow more, and I want to become something bigger as a person in terms of skill and insight. But I’m really happy with what I have. Yeah, when you’re happy with what you have, and you’re still driven to want more, not because you’re supposed to, but because it’s an innate piece of who you are, that’s a successful life. If right now you say I have built something that makes me happy and I still want to do more, but I’m not sort of addicted to that need. So that’s what success means to me. And, and I think you’re right, the idea that you could make $20 million. And people look at you and say if you can make 20 and you don’t, you’re a fool because you’re not hustling. You know, I’ve lived that a lot of my life. And I’m just like, making more money than I make now means being miserable more than I am now. And as long as what you’ve got is enough to make you live the life you want, why be miserable? Right? Like because honestly, if you’re miserable doing when you work for yourself — like, is there anything worse than just hating your job and you created it? You got no one to look at now.

Adam Force 10:58
You can’t blame the company you work for anymore. Oh my god, this is my own creation; I created a monster.

Drew Dudley 11:05

Adam Force 11:05
So you know, we have a lot of entrepreneurs listening in who are actually — I think a lot of the people that are listening are transitioning or have transitioned from corporate to start something on their own, because they wanted to do something that served them more, meaning it’s meaningful to them, right. So, you know, you want to be excited when you wake up. And I think a tough part for people is, one, when you start a business, there are a lot of moving parts. And you know, as you get started, you have to be a leader from day one. And you have to start making decisions on what to do and how to spend the little bit of budget you might have. Do you bring someone on board or not? And so we’ve gone through all kinds of mistakes, Change Creators, my second company, and I am curious to hear your thoughts. So for that early phase, starting first few years, let’s start a conference around leadership at that point. So any thoughts jumped into your head that you want to just kind of kick that off with?

Drew Dudley 12:07
Yeah, I think one of the things to which we often fall victim when we’re starting our own company, is because it means so much to us, what happens is we start to substitute our to-do list for our to be list. You know, when we start to identify, yes, we want to build this company. But I think far more important when it comes to leadership is Who do you want to be as a person. Because I said your company should serve who you are and should give you the opportunity to create the change you’re looking for in the world. Like, how is your product going to impact people? How is it going to make their lives better? And we get so tied up in how we build the company that we often put aside making sure that we stay true to who we want to be. So one of the things that I encourage everyone, whether they’re starting a business or not, is make sure you define the things you want to define you. And what I mean by that you’re going to be faced with all kinds of decisions, some of the ones that you just laid out, for instance. You’re gonna be faced with all kinds of decisions through building your company.

My question for people is, what criteria are you going to use to make decisions because one of the things that leaders have is a set definition for what their decision making is going to be. And you know, I call it a personal leadership philosophy. And another way you could call it is a decision making philosophy. But what the research shows is, if you’re seen as somebody who has a personal leadership philosophy, or is very clear about how you make decisions, and by that, I mean, you can rhyme them off your leadership philosophy in 30 seconds or less. If you do so, it’s not the first time in the last 72 hours that you’ve done it. And if I asked somebody who knows you well, or particularly works with you, hey, what what’s this personal leadership or her personal leadership philosophy, they’re going to rhyme it off, and they’re probably going to roll their eyes when they do it. What it means is that you’ve repeated so many times how you make decisions. And what that means is that what people may not always agree with your decisions, they’re always going to know, and respect the fact that you’re consistent and how you make them. And so what I always argue is: Define the things you want to define you.

So if somebody followed you around for 30 days, and watched how you built your business, how you interact with customers, how you interacted with employees, and with people you’ve never met before, out, serving you a drink in a bar or a meal in a restaurant, at the end of those 30 days, if I sat that person down and said you follow this person without their knowledge, what three values do they stand for above all others? Like what three values do they hope to leave in their wake, personally and professionally? And what three values do they pivot to every time they have to make a difficult decision? You know, if you’ve been the man or the woman you want it, I’ll ask you, my friend. If that was what I did to you, what three values do you hope that person says they see out of you? What three values you want to leave in your wake everywhere you go?

