Keep Leading!® Podcast Episode 011: Moments Matter

Keep Leading!® Podcast Episode 011: Moments Matter

Dave Sanderson
Inspirational Survivor, TEDx Speaker and Author
Moments Matter

Dave Sanderson was a top sales producer in every company he worked for and on January 15th, 2009 was on a business trip he had made hundreds of times before. Like all of us when we travel, especially on business, things are often routine, and we take things for granted. Then out of the blue something happens that changes what was once routine to a day that changes your life.

When US Airways Flight 1549, or “The Miracle on the Hudson” ditched into the Hudson River on January 15, 2009, Dave Sanderson not only survived the “crash” but also started to realize that the moments that made up his life prepared him for what was about to happen.
After the incident, the lessons and strategies that he learned throughout his life were instrumental that day and the days following. He started to realize that one can actually grow from traumatic life experiences and set out on a path to not only share the lessons from that day but practical and implementable strategies anyone can use to not only survive their “personal plane crash” moment but grow and thrive.

Sanderson reveals the inner strength it took to make it through the day, and how you can grow from challenges throughout your personal and business life and how resiliency, leadership, and state management can help you not only overcome any obstacle but grow and thrive!

In addition to speaking, mentoring and training, Dave has been appeared on CBS, CTV, Global TV, NewsTalk1010 and numerous local TV and Radio stations and has been featured in publications such as “SUCCESS” Magazine, “Entrepreneur” and “AARP Magazine”. Dave has helped the American Red Cross raise over $13M since the Miracle on the Hudson. Dave conducts workshops, is a much sought-after podcast celebrity, an author with his best-selling book titled “Moments Matter”, hosts his own radio show and podcast on Contact Talk Radio, iHeart Radio, Spotify and C-Suite Radio called “Moments Matter with Dave Sanderson” and hosts his daily flash briefing on Amazon Alexa titled, “Dave Sanderson: DECLASSIFIED” where Dave shares strategies on how to grow from your “personal plane crash” in life, known as PTGS (Post Traumatic Growth Syndrome). Dave is a faculty member with Dominique Wilkins, Don Barden, Brittany Tucker and Steve Nedvidek at the Leadership Mindset Series in Atlanta, GA, the first and only servant leadership coaching program in the United States.

Website
http://davesandersonspeaks.com

LinkedIn
https://www.linkedin.com/in/hiredavesanderson/

Twitter
https://twitter.com/DaveSanderson2

Facebook
https://www.facebook.com/dave.sanderson.73

Leadership Quote
“Identify your problems, but give your power and energy to solutions.”

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Transcript

This podcast is part of the C Suite Radio Network, turning the volume off on business.

Welcome to the Keep Leading Podcast, a podcast dedicated to promoting leadership development and sharing leadership insights. Here’s your host, the Leadership Excelerator, Eddie Turner.

Eddie Turner:
Hello, everyone. Welcome to the Keep Leading Podcast. This is Eddie Turner, your host. Have you seen movie Sully? Do you remember the story about the miracle on the Hudson? My guest today is the last passenger to make if off of US Airways Flight 1549 or ‘The Miracle on the Hudson’. He will recount for us those harrowing moments and what it was like to be on that flight and to survive along with lessons learned and the fact that moments matter.He’ll share this with us right after this.

This podcast is sponsored by Eddie Turner LLC. Eddie Turner LLC delivers executive and leadership coaching, professional speaking, facilitation services, and management consulting across the globe. Eddie Turner LLC also creates voiceovers, serves as a master of ceremonies, as a panel and event moderator, and provides national media commentary. Visit EddieTurnerLLC.com to learn more.

Eddie Turner:
Hello, everyone. Welcome to the Keep Leading Podcast, a podcast dedicated to leadership development and insights. I’m your host, Eddie Turner, the Leadership Excelerator. I work with leaders to accelerate performance and drive impact.Have you ever had a life threatening situation occur? How did you handle it? How are you different as a result? My guest today faced just such a life threatening situation. My guest today is the last passenger to make it off US Airways Flight 1549 or ‘The Miracle on the Hudson’. After that he learned moments matter. And he’s here to share with us today how we could do the same. I am very pleased to welcome Dave Sanderson.

