Focus on Your To-Be List Instead of Your To-Do List with Drew Dudley

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Today we have an extra special guest for you. He’s not a nurse, but he is an expert of everyday leadership and we talk about his TED talk which has been a huge inspiration to me.

Called one of the most inspirational TED speakers in the world, Drew Dudley is on a mission to help people unlearn some dangerous lessons about leadership.
As the founder and chief catalyst of Day One Leadership, he has helped top organizations around the world increase their leadership capacity. His clients have included McDonald’s, American Express, JP Morgan Chase, the United Way, and more than 100 colleges and universities.

Prior to this, Drew spent eight years as the director of one of Canada’s largest leadership development programs at the University of Toronto.

Drew is also the bestselling author of This is Day One: A Practical Guide to Leadership That Matters. It debuted at #6 on the Wall Street Journal bestseller list.
As a speaker, Drew has delivered keynotes to more than 250,000 people across five continents. His TED talk “Everyday Leadership (The Lollipop Moment)” was voted “one of the 15 most inspirational TED talks of all time”.


Episode Highlights

We start by talking about his early start in professional fundraising and go on to discuss:

  • How the famous TED talk came to be
  • That using the word ‘just’ diminishes our activities, abilities and beliefs
  • The traditionally narrow view of leadership
  • Behaviour effect – ask yourself questions to prompt behaviours throughout the day
  • Confidence vs. courage

Key Points

1.  Leadership is about creating moments of compassion, kindness, empathy and forgiveness.

2.  Focus on your to-be list instead of your to-do list.

3.  Use your values to drive behaviours and your actions


Journal Prompts:

1. Why do YOU matter? Realize that you’ve likely never thought about it before. Ask yourself and give yourself evidence that you matter.

2. Hurt people hurt people. Will you continue to carry that pain with you? Or will you let it go? And how?

3. How can you treat yourself with the same respect you treat your phone? How do you ensure you don’t hit 10% and are running on empty?



“I promised myself you’re not allowed to use the word ‘just’. Not ‘just’ a speaker, not ‘just’ a student, not ‘just’ a nurse.”

—Drew Dudley


“What makes nurses so extraordinary is the level of interaction they have in this environment where peoples humanity always feels tenuous. Nurses navigate between the egos of doctors and the fears of patients and family members. It is nurses who can create those individual moments to remind patients of their humanity.”

—Drew Dudley


“Not enough people call themselves leaders because they made it into something too big, too complex and too beyond ourselves.”

—Drew Dudley


“A value is a value only if you use it as criteria for decision making.”

—Drew Dudley


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