Adam Force 15:06
Sure, yeah, I mean, one big value is collaboration, I believe in working together with people and not competition. So collaboration, I believe in putting people first. So always thinking about the action I’m taking and the holistic costs behind it. So people first, and my last one would be family. So making sure that my life incorporates family into my overall success.

Drew Dudley 15:40
That’s awesome. And what I do is I know a lot of people do that for their business, they put a lot of effort and time into saying, Here are our business values. And that’s important. But what’s interesting is the research shows that clarity on personal values plays a much bigger role in happiness, productivity, retention, overall effectiveness in the workforce. So one of the things I say to leaders as they’re building is determine your criteria for decision making. So define the values you want to define you. And then ultimately, decision making becomes a simple process, but not an easy one. So every time you have to make a decision, as you start to build your business, what you do is you look at the options available to you, and you hold them up next to your list of personal values. And you ask which one of these options is most consistent with these values? Yeah. And the challenge with that is that often the option that’s most consistent with your values sucks, like it doesn’t allow you to avoid consequences, it doesn’t let you look good. It doesn’t let you take the money or remain in the relationship or stay in the job, which I’m sure some of the people listening to this have already experienced.

But ultimately, it’s always the decision you’re happiest you made five years from now, as you start to build a company, every decision you make, ask yourself, Is this the way I want to describe this decision to a room full of people I respect five years from now. And if you make every decision, as if you’re explaining it to a group of people you respect five years from now, instead of you’re about to make it, a lot of the noise surrounding decisions falls away. Now, ultimately, one of the things I ask people is that if you haven’t defined your values, and a value is only a value, if you always reference it, when you make decisions, like if you don’t think about your values, as you make decisions, then they’re not actually values. But what I always ask people is, if you’ve never taken the time to identify and define your personal values, as a professional as a person, what criteria have you been using to make decisions your whole life? And for most people, and me, myself included, the criteria we too often use to make decisions is, which option will avoid the most consequences right now? And that’s not good business decision making. And that’s not good personal decision making.

So one of the first things I always say is, you’re going to have to make a ton of decisions, and there’s going to be a lot of uncertainty in your life. Figure out what are the core values that no matter what you do, you want to make sure you stay true to those. And make sure that you always reference them when making decisions. Do not allow yourself to make decisions based on what will avoid the most consequences now, always make them on what will stay truest to who I am. Because even if that decision causes you to lose a company, and I know that’s scary to think, five years from then you will still be glad that you made that decision. Because all the short term consequences will have passed and what you’ll be left with is a memory that said, this was the man or woman I wanted to be. And sometimes we will sacrifice saving our own integrity in order to save our company. And believe it or not, you always regret that down the road.

Adam Force 19:01
There’s a lot of good points packed into, you know, what you just talked about. And I think something that stood out to me is, you know, I like the way you phrase it go five years down the road, do you look back? Is this something that aligns to who you are, and that you’re proud of when you tell people? I think it’s important because there’s a level of consistency. So to your point, when you’re making decisions based not just on business values, but just personal life values that translate to your business decision making this then should be consistent throughout the entire digital footprint that you have. Because one thing with today, you know, we have these businesses that are making a difference in the world. And as new businesses come up from entrepreneurs that are not established yet. And you know, trust comes with established businesses. So when you don’t have that people look into who you are. So for example, I went to your website, your book page, or social media, and if I see on your personal Facebook, you’re talking out of the other side of your mouth than your business values, like it’s going to be conflicting and inconsistent to me, which then I lose trust.

Drew Dudley 20:08
Yeah, and that’s something that always bear in mind. I joke that in my book, one of the values that I want to live up to is class, which is a commitment to treating people in situations better than they deserve to be treated. And one of the things I said is that leaders always elevate, they never escalate. and elevate means trying to succeed and escalate means trying to win, which means I’ve kind of tied my arms, just as what you said, because there are times that I pissed off, and I want to tweet, and then I realized, dammit, man, you said that leaders never escalate. And, you know, and if you do look, you’ll occasionally find me not following that. But it’s almost always related to people being jackasses on planes. I’m like, I don’t care leaders elevate but don’t escalate that you take your damn socks off on a plane, I’m escalating that.

