‘It can be frightening to think of ourselves as so powerful’: Drew Dudley

The leadership of prominent personalities such as Steve Jobs, Martin Luther King, Mahatma Gandhi, etc., is well celebrated across the world. But have we ever pondered on the leadership qualities we portray in our day-to-day lives?

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In this famous TEDx Talk, Drew Dudley highlights the change we’ve all brought into someone’s life — usually without even realising it.

“We’ve turned the concept of leadership into something bigger than us. We’ve made it about changing the world. We’re treating this title of ‘leader’ as if it’s something we’re going to deserve one day, but to award that title to ourselves right now means depicting a level of arrogance or cockiness,” he says.

“We begin to devalue the things we can pull off every day. We start to take moments, where we truly are a leader, for granted,” he continues.

Sharing an “eye-opening, transformative moment” from his university days, he reveals how handing out something as basic as a “lollipop” to a fresher, who was immensely nervous to begin college life away from home, changed everything for her. “We’ve had people who’ve possibly made our lives better without even knowing it. And every one of you has been a catalyst for a lollipop moment wherein you’ve changed someone’s life by just saying or doing something incredibly basic,” Dudley states.

“It can be frightening to think of ourselves as so powerful, as someone who can matter that much to other people. Because as long as we think of leadership as something beyond us, we give ourselves an excuse not to expect it every day from ourselves,” he says.

Urging the audience to change their perspective on leadership, he notes, “We need to come to terms with how extraordinarily powerful we can be in each other’s lives. We need to redefine leadership as being a lollipop moment that goes beyond money, power, titles, and influence.”

“Leadership is not about changing the world because there is no world. There are only 6 billion understandings. And if we can change one person’s understanding of leadership by making them realise what they’re capable of and how powerful they can be, we’ve changed everything. It’s probably a simple idea, but definitely not a small one,” he concludes.

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