Surviving Miracle On The Hudson: Lessons in Leadership

Dave Sanderson

Welcome to another episode of The RVA Small Business Show with your host Joan Bowling. In today’s segment, we are joined by Dave Sanderson, President of Dave Sanderson Speaks International.

Dave has built a career as a motivational speaker, mentor, and author.  Recently named by Inc.com as one of the top 100 Leadership Speakers, Dave speaks to audiences around the globe about the harrowing experience that shaped his future.

If I could change one thing, if I could just be less judgmental, how that could affect Me in my life. And I start doing that until I know somebody’s backstory, I’m not going to make any judgments. – Dave Sanderson

Surviving the Unthinkable

On January 15, 2009, Dave was one of the last passengers off Flight 1549 that crash-landed in the Hudson River. This event, widely known as the Miracle on the Hudson, was regarded as the most successful ditching in aviation history. Dave used the lessons he learned from this harrowing experience to encourage others to do the right thing and to develop coping strategies to address life’s adversities.

A Paradigm Shift in Perception

One of the main takeaways Dave shared was the importance of being less judgmental. He reminisced about an encounter with a fellow passenger who was going through a divorce and had lost his job, which made him realize the importance of understanding someone’s backstory before making judgments.

This shift in perspective opened up a new world for Dave. By asking questions and understanding people’s backstories, Dave found that he could foster deeper connections and encourage more meaningful conversations. He translated this into a new concept of AI – Authentic Interactions.

The Power of Continuous Learning and Mentorship

Dave attributes much of his success to continuous learning and mentorship. His first mentor encouraged him to invest in self-education and seminars, an approach that Dave carried throughout his career. He emphasized the importance of having a mentor, stating that it can help compress decades into days and fast-track one’s career.

Mentorship, Dave believes, is a two-way street. As much as young people should seek mentors, seasoned professionals should also be open to mentoring others. This mutual relationship fosters a culture of continuous learning and growth.

Raising Millions for Charity

Not only did Dave turn his personal tragedy into a source of inspiration for others, but he also used his platform to raise millions of dollars for the American Red Cross. His relationship with the organization began when he was invited to keynote their annual giving meeting. Since then, Dave has helped raise $14.8 million for the organization.

Key Takeaways

  1. Be less judgmental: Understanding someone’s backstory can lead to deeper connections and meaningful conversations.
  2. Invest in continuous learning: Self-education and mentorship can fast-track your career and provide invaluable insights.
  3. Embrace the power of Authentic Interactions (AI): Genuine and authentic interactions can enhance both professional and personal relationships.
  4.  Use adversity as a stepping stone: Turning personal tragedy into a source of inspiration can have a profound impact on others.
  5. Give back to the community: Use your platform to support charitable causes and make a positive difference in the world.

Dave Sanderson’s story is a testament to resilience, the power of perspective, and the importance of giving back. His insights are a reminder that we all have the capacity to turn adversity into opportunity.

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