Moments Matter Summer 2022 Edition

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Welcome Welcome to Moments Matter Magazine! One of the most important things I learned while I had the honor of serving Tony Robbins as his head of security is this: change is inevitable; progress is not. Have you ever been presented with an opportunity that could change the direction of your life? From my experience in the Miracle on the Hudson, I have learned that everyone has more than one lifetime in their life; when you have opportunities, that could be your date with destiny. We all know, especially these days, that change will happen, but making progress towards what is most important to you is not.

How do you clarify, simplify, and progress towards the significant outcomes that will change your life? Learning on the fly can be a costly endeavor, believe me, I know. I have been fortunate to have had mentors come into my life that I have modeled to learn the strategies to compress the decades it would normally take to get my big goals into days! My goal is simple, to help you create your own flight plan by sharing the lessons I have learned from the masters so you can have a life of happiness and fulfillment NOW! In this magazine we will share the proven and tested strategies and tips so you can accomplish any significant goal or initiative you may have.

Whether it is obtaining sustainable weight loss, boosting your energy to finish a triathlon healthy, increasing your influence and exceeding your sales goals, creating a passionate long-lasting relationship, or discovering what is necessary to have an extraordinary life of happiness and fulfillment, we will simplify these strategies into easy-to-understand concepts that you can implement today, compressing the decades into techniques you can use today to create the flight plan you desire for your life.

Dave Sanderson Dave Sanderson is an entrepreneur, best-selling author, philanthropist, and a survivor of the Miracle on the Hudson. For more than four decades, he has been a top producer for some of the largest sales teams in the world. More than 250000 people have enjoyed the warmth, humor, and inspirational power of his business and personal leadership events. Author and contributing author of three internationally bestselling books, including Moments Matter, Brace for Impact, 1 Habit for Success: SmartFem Summit Special Edition, and is excited to announce his upcoming book “From Turmoil to Triumph! After thirty-five years in sales and sales leadership with roles in companies such as ADP, Peoplesoft, KPMG, and Oracle, Dave founded his executive coaching and personal leadership firm Dave Sanderson Speaks International on January 15, 2014. As a sought-after international speaker, he works with established and emerging leaders and entrepreneurs to help them find their DISTINCT ADVANTAGE, aligning with their purpose through employing their leadership skills, igniting their performance through focused execution, resourcefulness, and gratitude. On January 15, 2009, Dave was one of the last passengers off the plane that crashed into the Hudson River, best known as The Miracle on the Hudson, considered to be the most successful ditching in aviation history. In addition to his 35 years in sales and sales leadership, he was the Director of Security for Tony Robbins for over ten years and has recently been named one of the top 100 Leadership Speakers in Inc. com. Dave has spoken at countless fundraisers that have raised over $14M for the American Red Cross.



Character is what’s left when charisma is gone






The Vow



Leadership Matter: Insider Exclusive with Holly Dowling



Book Dave Sanderson for your next event


The Gift of Direction

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Employing Personal Leadership During A Traumatic Life Experience


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CHARACTER is what’s left when charisma is gone By Dave Sanderson

Moments Matter Magazine


My favorite subject in school was history. One of the things I enjoyed most when Bill was my mentor was learning firsthand from him about some of the key moments in history, especially when we spoke about World War 2. What transpired before, during, and after World War 2 has always fascinated me. It was one of the few times in history when a majority of the world came together with a joint mission. People understood the difference between right and wrong, and leaders and troops knew the consequences if they did not achieve their mission. One day we discussed the Generals and leaders who served during WW2. I agreed with Bill that the crop of leaders who led troops during that war were some of the best, if not the best, that the United States ever produced. Each had their strengths. We compared and contrasted General Eisenhower, General McArthur, and General Patton and how and why each ended up where they did in history during that discussion. Bill lived and read about each of these leaders in their prime. During our talk, I asked him his opinion on the difference between the three Generals.

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He then gave me a lesson on leadership during times of crisis.

the Hudson and why so many people remember where they were when they heard about it.

He told me that people on the home front knew about General Patton and General McArthur as they were not only great leaders but were always in the news. They both had charisma that endeared their troops to them and was successful. General Eisenhower wasn’t as charismatic as Generals McArthur and Patton, and was known more for his character, focusing more on reality instead of appearance. He was willing to accept responsibility for the decisions he made to achieve the mission but, more importantly, his ideals. General Patton was reprimanded. Later, General McArthur was relieved of his duties by the President. General Eisenhower was so highly regarded because of his character that both political parties urged him to run on their ticket.

