Do you remember a great mentor or supporter, even a moment with a stranger, that you’ve thought back to time and time again when you needed confidence, wisdom or your dignity was under attack?

Most of us can remember a teacher, family friend, school bus driver, coach, or even a bystander; someone who noticed something special about us and called it out.

Maybe it was a crucial time in your childhood or just last week. Think back a moment… got one?

Image: A lone tree on an island with the sun setting on low tide around it.

Source: PxHere

Now consider the gift they gave you. Probably a glimmer of hope and confidence, right when you needed it, and it was as if a new day dawned.

That person did something remarkable, perhaps transformative, even if they didn’t realize it: they allowed us to see ourselves as a “leader” in some way. Their comment reminded us why we are worthy of the respect of others and possibly an agent of change ourselves!

These rare occasions often restored our courage to just keep going and forever remind us that the sun can rise on a new day for us, any time.

Can these elevating moments be more frequent?

They can! With a small but important change in our mindset, we can actually be a multiplier for this kind of impact on others.

Turns out, there is a fabulous, recently published book on the subject! My copy is now dog-eared, scribbled in and filled with sticky notes, and we are delighted to point you to it.

Image: The book This is Day One

Source: Dr. Lynda Ulrich

Good books like this move us to ask better questions and look inside ourselves for answers, but the best books are written by author/story-tellers who inspire us to include others in those questions and answers, and in that process, they fill us with hope.

Drew Dudley is just such an author/story-teller and his book This Is Day One is all about something he calls “everyday leadership”. 

Unlike most books that improve our perspectives, This is Day One does not force us to commit to a deep dive into complex thinking. Rather, Drew’s book feels more like a conversation with a very funny, wise friend. He gives us one ah-ha moment after another through insightful stories and makes a case for some simple, daily behaviors that can generate the momentum needed to accomplish the most significant things in our lives.

The book came to reside on my nightstand after we published an article about Drew’s famous 6-minute TED TalkThe Power of Lollipop Moments. I had spoken to Drew on a long call in preparation for that article and realized just how mindbending Drew’s insights were. When he told me he was about to publish a book, I pre-ordered it immediately and it has been a game-changer in the way I walk through every day.

Drop into that article with Drew’s short TED Talk now for a little detour if you want to understand the everyday insights that Drew inspires us to embrace. Go now… we’ll be here. See you in 6 minutes…

9 minutes

The Power of Giving People a “Lollipop Moment”

Heard anything about "Lollipop Moments"? Here's an amazing metaphor to remember how easy it is to fundamentally improve someone's life with just a simple turn of a phrase!

Read More

Ok, now you know why that TED Talk has amassed more than 5 million views and how Drew’s knack for story-telling can bring us such terrific peace-of-mind. Here’s another 5-minute example of Drew’s wisdom through story-telling and a great way to understand how this “everyday leadership” can change your life and the lives of countless others:

Your “Larry” and your “Dollar”

It’s important to remember Drew’s challenge to us at the end of that video. The name “Larry” can stand in for absolutely anyone you come across who you are in a unique, momentary position to lift up (a co-worker, friend, family member or stranger).

And the “dollar” probably won’t be money in your story or mine. It represents a kindness or a moment of recognizing something special about our “Larry”.

“Everday Leadership” then, is actively looking for the opportunity to recognize the leadership in others. Just what we remember as that special occasion when a teacher, family friend, school bus driver, coach, or even a bystander, noticed something special about us and called it out.

How to get started with Everyday Leadership?

It’s so much more than walking around looking for people to compliment. And of course, that’s why the book is so revealing.

Fundamental to Drew’s insights is the notion that we can have so much more impact on others, and an awful lot of personal progress and fun, if we treat every day as if it were Day One. And most importantly, we can always begin again if we missed the mark yesterday.

The book goes into wonderful detail and colorful examples of this Day One concept, but here’s Drew explaining it in brief. The video ends abruptly, and with an important question that can be life-changing. Take a look.

I was struck by the gravity of this question and have asked it to myself, too many times to count since reading the book. Drew takes us on many small journeys to flesh out why this concept can change our futures.

How have I lived my life today, like it was my first day?

Think about the people you’ve known who bring light and energy to every situation. They have a way of lifting other’s up and in the process, they bring about a world of new possibilities.

Here’s another snippet of how Drew empowers us to shine our light:

This is Day One is a concept you can play with!