Adam Force 20:57
I earned the right to escalate that.

Drew Dudley 21:00
Yeah. So I mean, that’s the thing, right is that I have to recognize that I have made that statement. And now every time that I do not elevate a situation, but I say something snarky or I escalate, or I bitch, ultimately, what I’ve said to people is, Hey, I don’t actually buy that. And the thing is, it’s always in my head. And it really should be in yours as well. And there is no such thing as a personal Facebook page. I don’t care how high your privacy is, and like, personal business, whatever. If it’s out there, it’s out there.

Adam Force 21:32
Yeah, you better be consistent and know that everyone’s looking at it, whether you think it’s just family and friends or not, that’s not true.

Yeah, I learned that. And that’s all connected that stuff. So it’s important. And I think it ties together well with what you were talking about. So something for people to be aware of, as they’re trying to earn the trust from, you know, new people who are learning about what they do.

So so let’s just shift gears a little bit, or just use that as a segue to talk about your book, you mentioned the book, and “This Is Day One: A Practical Guide to Leadership That Matters.” And for anybody that doesn’t know, Drew has done a handful of TEDx talks. One of them was the lollipop moment, and I actually saw that one. It’s a fun story. It’s inspiring, all that good stuff. And it’s been quite popular. So things you could check out through his website. But true, let’s just tap into this book. Obviously, this has been a big part of your life, a focus this whole concept around leadership. And now you have this book where you’re, you’re putting it into practical terms for people. So give us the overview of why you decided to put your time and energy into a book and what you’re trying to convey to people.

Drew Dudley 22:41
Sure, well, the book emerged from a fact that I got annoyed about something, which was I ran a leadership program at the University of Toronto, and I’m surrounded by extraordinary leaders, we’re talking students, staff, students who are trying to foster social justice to raise money for charities, and they just would not call themselves leaders. They kept seeing leadership, something they were training for. And what I started to realize is that we’ve been educated out of seeing ourselves as leaders, because we’ve been taught that leaders are giants, from a very young age, and whatever examples you’re given to demonstrate a concept early in life, not only does it shape the way you think of that concept for the rest of your life, it also limits it.

And because we teach kids about leadership, using presidents and scientific groundbreakers, what we basically have done is educated people out of their leadership. And we created a world where the vast majority of the leadership on the planet is coming from people who don’t see themselves as leaders. Because we have dismissed the idea that individual moments of impact of generosity of kindness, of empathy and of forgiveness aren’t leadership, they’re the little things. And what we do is when we call these moments that have the biggest inner personal impact that we have, when we dismiss them as little we reinforce the idea that leadership, for it to be active leadership, it has to make you rich, or it has to make you famous, or it has to involve power, and followers. And so ultimately, I wanted to outline a form of leadership to which we all can and should aspire, I do not argue that everybody can be a CEO, or a senior executive, or even start their own business. But there is a form of leadership that we can focus on on a daily basis. And ultimately, what I wanted to do is give people a step by step process, to making sure that every day individually, they have engaged in specific leadership behaviors.

And so we created a process called the leadership test, which basically is a six-question test, that at the end of each day, we adopted the philosophy that imagine at the end of each day, you had to prove you deserve another day on this planet. And in order to prove it, you had to pass a test. But you actually were given the questions for the test in the morning. And if that was the case, those questions would be non-negotiable each day. You would not try to fit them in between meetings and emails, you would make sure that you live them each day. And what we did is we created a set of questions tied to our core values. And you can’t answer those questions without living your values.

So we said, you know, impact is a value we wanted to live. Well, in order to do that every day, we try to answer the question, What have I done today to recognize someone else’s leadership? And what we do is my work and the book is designed to help people figure out what their specific personal values are. Because you can’t just ask people, you actually have to walk them through the process of surfacing them. And then how can they create their own version of the leadership test? And it’s specifically a test because tests have questions. And what’s really interesting is when we were trying to come up with a way to make it more likely we’d actually live our values, we discovered that simply saying, Okay, I’m going to have impact, or I’m going to have class wasn’t effective. And so what we did is I actually went to a group of psychology professors, and I said, Okay, what are some subconscious motivators that we could use to make sure that this commitment we have to behavior actually translates into behavior? Because we all know that just saying we’re going to do it doesn’t mean you do. And they actually gave you a couple of psychological effects that we turned into these questions because one’s called this the Zeigarnik effect, which says, things on your to-do list that you haven’t completed, take up a more prominent space, and you’re just doing some things you have. So in other words, stuff you haven’t finished bugs you until you finish it.

