“(In class) I always told them that it was forbidden to say ‘I’m just…’ because by doing so they give others permission to expect less from them. When I was invited to TEDx my answer was, ‘but I’m just a part-time presenter’ and now my students won’t let me say that. I carry that experience with me every day, ”he says.

In the years that followed, Dudley developed undiagnosed bipolar disorder, was addicted to alcohol, and gained nearly 100 pounds due to overwork. However, he began to expose how his personal battle with alcohol, obesity, and personal loss, coupled with commitment to his daily behaviors and choices, helped him become a better leader and inspire others to do the same.

In 2018, he shared his story in the book ‘This is Day One: A Practical Guide to Leadership That Matters’ and founded his own company to train new leaders, under the philosophy of day one.

Expansion: What is day one and how did it come about?
Drew Dudley: It is a program based on reinventing leadership. Usually we ignore the leadership that is in us, since we are exposed to other beliefs about what a leader is. The focus of day one is to work one day at a time, as if it were the first day of your life. It is a concept that was born from a theory that I was working on in college and from my personal life.

Addiction, for example, can be terrifying. If you don’t want to worry about yesterday’s mistakes or tomorrow’s earnings, you should treat every day as if it were day one. With leadership the same thing happens, you will not know what will happen tomorrow, but if you focus on leading based on your values ​​no matter what happens, that means that you can be proud of the person you will be when you reach your goal.

Day one is to understand that leadership arises from connections, from the moments we have with other people, from compassion, from the recognition of the other, from being grateful for what we have and from knowing that we can generate an impact around us. Leadership is lived one day at a time and must be governed by your own values. There is a lot of talk about them, but we don’t reflect on what they really are.

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My job is to teach how to reflect on the values ​​of each person and that, every day, they achieve at least two goals that make them feel proud, because unfortunately we were educated to do things and not to be what we want to be and, Based on that, make our to-do list.

E: How can difficulties strengthen a person’s leadership?
DD: I’ve had quite a few ‘day one’ in my life. I started my own company, I went from 300 pounds to 200 [de 136 a casi 91 kilos], I accepted that I am bipolar, that mental illness is something that I will always have to work on and that I will live without alcohol all my life. Every time I think I’m not good or strong at something, I remember all the things I’ve been through before and I say to myself: sure I can do this.

What I mean is that humans are not made of glass. I also don’t think hitting makes you stronger, that’s cliché. But I do believe that experiences make you more resilient and give you more wisdom to know how to better face the things that come your way.

In my experience I have met many leaders who do not have confidence in themselves, and nothing happens as long as they have courage. There are extraordinary people who think that they cannot be leaders because they do not trust themselves, however, to be confident is to pretend that something does not scare you, and to have courage is to be aware that something scares you, but you face it and act. Courage and resilience only exist when there is action, and confidence can occur without action. That is the difference.