Drew Dudley

Drew Dudley

Internationally Acclaimed Leadership Speaker | Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author

Called one of the most inspirational TED speakers in the world, Drew Dudley is on a mission to help people discover the leader within. With more than five million views, his TED talk “Everyday Leadership (The Lollipop Moment)” redefined leadership — it’s not a characteristic of an elite few, but one that lives within all of us. Through his high-energy talks, Dudley shares practical and actionable insights on creating cultures of leadership that lead to higher levels of pride, productivity, and happiness. He empowers audiences to believe that they are leaders and gives them the tools needed to make a difference.

Dudley is the founder and chief catalyst of Day One Leadership, where he has helped organizations around the world increase their leadership capacity. His clients have included such dynamic companies as McDonald’s, JP Morgan Chase, the United Way, and more than 75 colleges and universities.

Prior to founding Day One, Dudley spent eight years as the director of one of Canada’s largest leadership development programs at the University of Toronto, and served as a national chair of one of Canada’s largest youth charities, which mobilized 35,000 volunteers to raise $1 million dollars annually in support of Cystic Fibrosis Canada.

Dudley has spoken to more than 250,000 people on five continents, been featured on The Huffington Post, Radio America, Forbes.com, and TED.com, where his talk was voted “one of the 15 most inspirational TED talks of all time”. TIME, Business Insider and Inc. magazines have all named his talk one of their “10 speeches that will make you a better leader”.

A bestselling author, Dudley’s first book This is Day One: A Practical Guide to Leadership That Matters debuted at #6 on The Wall Street Journal bestseller List, and has gone on to become an international bestseller.


This is Day One: Creating Cultures of Leadership

In this practical and provocative keynote, leadership is reframed as a daily choice rather than a set of titles or accolades earned over time. Drew shows that treating each day as if it is “Day One” of a leadership journey results in a stronger daily commitment to acting on one’s core personal and organizational values.

Drew walks participants step-by-step through the discovery of their personal leadership values, demonstrates how those values can be translated into daily behaviours and shows how values-based decision-making leads to individual and organizational success.

At each stage, Drew draws on 15-years of personal stories and insights to show how this process led him through battles with alcohol, obesity and personal tragedy. Honest, engaging, and above all practical, this presentation helps each audience member understand why they are leader while showing them how to craft their personal “Day One.”

The Leadership Test: Six Questions that Transform People and Organizations

In this engaging and empowering keynote, Drew demonstrates that there is a form of leadership to which we should all aspire: one that is driven by a daily commitment to acting on six key leadership values: impact, courage, growth, empowerment, class and self-respect.

Drew provides six questions that comprise “The Leadership Test,” and while the questions may be simple, the behavioural changes they generate build better careers, stronger organizations and more fulfilling lives Sharing stories from small-town Canada to the deserts of Qatar, and insights from leaders of all types—CEOs, elite athletes, cab drivers, custodians and everyone in between—this presentation changes the way audiences think about leadership in their life and workplace.

Self-Respect: The Foundation of Leadership

In 2010, fresh off delivering what would be voted one of the “15 most inspirational TED talks of all time” and traveling the world delivering keynotes that led one Oxford University professor to proclaim him “the most motivating and inspiring speaker on leadership out there right now,” Drew was struggling off the stage: battling alcohol addiction, undiagnosed bipolar disorder and a lifestyle that had ballooned him to over 300 pounds.

In this keynote, Drew melds self-care insights with his own story to present six strategies for embedding selfcare and building self-respect into a personal leadership philosophy. Over the past eight years these strategies have helped him achieve and maintain sobriety, lose 100 pounds, manage his mental health and, most recently, process a profound personal tragedy.

A presentation that acknowledges the dark parts of life and work with humour and compassion, this practical exploration of self-awareness, forgiveness, resilience and healing will remind audiences that we cannot lead others until we can lead ourselves and show them how great leaders know how to put themselves first while still serving others.

More Than Words: Defining the Things That Define Leaders

Integrity. Honesty. Respect. Accountability.

How would you explain what these words mean to someone who had never heard them before?

A companion to both The Leadership Test and This is Day One keynote, this highly interactive session will ask participants to engage in a deeper, collective examination of the values we use to evaluate leaders, and often to evaluate ourselves. After all, there’s little doubt we judge others swiftly (and often harshly) if they don’t live up to the values we generally associate with leaders. However, when was the last time you really examined what the various “desirable leadership values” actually mean? This workshop will challenge participants to do just that, and in the process, define the things they want to define themselves personally.

Following this workshop, participants will:

  • Understand how defining values is essential to living values
  • Have practiced the process of “operationalizing leadership values”—a key aspect of the Day One Leadership philosophy
  • Be able to effectively translate leadership values into everyday leadership behaviours

Approximate length: 1–2 hours

All Day Ones Are Different: Better Leadership Through Understanding Social Styles

Designed as a follow-up to either The Leadership Test or This is Day One keynote, this highly interactive session illustrates how differences in values can lead to dramatic differences in the way individuals process the world and communicate with others. The miscommunication and conflict that arise from these differences can quickly poison an organization’s culture and stand in the way of collaboration and growth.

This workshop’s hands-on simulations will provide participants with skills and insights to more effectively understand and communicate with those who have different value structures and social styles. Participants will have the opportunity to evaluate their own social style and examine the characteristics of other typical styles within the Merrill-Read Model. They will leave the workshop with a better understanding of their own approach to leadership and communication and a greater awareness of the other styles with which they must interact in order to be an effective personal, team, and organizational leader.

Following this workshop, participants will:

  • Understand their personal social style and how it impacts their approach to work, communication, problem solving and acting on their core leadership values
  • Recognize the most common sources of conflict between the different social styles and how they can be avoided
  • Possess a toolkit of strategies for identifying and adapting to the needs and values of the other styles
  • Recognize the benefits of creating teams with diverse perspectives, skills and values

Approximate length: 1.5–2.5 hours

Your Personal Day One: Defining the Things That Define You

A companion to The Leadership Test keynote, this interactive session will expose participants to the process through which the six questions of The Leadership Test were created and provide step-by-step instructions on how they can create their own personalized version of the Test.

Drew will walk participants through the discovery of their personal leadership values, demonstrate how those values can be translated into daily behaviours and illustrate how values based decision-making leads to individual and organizational success.

Following this workshop, participants will:

  • Understand the importance of developing and communicating a personal leadership philosophy
  • Have surfaced their core daily leadership values
  • Possess a customized “Leadership Test” designed to operationalize their personal leadership values
  • Understand the link between personal value clarity and personal pride, engagement, productivity and happiness

Approximate length: 1.5–3 hours