Dave, welcome to the show.

Dave Sanderson:
Eddie, thank you for having me. I’m really excited to be with you today.
Eddie Turner:
Dave, I got to tell you, I was sitting at the C-Suite Network Conference in December and Jeffrey Hazlet goes on Larger Than Life and he is doing this interview and you come out and you tell your story. And it took a second for me to understand exactly where things were going. And then the images of the plane showed up. You’re telling the story. And it was as if you literally could hear a pin drop. The audience was captivated. There had to be a 150 of us in that room and your story just was riveting. And I won’t do it Justice. Can I ask you to please share the story that you shared with us that day?
Dave Sanderson:
Thank you, Eddie. And it’s amazing because you and I were actually sitting close to each other in the audience before that happened. So it was amazing how that happened, plus that was a very emotional day because we were coming up on the 10th anniversary, plus, as you looked out that back window, if you remember, you could see the Hudson River exactly, where the plane went down. So that day was actually very emotional for me.
Eddie Turner:
Yes, that made it even more interesting, to your point, because you were sitting next to me. I didn’t know who you were.
Dave Sanderson:
Obviously and I’m out there and looking out the window and I’m trying not to look out the window because every time I look at it, I get very emotional, but thank you.Here’s a short version of what happened. I wasn’t supposed to be on that plane. I was scheduled to be on the 5 o’clock flight that night because I was working at a distribution center in Brooklyn. We all started our day very early and I usually always, as a business person, scheduled the last flight out because you never know how the day’s going to go and especially in New York and traffic. So, fortunately, we got out by 10 and actually I worked with our travel agent as she put me on US Airways Flight 1549. So I gave up a first class seat at 5 o’clock for seat 15A but I was happy. I was going to go home and I was glad because we were at the end of a three-day business trip. I just wanted to get home. And that day, it was cold but it’s New York in the winters, 11 degrees, it was snowing. That’s no big deal. So when I got to the airport, I got a little early but our playing was delayed because of the de-icing and everything. So we got out a little late and I was one of the first set of passengers to board the plane because of my status because I flew so often. I had over a thousand mile. So I was always one of the first people to board. I went to the plane and did exactly what I did every single time. I did pay attention like most people, like you, probably a lot of people who are listening. Who pays attention? No one does. So I was reading a magazine, not paying attention but all of a sudden we took off. And if you’ve ever taken off out of New York, like you have an I have, La Guardia goes out over the bay and then it heads north and then banks to come south. So as we took off, nothing extraordinary until about 60 seconds when I heard an explosion. And that got by attention because I never heard anything like that on a plane. So I was on a window seat. So I looked out the window on the left. There was all fire coming out beneath a left wing. So I knew something had happened but I know the planes lose engines and I’ve been on planes that lose engines. So it really didn’t startle me too much. So as he was banking back, the guy next to me said “Hey, where are we doing?” I said “I think we’re going back to the airport” but as we were banking, we banked a different way we went. Instead of going out back, we were going down the Hudson river and all of a sudden, when I looked up, I could see Manhattan, New York in my front like I’ve never seen this flight pattern before. And all of a sudden I looked out and all of a sudden I saw the George Washington Bridge. I’ve never seen the bridge before like that. So I knew that something was going on. Before we got to the bridge, it’s when the captain said his famous words – “This is your captain. Brace for impact” – and that’s when I think I and if you talked to any other passages, that’s the moment everybody knew that it was a pretty serious situation because that’s when the flight attendants said “Brace, brace, brace.” Then we started going over the George Washington Bridge. And if you know anything about New York and some of the people who are probably listening do, the George Washington Bridge is about 600 up. The plane was roughly a thousand feet at that moment and descending. So we cleared the bridge by only 400 feet. And I tell people as we were crossing the bridge and I looked out the window, you could see people’s faces looking up. That’s how close we were to the bridge. And that’s the moment I knew “Man, this is not good.” And that’s when I prayed and I did my prayers but as we crossed over, I got done with my prayers, I said “God, just get me down in one piece and forgive my sins,” anything between me and God. And we were going down and it doesn’t look good but people ask me, Eddie, all the time “What’s that last moment like?” because there was only 60 seconds after it crossed over the George Washington Bridge until we crashed. I tell people “That minute is surreal” because it goes so slowly but I can hear people calling people on their phones. I heard people texting but what I did was I put my head down but the moment I put my head down, what happened to me was I saw the movie of my life pass before my eyes. I saw things, Eddie, with clarity, the 40 plus years, playing little league baseball and prom and first dates and babies being born. And it’s amazing how much clarity you get when you think you’re going to die. That’s what I tell people – “What’s amazing is all of a sudden you realize what was your life all about?” I’ve talked to people who survived earthquakes in Haiti and other people who’ve gone through these experiences like I have and it’s very similar. We all have had a situation where you finally understand what your life was all about but it was about sixty seconds after we crossed over the bridge and we crashed into the river. And it was a violent hit and we hit it perfectly. And, as you know if you’ve seen the movie Sully, he hit it perfectly but it was a violent hit. So I went back and forward in my seat pretty quick and all of a sudden, when I looked up, I was alive. I looked out the window and I could see lights. So that was a good thing but as you looked out the window, the water was already about halfway to three quarters filled up the windows. So water was coming in quickly and the water was 36 degrees that day. So it was pouring into the plane because of some of the things that happened. So all of a sudden things are happening and people are moving very quickly. I used a term that night on TV when I was interviewed on CBS in the Evening News with Katie Couric, it was ‘Controlled Chaos’. People were moving extremely quickly but, man, no one was losing their heads. That was one of the biggest lessons out of this.