After the “miracle,” I was humbled when I was asked that question. I didn’t think of what happened that day was like when man landed on the moon or President Kennedy’s assassination. But the more I thought about it, I thought about what I learned from Bill about World War 2 and the Generals.

I learned from our talk that when your charisma is gone, your character is what’s left. People may be attracted to charisma, but when push comes to shove and life gets tough, people look for those with the courage to accept responsibility for their decisions aligned with their ideals. They look at character. Last week, during an interview, we discussed the Miracle on

January 15, 2009 was a typical day during a challenging economic time in the United States. A plane goes down, and all of a sudden, the eyes of the world are watching. Within six minutes, the passengers and crew had a common mission and knew the consequences if unsuccessful. People who didn’t know each other or care about each other checked their egos at the door, stepped up to do the right thing for each other, and people’s character came to the forefront. And the mission was successful. Throughout my life, when I have struggled is when I surround myself with people who are more focused on charisma than character. I had a first-hand experience with that situation recently and shared that with a couple of friends who, like me, had a similar experience. It was a great reminder that one of the most important things


you can do to grow is surround yourself with character rather than charisma. People often ask me why I went back to Oracle after starting my own business. There were many reasons: it was a part of my second ten-year plan I wrote in 2010, but the other was something I learned throughout my career: people work for people, not for companies. The Vice President who hired me in the early 2000s is now a Group Vice President. Gene was there the day after the plane crash and always supported me

and had my back. While others may not have had my best interest at heart, he always did, and his character is unquestioned. And he assigned another person of high character to be my current Vice President, Scott. People of character thrive when they work with others with high character. This past year has been a year of turmoil on many levels. This year, focus on surrounding yourself with people with more character than charisma. They will do the right thing by and for you. One of the reasons I have my own “chief

of staff” is to help surround me with people of character from those who focus more on style than substance, and it has helped me grow in a way I would never think I could. And as Jim Rohn said, Character is what is left when all the charisma is gone. Before and during the Miracle on the Hudson, I have been fortunate to learn strategies that helped me grow from the turmoil I have had throughout my life and during my experience of surviving a plane crash, to triumph and freedom, with gratitude. My mission in 2021 is to share these strategies so others can also grow from turmoil to triumph. Treat the TURMOIL of 2020 as your year of preparation and 2021 as your year to TRIUMPH! LEAD YOURSELF FIRST and CREATE YOUR FLIGHT PLAN FOR YOUR FUTURE!

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Employing Personal Leadership During a Traumatic Life Experience By Dave Sanderson

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had never heard anything like that on a plane before. I was sitting four rows behind the left wing in Seat 15A and I looked out and saw fire.

How do you turn meaning into growth? Focus on RESOURCEFULNESS! Focus on the resources you do have available.

During my experience on US Airways Flight 1549, I was one of 155 people who faced a real plane crash. I was blessed to survive that experience. Right now, the entire world is facing what I call a “personal plane crash” experience and employing your personal leadership skills will be key to landing your personal plane in calm waters! Right now, many of us are experiencing a particularly dramatic life event — the kind of high-voltage bolt out of the blue that we personally did not cause that strikes many of us during our lives. Things happen that we are not ready for: sudden job loss, cash flow challenges divorce, the deaths of loved ones, and all manner of health scares including COVID 19, disasters and near misses. As I shared in my TEDx Talk “ Bouncing Back- PTGS ( Post Traumatic Growth Syndrome), these “jolts” can derail us or propel us into something we probably would never become. New relationships, new opportunities, new world views can come out of these traumatic life experiences. As we are seeing, new innovations are coming to market, especially in the healthcare field. People are re-engaging with their families and friends. Business relationships are