And the question behavior effect says, If I ask you a series of questions about a behavior in the morning, you’re way more likely to engage in that behavior later in the day. And so if questions can drive behavior, and unfinished tasks cause psychic discomfort, one of the most powerful drivers of human behavior are unanswered questions. When presented with an unanswered question, your brain will feel uncomfortable until it finds an answer, it will seek a way to answer it. And so when you create a question in your life, and you planted it in the morning, that is tied to particular behaviors, what have I done today to recognize someone else’s leadership? How do they help someone else move closer to a goal today? You know, how did I What did I do today to be good to myself, that’s actually going to cause psychic discomfort in your brain until you answer it. So we basically made our brains uncomfortable, until they did certain actions. And those certain actions were specifically tied to specific values.

So that’s sort of where it all came from the day one concept is, the first day of any voyage is the day you’re most committed, you’re most humble and you’re most forgiving. And so the idea is that you say, this is my first day of my leadership voyage. And here are the non-negotiable behaviors that you make part of that voyage, and then you treat me every day as if it’s your first day on the voyage, which actually, you know, emerged in large part from my recovery from alcoholism. Every day you treat it like the first day of your recovery because committing to a particular behavior for the rest of your life every day is too intimidating. So the key is, choose not to have a drink today. And then just treat every day like it’s the first day because I can’t commit to not drinking for the rest of my life. I can’t, but I can commit today. And if I treat every day of the rest of my life as if it’s that first day, then I can do it. And my argument is that we can claim to be leaders and claim to stand for values. But for the most part, most of us can’t point to a specific thing we’ve done today that lives up to those values, we assume that will do it when we get the chance. And good leaders live their values whenever they get the chance. But what separates great leaders from good leaders is that good leaders live their values whenever they get the chance. And great leaders create opportunities to live their values. So the whole book is about saying, okay, you claim to stand for this. Here’s how you prove it every day. Because it’s not just about proving it to other people. It’s about proving it to yourself. And if somebody says, for instance, family is a core value, but you can’t point to a single thing you did today, that reinforces the value of family. And if you’re working 17 hours a day, you’re probably not, you know, it makes you prove it to yourself. And when you’re proving it to yourself, effectively, you’re engaging in behaviors that prove it to other people. So I wanted to write a book that says, figure out what your values are, figure out your own personal questions and create your own leadership test. And what you’ll do is you’ll start to behave every day in a way that you can’t deny is leadership.

Adam Force 29:44
Yeah, that sounds awesome. I mean, lots of inspirational stuff. I just like the way some of the ideas are framed up to help, you know, understand them and take action and things like that. So I guess the proven method of having questions at the beginning of the day, that kind of gnaw at the brain. I haven’t heard that one before. So that’s actually really interesting. And I’m curious, then do you start your day off with certain questions in mind?

Drew Dudley 30:16
Oh, yeah, I’ve got six. And you know, what’s interesting is when you first start, you really got them front and center. But the more you do them, the more it becomes instinctual. We also have an app that you can download that will ask you your questions and say noon, three, six, and nine.

But I have six key values that I want to drive me in my business every day: impact, growth, courage, empowerment, class, and self-respect. And the questions tied to those impact what have I done today to recognize someone else’s leadership, there’s so much leadership around you. And it might be the people that inspire you, it could be the person who makes you smile every day when they hand you coffee. We have so many opportunities to recognize that leadership. And if you are going to start, you’re listening to this, and you’re going to start with one, that one every day for the next 30 days. What have I done to recognize someone else’s leadership for growth? What have I done today to make it more likely someone will learn something, and that could be yourself or someone else? For courage? What have I tried today, that might not work, but tried anyway? And if you’re interested, there’s a great TED talk by John Zhang, who talks about 100 days straight, where he tried to be rejected. And that’s the whole idea of bringing courage back into our life when we’ve been educated out of it. Empowerment is what have I done today to move someone else closer to a goal?