And people ask me all the time because they’ve seen the picture of people standing on the wings, they ask me how that happened. I’m going to tell you. So when I looked up and was making my way out, I could see people walking down the seats. A few years later that was one of the things I thought about a great lesson. That moment was a great lesson because in life, Eddie, when you think you only have one way to get something done, and a lot of people, and I’m that way sometimes still where you think “This is the only way I get something done,” if you’re resourceful, all of a sudden multiple options and multiple choices open up. and that’s what happened. All of a sudden one pathway turned into three pathways and people started getting out of the plane quick but when I got to the aisle, something changed for me because I got to the aisle and, candidly, my game plan was “I’ll hop out.” It’s a first thing I said – “I’ll hop out” – but when I got to the aisle, all of a sudden I heard my mother start talking to me. My mom passed away 1997 but there was something she would tell me when I was a child that all of a sudden I heard in my head. It was “If you do the right thing, God will take care of you.” And after I thought about that moment, that moment was significant for a number of reasons. Number one, it was because my mother said “if.” See, one of the greatest things my mother did when I grew up that I wish I had this, I’m working on it, I think most parents have this day that we wish we did what our parents did, my mother made me make choices. And the choices that we make when I was young, you had consequences of the choices. Hopefully, you made a good choice but when he made a bad choice, you had consequences. So my mother didn’t say “Do the right thing.” She said “If you do the right thing.” So, it made me make a choice and my choice was help other people because I was alive. I knew that I was alive but water was coming in very quickly. And so I started making my way back towards the back of the plane. I was climbing on the seats going back in the plane, got behind everybody and towards the back of the plane it was about waist to chess level deep water. So it was extremely deep water. Plus, based on the impact, some of the bins had popped open and also there was luggage floating out. People were making their way out but you had to sort of wade your way out but the first light that I saw, Eddie, was on the right side of the plane. And all of a sudden it’s time to get out but when I got there, I looked out the wing and it was an amazing sight. There’s no room on that lifeboat but people are already being rescued two to three minutes after this whole thing happened. That’s a miracle. That’s how miracle start.

Another thing that you look at and I show a picture of because one of the first pictures that was released out of this was me holding onto the lifeboat and people always ask me “Why were you holding onto the lifeboat?” and reason why is this. If you know nothing about the Hudson River, it’s got a very fast current and the plane was floating down the river. And as it was floating down the river, the lifeboat was floating out into the river and they didn’t want to get out in the river. So they yelled at me to hold on. They didn’t know like I didn’t know and he probably didn’t know that that lifeboat was actually tethered to the plane but I was holding on the lifeboat for 7 minutes in waist-deep 36-degree water until I felt the plate shift. And when I felt the plane shift, I found out later what happened. The tugboat actually touched it on the way out as it’s backing out. I felt water go my back and the first thing I thought was Titanic, I like “I’m out of here.”

