As I’ve mentioned in many contexts-I coordinate the EDL 290 family of classes and teach some of the sections. My direct responsibility is for 290E (Emerging Leaders), 290S (Student Organization Leaders), 290O (Open section about individual leadership for anyone interested), and of course 290T (Tabletop Games and Leadership.) The concepts of the Emerging Leaders class started back in the late 90s while I was still in college as an undergrad at a different institution and has evolved through the years. As Bethany said to me recently “The point of education is that it is constantly evolving-if you weren’t changing things I’d be worried.” As part of that I am consistently looking for new things to add to the class to make it the best possible experience for the students.
A few years ago in my searches I found something that literally changed my perspective on things and changed the way I taught leadership, or at least gave me a better tool to do so. It was a short YouTube video.
Listening to Drew Dudley talk about leadership in this way that I knew and believed myself changed how I taught the class. It is hard to describe, because I had concepts like this that I taught-but it gave me the language and the means to get students to think beyond the normal perspectives they had of leadership in a relatable, touching manner. It let me give students a new way to look at leadership: as Lollipop Moments. It quickly became one of the three frameworks I use in my class for what leadership is. (The others are Heifetz & Linsky’s Leading with an Open Heart and Kouzes and Posner’s Five Practices of Exemplary Student Leadership.)
Really…the Everyday Leadership video I thought would be all I needed. And I watched it again…and again…showing it to literally hundreds of people (who spread it more themselves) and wanted to see what else Drew had to say on the topic of leadership. And it was so much more.
The video The Leadership Game had me reconsidering things in class and help discuss integrity and values in new ways. The Game Has No Winners and The List are excellent ways of getting students to consider the goals and vision for what is important in their life. Those were wonderful additions. The fact that I agree and believe Drew’s philosophies and statements helped. What he gave me was the resources and the words from an expert to let them see what I wanted them to hear.
Best of all though was The Power of Disconnection. Where Drew shares a believe that has shaped the rest of his career (and without knowing it has always been a major part of mine): every day being a Day One.
When I walk into class every day…it is Day One. All I have in mind is the 20+ students in my class They are all that matter to me. I know many people dread going to work…I have been employed at Miami University for over twelve years and I don’t think I’ve come to work a single day in my life. Every day I want to be here and help and serve the students. If I was independently wealthy I would do this job for free. Every day, in the words of Drew Dudley (and the guide through the desert-we can’t forget the impact Mustafa has), is a Day One.
To my great pleasure as part of another aspect of my job (University Lecture Series) last year we got the pleasure of bringing Drew to campus. I got to spend about a half day with him. It was amazing. Drew is such a fantastic person who has touched so many people he will never get to meet. It was awesome getting to let students interact with a man who has inspired and shaped their beliefs. He was blown away by how much our students know about his work. He would mention one of his videos and everyone around knew and had watched it.
Drew is an amazing individual. He has done so much to touch so many lives and I am so glad I was able to bring him into my life and help spread his message to so many people through EDL 290.
As one last piece of advice from Drew to all students: