Drew Dudley

Our Day One Direct Support Effort

As COVID-19 has changed the world around us, I’ve found myself thinking about the experiences that shaped me in the past and how I want them to impact my behaviours in the present. Who was I in the past? An event planner and educator.

The first money I ever made for myself (rather than as someone else’s employee) was through a company called Pure Carnage Productions I founded with my friend Marc Carnes back in university. We planned events: from the traditional and predictable (dorm parties and fundraisers), to the somewhat out-of-the-box (we once broke the world record for the world’s longest tequila wave). I kept that event-planner DNA as I moved into my career – regularly coordinating leadership retreats and inviting high profile guests to speak to hundreds of students at the University of Toronto. Even as I transitioned from the person organizing the event to the person invited to speak, my career continued to be driven by the desire to share an emotional in-person experience that helped those in the audience grow.  

How to do our jobs in a new reality?

COVID-19 demands we all step away from planning and attending those experiences right now, and that comes with a financial and emotional cost for those who plan and deliver development programming: cancellations and postponements mean deposits are lost, travel must be cancelled, and hundreds of hours of labour always end up feeling wasted. In some cases, the costs incurred from the cancellation of one event cause the cancellation of programming in the future. There are many individuals and organizations for whom personal and leadership development are core values, and most are aware the coming weeks will feature an unpleasant reality: the money and infrastructure they usually use to provide that development simply isn’t going to be available for a while. 

I feel so much empathy if you’re one of those individuals. At present it’s all about getting through this initial chaos, but eventually we’re all going to have to figure out how to do our jobs in this new reality. We’re going to be asking: “how do I actually provide/access personal and professional development in a world without workshops and conferences, especially when no new money can be made available?”

Internally at Day One Leadership we know we’re going to have to find a way to answer that question for ourselves, but when met last week we turned to one of our key value questions: “what can we do today to help someone else move closer to a goal?”

Our answer: let’s make our biggest virtual leadership development resource available for as close to free as possible. 

So that’s what we’ll be doing with our online, interactive leadership development program: Day One Direct. The program regularly retails for $199 USD, but we’re going to offer it for $10 USD. We won’t be profiting in any way from this: all profits will be earmarked to support the front-line health-care workers who are facing a gruelling few weeks ahead. 

The program walks users step-by-step through the process I teach through my keynotes, workshops and book. The program teaches:

  • How to surface your core leadership values and embed them into your daily behaviour
  • Which behavioural changes are most directly linked to increased commitment, pride, productivity and happiness
  • Insights into leadership values linked to performance and impact

The program provides over five-hours of interactive learning modules that can be viewed on any mobile device. Check out the “trailer” here

We are in this together

If you’re an individual interested in the program, you can register here and use the code TOGETHER (we’re all in this together after all) to apply the discount when you reach the check out. If you’re looking to make the program available to a group of employees, students, volunteers or whomever else your work aims to support, send an email to our team at support@drewdudley.com, and we’ll reach back out and get things set up. I’m proud of my team for suggesting this course of action—we know COVID-19 is going to change our business for the foreseeable future and we’ll have to figure out what changes that requires. For now though, with so much unknown, we figured let’s try to do something that might be helpful and figure out the future later. 

Thanks for your continued support of my work, and remember that we can spread impact, growth, courage, empowerment, class and self-respect faster at the same speed or faster than any virus.

Now wash your hands. 😊

All the best,


PS: Turns out there’s a video of that tequila wave online if you want to see a bunch of future Rhodes Scholars, Ph.Ds, Doctors, Lawyers and CEOs make $2,500 for charity in four minutes (or see me with bleached blond hair).