Eddie Turner:
Wow!
Dave Sanderson:
If you saw the movie Titanic, it sucked everything down in it. And the first thing I said in my head was “Don’t be sucked down in a plane because you got in a plane, you have no shot at all.” So that’s why I always thank my mom and dad for making me get swimming lessons. That’s when jumped in to swim to the closest boat that I could find to help me end on that wing. That was the longest 10 yards of swimming I’ve ever done. And not only was it 36-degree water but now you’ve had jet fuel that’s leaked out. You’re swimming in ice cold nasty Hudson River water with jet fuel. And that’s why I wear glasses today because I got jet fuel in my and when they clean it out, they didn’t get it all out. That’s why I got some jet fuel spots in my left eye but I got to the ferry and I thought I made it but I didn’t because I had to climb and all of a sudden I couldn’t climb. So two guys, once again, these are two of my heroes, reached down and picked me up and threw me to the side of the ferry and I’m like “Wow! I made it” but I still didn’t make it because all of a sudden the adrenaline’s gone. I tell people when you talk to EMTs or paramedics or fire guys or fire ladies, when they go into this thing, they have adrenaline but when the adrenaline’s gone, you can’t feel anything. It was so cold, it was 11 degrees, the water was 36. I can’t express how cold you can get that quickly but I couldn’t even think. I thought I didn’t make. I thought I was dying but fortunately someone had an iPhone and let me at least make a message to get out. And fortunately for me, when I got to New Jersey, three people picked me up and took me to a triage center. In the triage center, they diagnosed me, then they had to go quick because my blood pressure was out of control, it was 190/120, so they thought I was going to have a heart attack or a stroke right there. So all of a sudden here I am naked with underwear on, they’re picking me up, put me in a gurney, took me out of there and all of a sudden they took me to the hospital and that’s where I got diagnosed with hypothermia and that’s why I stayed the night in the hospital. And there were only two people out of this whole situation that stayed the night, Barry Leonard and I. 148 people walked home just a few hours after the plane crash in ice cold water. And that’s how it got its name ‘The Miracle On The Hudson’ because when the governor of New York came out that night at roughly 7 o’clock to make his pronouncement, that’s when they finally tracked down everybody by that time because it took them. If you saw the movie, it was true. They couldn’t find everybody. They kept asking for an account but people were already going home. People were already going back to doing what they had to do but they could find us. And finally once they found us, that’s when they made the announcement that this is truly a miracle on the Hudson. That’s how it got its name, that 148 people walked home, two people in the hospital, but everybody was alive and that’s how it got its name ‘Miracle on the Hudson’. So, I was very grateful that at least I got to the hospital, had hypothermia, but the next several hours were pretty wild but that’s how I got off the plane.
Eddie Turner:
Wow! I’m having chills here all over again just listening to you, Dave. And I have absolutely seen the movie. What was it like for you to see the movie Sully?
Dave Sanderson:
Well, it was interesting because first, I was invited to do a pre-screening with the passengers in Charlotte. They did one in New York and one in Charlotte. Unfortunately or fortunately for me, I was actually speaking that day. So I was actually out doing my things. So I couldn’t go with the passengers but the following Monday, fortunately for me, someone at the theater recognized me and they gave me, one of the theater, for me and my family and friends just to ourselves and we get to see the movie just ourselves. And it was very emotional. I think everybody was crying. My minister was there. He was flabbergasted. My wife was crying. My friends were crying. I was crying. And so I think that it was one of the most emotional things. And then all of a sudden you see your yourself in the movie at the end and it’s like “Wow! This is amazing that. I survived this. Look what our life has turned into now. God has graced us.”
Eddie Turner:
Wow! Truly something remarkable. Now there are a lot of leadership lessons in your story, as you just told, Dave, but before we look at a couple of those, there’s something that after you took us here with this part of your story, there’s another leadership lesson that came right after this that left us all in awe. Can you tell us what the reaction was at your place of employment when you went back to work?
Dave Sanderson:
So what was one of the intriguing things about this the night before where all this happened, I’m in the hospital, my wife’s doing her thing, trying to just handle business here in Charlotte, my company called and checked in with either me or my wife. So I didn’t know when I got back to Charlotte that anybody from my company even knew that I was on the plane. So on the way back from the airport after all the interviews and all that stuff you do, two of my kids game with me, that was probably a smart move my wife Insisted on because, to candid, I shouldn’t have been driving anyway, to be very candidate. I should have someone drive me home but I stopped by the office to check in and I was asked pretty quickly “Are you going to Michigan next week?” And my wife said no and I said yes and my kids were like flabbergasted at that point. I think he wasn’t aware of really what happened to me. Now a couple of the people were. They saw me on TV the night before. And my vice president was a hero because he said “You’ll have to go. You do what you need to do” but that also taught me at least in that moment I was just a number. And that’s where I started thinking “I’m the only person in this company that was involved in this plane crash and I’m being asked just to go back to work,” which I did and it was my choice. I tell people it was my choice. That’s why I said in the book. It was my choice. I could have said no but it was two 2009, Eddie. Business is tough. I was a topper. I had the biggest thing going. So, number one, I would have had to give up that opportunity, I was a sales guy, or we wouldn’t be able to get it. So that’s why I said, yes but it just taught me I was a number and, candidly, that’s the moment I realized “You know what, if I’m going to be treated like a number, I’ll act like a number, I’ll do my job, and I got to find a pathway out. I’ve got to find another pathway.” And fortunately for me, God gave me another pathway to be able to do what I do and what you do likewise, impact people’s lives.
Eddie Turner:
Yeah, you are top performer and in this particular case, the deal that you were being asked to go visit was, I think you said, ten figures.
Dave Sanderson:
No, it was seven figures, bordering on eight.
Eddie Turner:
Okay, I knew this was substantial. Wow! The lesson in leadership, the lesson in compassion, the lesson in empathy, the lesson in priority, and as you said and its’ the title of your book Moments Matter. Really so much packed in there.So thank you for sharing that with us. And what I’d like to do is take a break for our sponsors and then talk about this a little bit more on the other side.

Dave Sanderson:
Thank you.

This podcast is sponsored by Eddie Turner LLC. Organizations who need to accelerate their development of their leaders call Eddie Turner, the Leadership Excelerator. Eddie works with leaders to accelerate performance and drive impact. Call Eddie Turner to help your leaders one on one as their coach or to inspire them as a group through the power of facilitation or a keynote address. Visit EddieTurnerLLC.com to learn more.

Hi, this is Connie Pheiff, the founder and CEO of Talent Concierge and host and producer of the Connie Pheiff Show and you’re listening to the Keep Leading Podcast with Eddie Turner.

Eddie Turner:
So we’re talking with Dave Sanderson, the last passenger off US Airways Flight 1549 when the miracle on the Hudson took place on the Hudson River on January 15, 2009.Dave, you were very busy at the beginning of this year because this was the ten-year anniversary. Can you tell us a little bit about some of the places you went to and what the impact has been on people ten years later?

Dave Sanderson:
Well, thank you. It was an amazing five by weeks because I started in Canada because I launched my book in Canada. So I felt a kinship. So I was very fortunate. We did some events in Waterloo and Toronto. Then I headed to New Jersey. A lot of people went to Charlotte but I went to New Jersey because New Jersey was where I ended up, New Jersey people took care of me and New Jersey didn’t get a lot of the credit. So I wanted to really thank them personally. So I went back to New York and primarily New Jersey and then all of a sudden I’m going to Iowa, going to Florida, going to Missouri. I did Raleigh, North Carolina, with Jeff Skiles, the first officer. So I was really blessed that not only was I able to share really message about moments matter but in the tenth anniversary, people really were attached to that because every place I went, Eddie, and every place I still go, it’s amazing people come up to me and say “I know where I was when this happened.” And it’s like when people landed on the moon, they knew or you know where you were at. So that blows my mind, candidly, that people would actually remember ten years later but this has a lot of impact on a lot of people and there are so many lessons and learnings but, I think, people just needed a message of hope and this gave people hope in the bad time of 2009.
Eddie Turner:
Yes because you’ve been prominently featured across the spectrum in different types of media. So that’s interesting to know that people are recognizing you and taking a moment to say an encouraging word or two because you certainly deserve it.
Dave Sanderson:
Well, I’m honored because I think everybody goes through life, there’s something that’s going to happen in your life. So everybody’s either faced or will be facing. So I want to talk to somebody who actually survived and have that connection. So I’m honored to be able to do that.
Eddie Turner:
Now, Dave, you have actually given a TED Talk and I believe the title was Bouncing Back and you talked about something called PTGS. I’d love it if you would share what that is and tell the listeners how someone can grow from a traumatic life experience.
Dave Sanderson:
Thank you. I never heard the term until about five years ago either. PTGS is Post-Traumatic Growth Syndrome. And it was presented to me as a phone call from AARP magazine and, candidly, I didn’t know why they wanted to talk to me. I knew nothing about AARP. Plus I thought I was too young. That’s for old people. Why would they want to talk to a young guy like me? They said there were two universities doing the study and they were actually using me as sort of their exhibit of how somebody actually can grow from a traumatic life experiences, so going into the prostate or even worse called PTSD. So I agreed to do the interview and we went deep into this subject. And all of a sudden I’m putting it out there and I’m like “No one’s ever heard of this thing,” right? So people keep asking me what is PTGS. So when I had the opportunity, like we all do, we want to be on TED Talk, we do the applications and all of a sudden four out of ten applications I put out wanted me to do this TED Talk because no one had heard about this subject. So I agreed to do it at Queen’s University because I wanted to do it in Canada and international and it’s about how does somebody grow. And there’s a lot of ways you can grow except going to depressed state. And I was doing it because of the training that I had and being the head of security for Tony Robbins and everything that I learned and all of a sudden this like “Wow! There’s a way that you can help people” instead of going on drugs or helping people not go to PTSD because, candidly, there are a lot of people that go through something like I went through and even there were some people on 1549 that had PTSD. And even if you look in movie, there were people who were in the movie Sully that were going through PTSD. So fortunately for me, I turned it around and I shared the strategies in my TED Talk.. As you know, you only have 18 minutes. You got a rock and roll it but I was very honored to share this and be an advocate for PTGS now around the country and around the world.
Eddie Turner:
Well, I am glad you’re sharing this with my listeners because until I was preparing for the interview, the conversation you and I were going to have, I had not heard that term. I was very familiar with, of course, as you’ve mentioned, PTSD. So this is good to know how people can grow and bounce back.
Dave Sanderson:
Yep. There’s ways to do it and that’s why I love talking about it and I share. When people want to work with me one on one, I go deep in the strategies and teaching them how to do it. So I’m very honored to be able to do it.
Eddie Turner:
So this is a service that you offer?
Dave Sanderson:
Yeah, I do work one on one with people and some people, instead of going to the business route which is what I usually do, they tell me their challenges and they say “Can you help me?” because I feel like they’re in a depressed state and I say yes. So I’ve worked with a couple of people one on one to help them break through and turn their depressed data into a state of growth, which is what people really need to focus on.
Eddie Turner:
Wonderful. So that’ll be good to know in future so we can make referrals your way.
Dave Sanderson:
I’d be honored to work with people and help them so they don’t have to go through the challenge of PTSD depression.
Eddie Turner:
Is there anyone who has had an impact on you that you think is a leader that our listeners should know about?
Dave Sanderson:
I would go back to my first two mentors. My first mentor was Bill who took me under his wing in 1983 when I didn’t know anything and I thought I knew everything. Bill owned 80 movie theaters in North and South Carolina. He was known as the Sam Walton of Charlotte. And fortunately for me, I ran into him in 1983 and for 13 years he was teaching me the principles of business success and leadership that he learned 1929 from his mentor. So I learned these skills and how to do this. And then he left me his notes right before he passed away. So now this is what I’m teaching on my one-on-one is how to take these principles and apply them to your life and business to be successful and grow dramatically. And also Tony Robbins because after Bill passed away, I sort of became the assistant head of security and then head or security for Tony Robbins. And I don’t think there’s a better person in the world that can teach you leadership skills and how to manage yourself than Tony. And fortunately for me, for over ten years I had that opportunity to travel with him and learn from him and learn all these strategies. So I now have that to fall back on. I think that, candidly, Eddie, was what I really fell back on that day when all things were breaking loose on the plane and I had to kind of manage my mind and not go into a chaotic state and then to lead people when they need to be led because one of the things I talked about is on the right side of the plane, Eddie, there was no crew. All the crew went out the left side of the plane. So people like me who had zero experience on how to handle a plane crash had to step up and lead when you had no training. So that taught me this. You don’t need to know the specifics. All you need to know is how to lead in times of crisis and get people focused on the mission and all of a sudden miracles can happen.
Eddie Turner:
That is beautiful, absolutely beautiful. Thank you for sharing that and the role that mentors play in the life of a leader and how these examples, even after one has passed away, can allow a leader to keep leading.
Dave Sanderson:
I mean, I’m 58 years old and I still have mentors and I think they’re extremely important. And that’s why I tell people, some of these younger folks that don’t think they need one, I tell them that the fastest way to success is getting somebody to help you, level set you and give you the direction you need in those critical times when you really need to have someone give you that focus.
Eddie Turner:
Absolutely. No question about it. Now there’s something else that you are involved in that I find fascinating. You’re a faculty member with Dominique Wilkins, Don, Barden, Brittany Tucker and Steve Netvedec at the Servant Leadership Mindset Series in Atlanta, Georgia, which is the first and only serving leadership coaching program in the United States. Can you tell us about that?
Dave Sanderson:
Well, thank you. I was very honored when Don asked me to be a part of this faculty. My messaging is about personal leadership. Personal leadership is about servant leadership. Don is tremendous. I mean, he was Entrepreneur of The Year in Atlanta a few years ago. So he’s done it. He lives by certain leadership mindset and that’s how he built both his businesses. And Dominique, it’s amazing being around the Hall of Fame person but having a servant mindset being a Hall of Famer, so he brought us together and now we’re able to teach these servant leadership strategies from four or five different perspectives to groups of people and I’m really honored do this with people. We’ve done that with a few organizations now as we’re growing rapidly because I don’t think it’s because of the fame of the people around. I think people are dying to learn how to build their business and be servant leaders at the same time. And there’s a strategy on how to do it. And fortunately, for me, I met Don and Don asked me to be a part of this program and we’re now partners in the Leadership Mindset Series.
Eddie Turner:
Servant leadership is an important topic in many circles today and, in fact, even some of the roles I’ve seen posted. I had a couple of roles where they specifically were asking for servant leaders to apply. And so I found that fascinating that you are a part of that. I must say also I’m from Chicago, I grew up and Michael Jordan was the man. So Dominique Wilkins was the competition, the enemy. I liked Dominique, he was impressive but he just wasn’t my guy but now knowing that he’s doing the kind of things you’re talking about, I got to look at him a little differently.
Dave Sanderson:
The great thing about Dominique is he’s Hall of Famer but he being a Hall of Famer in the time of Jordan, right? So I tell people “If you can become a Hall of Famer at the same time as Michael Jordan, you must be pretty good.”
Eddie Turner:
Well, said Absolutely, absolutely. Man, I could talk to you for hours on this because I feel like so much we’re not covering but in all the moments of our life, there’s a reason and a purpose and from what you’ve described, it all kind of comes together right when we need it. And if we’re in tune to the lessons of our parents or the lessons of our mentors, we will do the right thing when the moment matters. Is that what I’m hearing you say?
Dave Sanderson:
Yes. What I found and realized is that these things that we learn through our lives as we just go through our lives, I mean, I tell you 99% of the moments our lives are boring but 1% of those moments are exciting, either positive or negative exciting, but all those other 99% of the moments are there to be able to give you the strength, the wisdom, the focus to be able to take that 1% of those moments on. That’s how we named the book. That didn’t come to me but after I had an experience with one of my neighbors, it all of a sudden came to me. It’s like all these moments in our life were there for a reason. Sometimes you can’t know why immediately but they’re there to be able to help to be able to handle stuff when things need to be handled whether positive or on the other negative side.
Eddie Turner:
Indeed. And how would you say that surviving a plane crash changed you?
Dave Sanderson:
I think it changed me on a number of different levels. I tell people I think the biggest thing is, and I shared this on a couple of interviews I did, is my worldview changed. And people will say “What do you mean by your worldview?” Well, I’ll be very candid. I was pretty focused and I would judge people pretty quickly and I would just say I had to judge people pretty quickly but something happened in one of the interviews I was with on Good Morning America and I saw something that sort of bothered me and I realized that I found out later when people like myself were judging this person that we didn’t know and I didn’t know that he was going through a divorce, he lost his job, and no wonder he was lashing out. And I said “How many times in my life have I judged somebody so quickly that I’ve cut off a potential relationship, a potential job?” and this kind of turned a whole different direction and I think I said “Dr. Martin Luther King said “Judge people by the content of their character.”” I started thinking “If I could just change my worldview. So you know what, I’ll not judge people as quickly. Let me give a chance to get to know the person, get to understand the background, and I can do that.” All of a sudden what happened is it opened up so many new relations. This is how you and I are talking today because if I were to judge people, I wouldn’t have all these opportunities. And that’s how changing my worldview changed the entire direction of my life.
Eddie Turner:
You’ve said a mouthful right there. That’s very, very true. So thank you for sharing that.Now on the Keep Leading Podcast we want to make sure we equip leaders to keep leading. Do you have any words of wisdom you can share with our leaders?