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growing with the video call now becoming “normal” technology for companies who have their associates working remotely. And people are getting new perspectives on what is going on around the world, not just in their local communities. During a recent conversation I had with an American Airlines Captain, we discussed what happened inside the plane during the Miracle on the Hudson and her mindset when faced with something while inflight. She shared with me the strategy of Aviate, Navigate and Communicate which I believe is in alignment with three of the strategies I have learned and employed to grow out of a traumatic life event. Aviate, keeping your personal plane in the air as long as you can. Not only did that happen during the Miracle on the Hudson but is of utmost importance now. How do you keep your personal plane in the air when your job may be in jeopardy and money is tight? The first step is to manage your state. It’s in your control on what your mindset is. And as Tony Robbins teaches, it starts with moving your body ( physiology), the words you say to yourself ( language) and what you focus on. How do you do that? It starts with having focused and consistent execution, wrapped with gratitude because Grace is fueled by Gratitude. If you have gratitude, which is giving thanks to something bigger than yourself, Moments Matter Magazine

the more grace you will receive and the longer you will be able to sustain and grow. OK, you’ve been able to keep your personal plane in the air, now you need to Navigate how you are going to land. One thing I spoke about in my TEDx talk, is I noticed after my experience on the Miracle on the Hudson, most of the passengers I interacted with were able to attach a positive MEANING to their experience. The meaning you attach to something produces the emotion you have and the emotion you have determines the quality of your life. As we all are working our way through

COVID 19, the people I see that are growing are attaching a meaning of growth and connection while those who are struggling attach a meaning of total uncertainty, just as it was after the Miracle on the Hudson. How do you turn meaning into growth? Focus on RESOURCEFULNESS! Focus on the resources you do have available. The way I do that is I go back to the tried and true “Ben Franklin” approach. Get a piece of paper, draw a line down the middle, on the right list the resources you don’t have and on the left the

resources you do have and list all of them and you will find, if you have FOCUSED EXECUTION in pursuing these resources, you will be able to Navigate to a successful landing. COMMUNICATE: One thing I share when I speak about my experience is the limited amount of communication that came from the cockpit. The communication was not only efficient, it was effective. Having effective communication is vital to grow through and out of your challenging experiences. One approach I use when I work with people is what I call, is using VIRTUAL RESOURCES. People who have faced situations as bad or worse than what they are going through and have thrived! I have found giving people a proper perspective or alternate perspective, helps level their mindset and gives people hope that there is success at the end of the tunnel. So, what’s the bottom line? What do they have in common? All these strategies start with leading yourself first. Once you start to lead yourself first, many distinctions will be revealed to you and you will find what I call your DISTINCT ADVANTAGE, what you are not only uniquely gifted at but have a passion for, which will be the Point In Time That Changes Everything for you, your PITTChE!



VOW By Dave Sanderson

Moments Matter Magazine


“My parents taught me that everybody was the same and made in God’s image.”


ne of the first questions I was asked by the media as I lay in the hospital bed at Hackensack Palisades Medical Center was, “was it like you hear in the movies, women and children first?”. I was a little taken aback by that question, but my answer was “ it didn’t matter if you were a woman or man, black or white, straight or gay, everybody pulled together to help each other.” It was unsaid and probably unknowing that we were all on the same page and on mission. We had an unspoken VOW to each other to help each other survive. During that experience on US Airways Flight 1549, I was one of 155 people who faced

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a real plane crash. As I was writing for my next book this weekend, I wrote about one of the most important lessons my father taught me was that “my word is my bond” a VOW. He was a shining example of that and held each of his kids to that standard. There have been times I have struggled with that but once I started having kids, I had to be an example for them as my Dad was for me. Right now, with all that is going on in the world, I’ve started to really think about the vows I have taken in my life and thinking, “am I living up to those vows?” I grew up in a small town in southwest Ohio, Hillsboro. Everybody knew everybody and in the mid 1960’s, parents

other than your own took responsibility for the wellbeing and discipline of every child, and it didn’t matter if you were black, white or brown, everybody was valued and respected. I recently looked at a picture of my birthday party when I was in first grade. In that picture was one of my first friends, Sharon Fields. Sharon and I grew up and played together. Sharon has been a friend since kindergarten. I don’t ever think we thought about it or ever said anything about it. She is black and I am white, and we never saw color, only the character of each other. I was thinking as I looked at that picture and a picture of us when we were in fourth grade, what did I learn when I was so young that


my parents gave me was making me make decisions for myself and owning them. That served me in my youth and especially on January 15th, 2009. I was baptized when I was in 5th grade when I had to answer the baptismal vows for myself. I was one of the older kids being baptized that day. At first I felt a little out of sorts as I was the tallest one kneeling. That day I took the vows of baptism and owned them for the rest of my life. This weekend, I was thinking about that day and thinking of all the people who have taken the same vows. I reread the words carefully and thought, if we all would live up to just those vows we made in our life, especially when we were baptized, would we have the challenges we are seeing now in the world?