My husband and I listened to the audiobook (read by the author) on a long car ride and then applied the insights on a week’s vacation. It wildly expanded the fun we had on the trip and the new habits we developed have stuck with us to this day.

This is Day One is also a great sentiment to explore with a group. In fact, after we read the book I bought 12 copies and closed my dental practice for a day. My entire team spent 6 hours, listening to the audiobook together. Stopping it to discuss major points, annotating in the margins, and generally changing our office culture to include some of Drew’s major insights.

In fact, that’s the gravity of this book. I recommend you get both the hardcover and the audiobook and let Drew speak to you from the pages, while you star, underline and annotate away in the margins for future reference.

On our dental team, we even challenged each other to come to our morning huddle every day for a month with an uplifting story. We each came prepared to share a story about how we had recognized the everyday leadership in someone else. Often it was a co-worker, but we heard about some amazing moments between sisters, interactions with strangers in gas stations, and moments when someone recognized great parenting in Walmart, generosity in the grocery store, attention to detail by a sheepish, but hardworking busboy in a restaurant!

What fun inspiration we suddenly had at the start of our work days!

You will never feel more “alive” than when you follow Drew Dudley’s encouragement to recognize the leadership, and the wonderful efforts of others. We loved doing it ourselves, and the stories of others made us soar.


Image: Tiny figure writing think big on green wall

Source: Pixabay

More Pearls of Wisdom

Want some new, more productive responses to the complex problems we all face regularly? Here’s one that has worked for me in every quandary I’ve faced since reading this book:

“When you don’t know what to do in a situation, ask yourself, ‘What would the person who I want to be do in this situation? Then do that.'” — Drew Dudley

It’s simple, easy to remember, and works every time. Gives you the courage to do some hard things and to be your best self, so much more often.

Another of Drew’s insights is that the significant impacts we have on others may often be the unforeseen result of how we carry on in our ordinary days. He offers that we put way too much emphasis on the “big days” and demonstrates why we might ditch that cultural programming.

“Leadership is not demonstraed by the goals we achieve but in how we behave in the pursuit of those goals.” — Drew Dudley

What if our “leaders”, politicians, teachers, coaches, public figures, practiced that insight. I suspect we’d have a lot less to talk about in the negative news cycle. Here’s a fabulous article about the work of another thought leader in this area of paying attention to our daily perspective.

30 minutes

Radiating Possibility or the Downward Spiral? Our Choice!

Do you ever get caught up in a "downward spiral", either in conversations or trains of thought? Here's a world-renowned teacher to share a fascinating alternative mindset: radiating possibility!

Read More

Bottom line: This is Day One takes us on a journey to live better day to day. It points to the fact that our long-term success or failure is fostered in our ordinary days, not on the rare, wonderful days when we do something that is a big deal.

Like the best transformational books, Drew bring us to our “growing edges”. There, we are compelled to look at ourselves and others very differently. Best of all, he gets us comfortable out there.

Want some wonderful coaching about being comfortable out on your growing edges? Here’s another article with a TED speaker who teaches us to have the courage that Drew is pointing us toward:

38 minutes

Making Struggle and Vulnerability a Good Thing!

What could possibly be good about Struggle and Vulnerability? Don't we spend every waking moment trying to avoid them both!? Turns out there are some amazingly valuable things to celebrate about both!

Read More

Get comfortable with making every day Day One. If you are reading this article, you are a thought leader in your circle of influence.

Want to hear more from Drew Dudley?

I sat down with him a few weeks ago for a chat! You can hear the first part of it by following this link over to our Patreon, and you can find our second interview by following this!

If you are inspired to live a Day One worldview, the book This Is Day One is a great start at “everyday leadership”. 

Stay open, curious and hopeful!

~ Dr. Lynda

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  1. “Motivational Speaker Drew Dudley: Transforming Lives with Everyday Actions.” YouTube, The Lavin Agency Speakers Bureau, 12 Apr. 2016, Accessed 28 Dec. 2018.
  2. “Drew Dudley: What If Every Day Was Your First Day at Work?” YouTube, The Lavin Agency Speakers Bureau , 23 June 2016, Accessed 28 Dec. 2018.
  3. “Leadership Speaker Drew Dudley: The Power of ‘Lollipop Moments.’” YouTube, The Lavin Agency Speakers Bureau, 19 July 2017, Accessed 28 Dec. 2018.

Dr. Lynda is a dentist, artist, global traveler, and philanthropist who looks for potential and shares it with the world.