Dave Sanderson:
Well, leadership starts at personal leadership and you have to lead yourself. So one of the things I teach when I mentor people in my group impact is identify your problems but you give your power and energy to the solutions. And I think when I learned that from Bill and then when I learned that again from Tony Robbins, I said “It’s right. We all spend a lot of time on our problems but we got really give our time and effort to solutions.” And that’s one of the leadership strategies that I teach people and tell people that I think can make a huge impact in your life.
Eddie Turner:
Identify your problems but give your power and energy to solutions. Very well said. Thank you for sharing this wisdom with us today, Dave. Where can my listeners learn more about you and your services?
Dave Sanderson:
I’d be honored if they go to my website DaveSandersonSpeaks.com, there’s a lot of information there but the best way to really interact with me is go to LinkedIn because every day I share new content on LinkedIn from all these years of what I learned from Bill and Tony and I drop this out because there’s so much stuff. So if you go to LinkedIn to David Sanderson, I’d love to interact with people there because that way not only we will interact but you will get new concepts at every single day and hear some of the wisdom that I’ve been able to learn and now share with other people.
Eddie Turner:
Fantastic. Well, we will definitely put that information and all your links and the image of your book, we want you to buy it on Amazon, we won’t put the book there but we’ll put all that in the show notes and we will make sure that folks can connect with you and book you for speaking and for your other services.
Dave Sanderson:
I’d be honored to serve.
Eddie Turner:
Thank you, Dave.And thank you for listening. That concludes this episode. I’m Eddie Turner, the Leadership Excelerator, reminding you that leadership is not about our title or our position. Leadership is an activity. Leadership is action. It’s not the case of once a leader, always a leader. It’s not a garment we put on and take off. We must be a leader at our core and allow it to emanate in all we do.

So whatever you’re doing, always keep leading.

Dave Sanderson:
Thank you for listening to your host, EddieTurner on the keep leading podcast. Please remember to subscribe to the keep leading podcast on itunes or wherever you listen. For more information about eighty Turner’s work, please visit any Turner, EddieTurnerLLC.com. Thank you for listening to see sweet radio. Turning the volume of on business.

This podcast is sponsored by Eddie Turner LLC. Eddie Turner LLC delivers executive and leadership coaching, professional speaking, facilitation services, and management consulting across the globe. Eddie Turner LLC also creates voiceovers, serves as a master of ceremonies, as a panel and event moderator, and provides national media commentary. Visit EddieTurnerLLC.com to learn more.

The Keep Leading!™ podcast is for people passionate about leadership. It is dedicated to leadership development and insights. Join your host Eddie Turner, The Leadership Excelerator® as he speaks with accomplished leaders and people of influence across the globe as they share their journey to leadership excellence. Listen as they share leadership strategies, techniques and insights. For more information visit eddieturnerllc.com or follow Eddie Turner on Twitter and Instagram at @eddieturnerjr. Like Eddie Turner LLC on Facebook. Connect with Eddie Turner on LinkedIn.