The vows I took were: 1. Do you renounce the spiritual forces of wickedness, reject the evil powers of this world, and repent of your sin?

others didn’t? My parents taught me that everybody was the same and made in God’s image. I have never seen color as a barrier in my relationships. One of the most important decisions my parents made for me was not baptizing me in the Moments Matter Magazine

Church when I was a baby. Before my mom passed away, I asked her why she didn’t. She told me that she wanted me to answer the vows for myself as they would be MY VOWS, not their vows for me. That way I had to live up to the vows I made. I have spoken and written about one of the best gifts

2. Do you accept the freedom and power God gives you to resist evil, injustice, and oppression in whatever forms they present themselves? 3. Do you confess Jesus Christ as your Savior, put your whole trust in his grace, and promise to serve him as your Lord, in union with the Church which Christ has opened to people of all ages, nations, and races? 18.

I believe that these words give the blueprint to the answer to the pain of what is going on in the world right now. We all have sinned, there has been injustice and oppression and as Sharon and I saw when we were in kindergarten, all races are the same and are valued. The time is now to start to live and fulfill our vows that we made or make new vows. We can put the pieces back together when we start with this premise and commitment. One of the success principles I learned and practiced and a part of personal leadership is taking personal responsibility for the decisions you make and living up to your word, just like my father taught and showed me, your word is your bond, the vows you take are your bond. Thank you Sharon for being my friend and showing me when I was 5 years old that you valued me, and I valued you and our relationship set me on a path of understanding and valuing people on the strength of their character. We all are at a threshold in our lives right now. Be a leader every day by living up to the vows you made throughout your life, by equipping yourself with focused execution, empowering yourself with resourcefulness and transforming yourself with gratitude so you can be the inspired leader and servant leader, ready to serve others first. LEAD YOURSELF FIRST!

Moments Matter Magazine


Leadership Matters Insider Exclusive with Holly Dowling By Dave Sanderson


eadership is a powerful concept that has been around for centuries. It is the process of influencing others to achieve a goal. Leadership is an important topic because it affects both our professional and personal lives. There are many benefits to having strong leadership skills such as increased productivity, increased worker morale, improved customer service, and increased profitability. There are also disadvantages to poor leadership skills including low morale, high turnover rates, decreased production levels, and poor customer service. I recently had the opportunity to sit down with Holly Dowling to discuss leadership with thought leader Holly Dowling. Share with us a little about how character and mindset are currently influencing your leadership style. It all began years ago when a woman from the audience approached me after a presentation and said, “Do you know about the Spiritual IQ? I’ve never met anyone who embodies this and now after experiencing you I feel you are a true enlightened being!” To say the least, my mind was blown that what I had been experiencing all my life had a name to it. And now, more than ever, I am committed to sharing this gift through My Spiritual Quest Called Blessed and impacting leaders on an entirely different level.

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How do you define leadership? First and foremost, you do not need a title to lead. Leadership is about leading ourselves and how we show up every day and how we influence those around us, our loved ones, our team members, our colleagues, our clients. It has everything to do with how we show up in the world! Even how you show up to the cashier at the grocery store or holding the door for you. So, to me, leadership is way beyond having a title and needing to lead others; we lead every day! Also, and I have preached this for years, stop worrying about your reputation. Focus on your character and your reputation will follow. How is your definition of leadership assimilated into your mission? My mission now is to enlighten audiences with My Spiritual Quest Called Blessed, which means to awaken your light within. To be an awakened leader is essential to cultivating an inclusive environment. Research and science have been coming forward over the years with a very powerful part of the brain called the Spiritual