The whole idea of being if you’re creating a business, we need to get people who’ve come out of the education system, and they’ve been taught from day one, you are competing with one another. And ultimately, that question is about creating a culture that says, Yeah, if you outperform 90% of the people in an organization, yeah, maybe you’ll make six figures. But if you become the type of person where everyone who works with you outperforms everyone who doesn’t, then you’re indispensable. And that’s so much rare. And in order to become that person, what have you done today to help someone else move closer to a goal? class is when did I elevate instead of escalate today, and self-respect is, what did I do today to be good to myself. And what happens is, sometimes you’ll plan ahead and say, you know, what, I’m going to call my former boss and tell them that they were leader in my life. But what happens more frequently, is because the questions — and I like the phrase you use, “gnaw at your brain,” what happens is when an opportunity to answer the question actually pops into your sort of daily life, immediately, your brain goes, here’s the chance, grab it now.

And sometimes that sucks, you know, like, I get pissed off over the course of a day or on a phone call. And as I’m about to sort of, you know, let them have it, the little voice pops in my head and says, shit, here’s your chance to elevate instead of escalate, and you kind of have to because that’s the rule. And it does, you know, it starts to, you know, you got a bulkhead seat on the window, and a guy says, Can you switch seats with me for my middle seat in row 32? So I could sit next to my family? And let’s face it, you know, it’s a nine-hour flight? I don’t want to do that. But in my head is the question, you know, how did I help someone else move closer to a goal today? How did I elevate instead of escalate, you know, and the big overall is this when you don’t know what to do, you ask yourself, what would the person who I want to be do in this situation? And then you do that. You know, I often say to people, when you don’t know what to do, ask yourself, what would a great woman do in this situation? What would a great man do in this situation, and then do that.

And ultimately, the option that a great man or a great woman would take, that is also an option that is available to you. And so that I think is the key to these questions is, every time you’re presented with an opportunity to answer them, you have to fight with your brain not do it. And usually, it’ll win.

Adam Force 34:02
Yeah. And you keep the same questions every day, or do you change them up?

Drew Dudley 34:08
For the most part, they always evolve over time. But for the most part, as long as those are the values I want to live, those are the questions that I personally have. Now, the thing is, I don’t try to get, as I said, all six of them every day, I try to pass the test, which means three out of six. And if I get three out of six every day of the year, that’s still over 1000 conscious pieces of value of actions that I’ve taken, that are completely consistent with my values. And on the days where everything outside of your control blows up in your face, what this allows you to do is still recognize that while the day may have been a loss, it wasn’t a waste, because you did seize the opportunity to be the person that you want to be. And that seems like a simple thing. But it’s often not something that we give ourselves. The whole concept of Day One is the idea that you’re not always in charge of what you have to do every day. But you’re always in charge of who you are, as you do it. And I think that we sometimes lose sight of that fact. And if we don’t flex that power, we forget that we have it.

Adam Force 35:11
I love it. Listen, let’s close up on that note, I think that’s awesome. And love, love what you’re talking about and some of the insights that you shared here. So we appreciate your time to do that. And let’s give a shout out to where people can find more about you and catch your TED Talks. Find your book. I’m gonna let you go ahead and shout out your website here.

Drew Dudley 35:33
Sure, it’s drewdudley.com. And on the various social media, it’s @dayonedrew.

Adam Force 35:47
Awesome. They have it drewdudley.com. You can find his book and all kinds of other goodies on there, guys. So check out Drew and his work. As you heard today, he’s got lots of good ideas, so you probably gonna enjoy his book. Drew, thank you so much for your time. Really appreciate it and look forward to hearing more from you.

Drew Dudley 36:05
Oh, man, thanks for this opportunity. I love getting to share ideas.

Adam Force 36:08
You got it. Talk to you later.

Announcer 36:09
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Transcribed by https://otter.ai

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