Getting to Yes, And

Drew Dudley: Leadership Courage


Drew Dudley

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Kelly connects with leadership expert Drew Dudley about how vital it is to live your values as a leader every day and how much courage that requires.

You write in your book that leadership is in the consistent things, what do you mean by that?

“I think the idea that leadership is in the consistent things is saying, okay, imagine that every single day before you went to bed, you had to prove that you deserved another day on this planet, and to do that you had to pass a test, a series of questions. The thing is, you've got the questions in the morning and if you knew that in order to earn another day on the planet, you had to have answers to these questions, you would prioritize finding the answers to those questions every day ahead of everything else: ahead of your emails and ahead of your job. It would be the first thing that you did. Well, my idea of leadership is okay, well, those questions, what they are is your daily values, your behaviors. What did you want to stand for? And right now, I think our values are things that we want to do to make the world better. I don't think they're non-negotiable to us. I think that we do them when we have time. The phrase, ‘I'm the type of person who…,’ is used all the time. But that phrase is almost always followed by a lie.”

And you also note that defining your values is essential to even understanding what courage actually is on a day to day basis.

“If you don't define what courage means to you, you turn it into a finish line. You probably are embodying it through your behaviors every day of your life, but you never give yourself credit for it. And so all these moments where you're being the man or the woman that you want to be, is going by and you’re not recognizing or celebrating it. And since it's the celebrations in our lives that give us momentum and strength and pride, that's a problem. We're ignoring most of the moments where we live, the things we plan to stand for and so the importance of values and defining them is because values aren't just these esoteric things. What they are, this criteria for decision making, like your values and what they mean are so important to be specific about because they're what you need to use to make decisions in your life.”

And we tend to be diminutive when it comes to the things that matter most in leadership, right?

“I claim that moments of compassion and moments of kindness and moments of respect and empathy are moments of leadership. They are because they are powerful. They have a powerful impact on other human beings, but we don't call the leadership. We call them the little things, you know, oh, we do those little things for people and the problem is we're reinforcing this idea that for something to be leadership, for something to be big in general, it has to make you rich or it has to make you famous, right? Otherwise it's the little things. How on earth are we diminishing the greatest power we have, which is how we manage to impact and change the feelings of others.”

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