IQ. We have the IQ, EQ, and the Spiritual Quotient. Personally, I have always been in touch with that side of myself but did not truly understand what that meant and have now further developed the ideology into impacting audiences worldwide. As a Thought Leader, what would you like to share that would impact leaders? What I would love to share as a Thought Leader in this world, is that it is time for us to be more focused on listening to the spirit within us because that IS the compass within us. “Stop living a life of fitting in and start creating a life that fits you” (Hollyism), a life that serves your soul’s highest calling and how you are going to serve this world. One of the best ways I have learned to discover the light within is to utilize daily rituals. My four rituals - spiritual, emotional, mental, and physical - are the most important parts of my day and absolutely no one takes this away from me. Rituals are different for everyone, but I had never imagined that the Spiritual Quotient, which is part of everyone, entirely supports and validates daily rituals. A key component of these rituals is finding joy. “Stop trying to become a person who you think the world


wants you to be, and start being the person you need to be” (Hollyism). That means finding joy in these turbulent times, it means finding what brings you joy, it means figuring out who depletes the hell out of you and letting go of those emotional vampires and establishing strong boundaries. When you own these things, you can truly own who you are as well as own the spiritual side of who you are. “Do you let trials and tribulations define you or refine you?” (Hollyism) Would you please share with our readers what they can incorporate into their daily lives and how to bring more joy and happiness into leadership roles? 1. It’s about being selfish so you can be more selfless! Now more than ever, it is time to give yourself permission to find what brings you joy. Do something ridiculously fun! 2. Find a daily dose of little moments that lift you up. And don’t let someone else determine what that is for you. *see Hollyisms Daily Dose Of Inspirations app. 3. Put in place a ritual that truly feeds your soul! The most important part of my day is my morning. I focus on my meditation and spiritual time in my backyard which is like a peaceful sanctuary. 4. Write down your gratitude every day. Part of my morning ritual is writing in a journal and writing down that gratitude. Putting pen to paper can be extremely cathartic but it also truly manifests Moments Matter Magazine

your gratitude and desires. “Does adversity make you bitter or better?” (Hollyism) 5. Be that beacon of light for the world! Start empowering others to put in place these suggestions and you will find joy by helping others find joy. You are a successful leader. Which three character traits do you think were most instrumental to your success? Honestly, one of the greatest traits of a great leader is to be a servant leader. And I know people have heard the word before but I’m not sure if they really know what it means. To be a servant leader is to stop controlling. Let go of control and start collaborating! It means finding out who people are and helping them lift themselves to be the greatest version of themselves. This leads to the second character trait of a successful leader; I truly believe that if you help others be successful, you too will shine and be successful, but it starts by being genuinely interested in seeking out an individual’s greatest strengths and brilliance and then shining a spotlight on them. And lastly, being authentic, transparent, and humbly honest. People don’t want that perfect person; it is your imperfections that make you beautiful. A great leader recognizes that he/she is not all things to all people.

Holly is thrilled to offer for the first time publicly her newest keynote, “Awaken Your Light Within!” Based upon the ideologies explained in this interview, Holly draws upon her global expertise in the joy and wellbeing space and leads her audience to discover innate character attributes that move us through disorder to find joy, personally and professionally. When you find your joy, you bring more joy, and you help others empower themselves and rekindle their light within! For more information: ***Enjoy a complimentary trial of Hollyisms Daily Dose Of Inspirations by entering the code “CELEBRATE”



olly Dowling is a highly sought after award-winning global keynote speaker and top ten inspirational thought leader among worldwide influencers such as Deepak Chopra. As founder of the “Extraordinary Leader™” program and an expert in joy and well-being, Holly has addressed hundreds of thousands of Fortune 500 companies around the world including Facebook, Google, Cisco, Deloitte, PaloAlto Networks, Disney, Wells Fargo, ESPN, Home Depot, Gap Brand, and IBM, among others and impacted the hearts and minds of millions in over 120 countries worldwide with her “A Celebration Of You” podcast. Her unique spirit driven approach has led managers to become stronger leaders, individual contributors to achieve higher levels of performance, and companies to discover new opportunities for success.

an award-winning host on The Notoriety Network and honored to be a speaking member of the AntiInternet Child Exploitation Team which brings global awareness to internet crimes against children. Holly is thrilled to be recognized alongside Deepak Chopra as a top 10 global inspirational thought leader in addition to gracing the cover of “The Excelligent Magazine” as a 2021 SHERO of the year. As founder of Hollyisms Daily Dose of Inspirations, Holly’s mission is to continue to inspire hearts and minds all over the world! Holly’s reel:

Facebook: DDowling/ LinkedIn: hollydowling Twitter: hollyddowling YouTube: com/channe l/ UC5KNjsxzYn8D5QRbYrBbtIw Instagram: holly.dowling/

