• Gianna

#12 "The Least Impressive thing about You"

This blog is all about the wonderful facetime call I had with Drew Dudley who lives in Canada! Drew is the founder of Day One Leadership ( which helps individuals and organizations increase their leadership capacity. I’m hoping this blog does his awesomeness justice! Go listen to his TedTalk on lollipops-

Each Grounds of Change interview begins with a simple question: “Who were you as a sixteen year old?” Most people chuckle, reflect, and allow a glimpse of their teenage self to make an appearance. Of course Drew Dudley followed this pattern by describing a geeky teenager who loved track pants. As he continued to talk about his younger self, he broke the pattern and shared something new with me. He shared that he was a boy who was living his life for a piece of paper and for the person who would read it.

A piece of paper. Every single award he won was for it. Every student council election was for it. Every volunteer hour was for it. Every A+ was for it. These pieces of paper are the deciding factors for a student’s acceptance from parents, among friends, and especially college admissions officers. Determining one’s worth can continue through life from what is written on a test, in a scorebook, on a certificate, and on a diploma to what is written on a resume or a paycheck. Drew took a second and realized how silly that was- how silly it was to live his life for a piece of paper.

Each Grounds of Change interview ends with a simple question, “If you could go back and speak with your sixteen-year-old self, what would you say to him/her?” Drew looked me in the eye and said, “I’d tell him to make what was written on that piece of paper the least impressive thing about you.”

So, what can we learn from Drew? We can learn that exact thing- to make the words on those papers the least impressive things about us. We can begin learning to actually understand, living to actually live, and most importantly serving each other for the person not the paper. We can learn that our self-worth is not found on an application. It is found in the kindness we share. Let’s strive to make our hearts the most impressive thing about us. If you begin to do that, you are on day one of leadership.

It has been asked, “if the world was blind, how many people would you impress? (Boonaa Mohammed)” This is a great quote to help us reflect on what we do rather than how we look. Maybe we should build on this quote and add “If the world could not read your papers, how would you assess your worth?”

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