Website: Podcast: podcast/a-celebration-of-you/

Holly is a two-time Stevie Award winner, a recipient of The American Riviera Women Entrepreneur of the Year Award and a proud partner of The United Nations Girl Up Foundation as well as a former member of The African American Consulate. In addition, she is

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Holly Dowling is a highly sought after award-winning Global Keynote Speaker and Top Ten Inspirational Thought Leader among influencers such as Depak Chopra. As an expert in joy and well being, Holly has addressed hundreds of thousands of Fortune 500 executives around the world, impacted the hearts and minds of millions in over 160 countries worldwide with her “A Celebration Of You” podcast via iHeart Radio, and is the founder/creator of Hollyisms Daily Dose Of Inspirations App. Holly keynotes and facilitates high-level business engagements for global powerhouse organizations including Facebook, Deloitte, Wells Fargo, Cisco, Home Depot, Google, Disney, Accenture, Hilton, PaloAlto Networks, and IBM, among many others. She is passionate about the privilege of leading others and conveys all with authenticity and a touch of sass while sharing a message of courage and fortitude when faced with seemingly insurmountable odds. Formerly the Vice President of an international brokerage firm, Holly has infused her over 20 years of extensive management and leadership experience with her passion for inspiring others to discover their untapped potential and brilliance. As founder of the Extraordinary Leader™ program, Holly’s unique spirit driven approach has led managers to become stronger leaders, individual contributors to achieve higher levels of performance, and companies to discover new opportunities for success. Holly began her career as cruise director in Tahiti where she polished her skills of entertaining, inspiring, and connecting with diverse audiences. Following her time there, Holly began traveling across the U.S. as the National Spokesmodel for Lee Jeans, representing numerous companies in television and print advertising. Over the years, her gift for engaging and energizing diverse audiences transitioned her into the corporate sector, where she began guiding companies to higher performance levels through interactive learning experiences. Today, Holly is continually brought back by her clients as a Keynote Speaker, Corporate Facilitator, and Consultant. In recognition of her work, she is a proud recipient of two Silver Stevie Awards for Women in Business, The American Riviera Women Entrepreneur of the Year Award, and recognized as one of the 10 Most Inspiring Global Thought Leaders of 2020. In addition, Holly is a proud partner of The United Nations Foundation, a former member of The African American Consulate, a celebrated award winning host on Notoriety Network, and she is personally honored to be a speaking member of the Anti Internet Child Exploitation Team Council (AICET). While her professional life speaks volumes, it is Holly’s personal story overcoming significant life challenges that serve to reinforce her message of hope and resilience on a global scale; in 2020 she was honored and recognized as a SHERO, thrivers of domestic violence who are making a positive impact on our world. Also in 2020, inspired by her world renown book Hollyims, Holly launched the first ever Hollyisms Daily Dose of Inspirations App which has exploded with positive reviews and attained her worldwide goal of inspiring hope and healing. A walking testimony that it is never too late to live your dreams and goals, Holly is peeling back the layers of her life so that she may inspire other people to create, embrace and fully “Live life with passion!”

Dave Sanderson Moments Matter Magazine


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Book Dave Sanderson for your next conference

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s an event planner, I am always looking for speakers who will connect with an audience and inspire and engage them. I will rarely book the same speaker twice; however, once in a while, you find a speaker that will capture the hearts and minds of an audience. If you are looking for an inspirational and motivational speaker, look no further than Dave Sanderson. Dave consistently gets top ratings every single time he speaks and there is a good reason for that. Dave has a unique, lifechanging story as he was on US Airways Flight 1549, known

as the Miracle on the Hudson. Few people experience such a traumatic event and Dave shares that although traumatic, he actually grew from this event. With video, music and photos throughout his presentation, Dave takes the audience on a journey with him to show what went on that fateful day; employing the lessons he learned from his key mentors in his life to not only to survive but teach his audience how they also can grow from the traumatic events that happen to all of us. As the last passenger off the plane on that fateful day, he was able to use the skills and resources he learned

throughout his life to not only survive but help others who may be going through their own “personal plane crash” in their lives. He emerged from the wreckage that day with a new mission: to encourage others to stay true to your values to do the right thing when faced with a life-changing decision and create your own flight plan for your life. Dave provides actionable steps that anyone can immediately use to apply to their personal and professional lives to not only survive, but to thrive from whatever curveballs come their way.

By Lea Woodford, Host of SmartFem Success Summit and Publisher of Speaker Life Magazine Moments Matter Magazine


...Once you start to lead yourself first, many distinctions will be revealed to you and you will find what I call your DISTINCT ADVANTAGE...

The meaning you attach to something produces the emotion you have and the emotion you have determines the quality of your life.



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Directions are instructions given to explain how. Direction is a vision offered to explain why. Simon Sinek

The Gift of



ast weekend during my two-hour endurance power walk, a lady started to beep at me. First, I thought, what was I doing? Am I too far in the road? As she approached me, she told me she was very lost and needed help. I stopped and gave her directions to where she needed to go; she thanked me and went on her way. As I rounded the corner, I saw her again coming from the other direction. This time she waved at me, and I went back up to the driver’s window. She was still lost and went the opposite way from the directions I gave her. I

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blamed myself as the first time I gave directions, I assumed she would turn around and then proceed, but she went straight. I gave her the exact directions I gave the first time, and I believe she found the location she was looking for as I didn’t see her again. I have thought about that experience all week as I train for the Navy Seal Swim. I have been blessed to have a coach who not only has patience but gives very explicit direction. Before my first day with her in the pool, she watched and listened to a couple of my podcasts and videos and found out that I was

a visual learner. She did her homework. I needed to break down my swimming into steps. Coach Patty would demonstrate each step as we worked through the drills. This week, after only 12 sessions with Coach Patty, I was able to complete a metric mile of swimming. We have a long way to go until I go back into the Hudson River on August 7th, but Coach Patty has given me the gift of direction. During the final days of my time with my mentor Bill, our conversations went from “lessons” to more philosophy. After the last time I saw Bill alive in his office, we would jump


on the phone as now all I really wanted to do is check in on Bill. He had lung cancer and was in the final four months of his life, but every time we spoke, until the last time we did in August of 1997, he was upbeat. During that last call in August, Bill was very emotional. I think he knew his time was coming. Our conversation was basically about it was my time to take the ball and run with it now. I thanked him and told him I loved him and asked him what I could do to help him or Bonnie. He said there was nothing I could do but always to remember, the most significant gift I could ever give him is to give the gift of direction to someone. He told me whatever is shared grows and comes back to you. Money is just something we have to have, but people will remember you for giving them direction for their lives. I started to think about that statement this week after my time with the lost lady

Moments Matter Magazine

and what Coach Patty is giving me. After this past year of turmoil and all the calls I made to connect with people, I found that people were in such a state of uncertainty, they were lost. They did not have a game plan or ever experienced the turbulence that 2020 was. They needed direction. When I started this journey to return to the Hudson and honor those who gave their lives for our freedoms, I also want this time to leave the Hudson on my terms. But I also realized, I needed direction. Maybe that lady in the car was a signal to me. To be clear with the direction I give someone, so I send them in the right direction. Maybe Coach Patty gave me a wake-up call to do your homework before you give direction so you can make sure your directions are understood in the way they learn. My current mentor, Don, was right. When I found those notes I received from Bill that I so carelessly put in a journal in 1997, I was not ready to share and teach those lessons I was so blessed to receive. Maybe I needed something like a plane crash to wake me up


and realize that I had a promise to fulfill. Perhaps I needed this gift that my swim buddy and wingman Suzanne opened up for me by introducing me to Stephen, a Navy Seal, to give me a new reference on how to serve and provide direction by getting direction. Bill’s last message to me was profound. The last time we met in his office, he asked me to “not let it die with me.” I promised I would not and later come to believe the reason I didn’t die during the experience of US Airways 1549 was I had not

Moments Matter Magazine

fulfilled that promise. The last time Bill and I spoke, he gave me the same message in a different way. He wanted me to take all the wisdom he imparted in me and provide direction to people who may be lost or just need to take a different path. When Bill and my journey began, I was on a pathway that I had no passion or many competencies for. He knew that, and if he could leave me some insights and the mindset of success, I would take a different path, one of servant leadership. All he asked was for me to do the same. God doesn’t take away anything without replacing it with something. God took Bill away in September

1997 but replaced it with his wisdom to me to give direction to the next generation. I am now ready, and that is my mission. My mission is simple; help those who may be going through their own turmoil from the past year with a pathway to victory and triumph and understand that you didn’t get this far only to go this far!


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