On January 15, 2009, US Airways Flight 1549 took off from LaGuardia airport in New York City. Just six minutes after takeoff, the plane hit a flock of geese, causing both engines to fail. The captain made a miraculous emergency landing on the Hudson River. All 155 passengers survived, and it quickly became known as the “Miracle on the Hudson.”
One of those passengers was Dave Sanderson. He is not only known for being a survivor of the Miracle on the Hudson but also an inspirational TEDx speaker, author, and philanthropist.
He has shared the lessons from that experience— where the Tom Hanks-starring film “Sully” drew inspiration— to over 1,700 audiences around the world. His mission is to pass on the strategies he learned and implemented to show how you, too, can grow from a traumatic life event and achieve your most sought-after goals and outcomes.
Now, Dave shares his incredible story of survival in this episode of the Success Through Failure podcast and how he channeled that experience into a mission to provide insights on the essential facets of faith, conviction, and leadership.
Hear Dave’s unbelievable story of survival and learn how you can use the same resilience and determination to achieve your own goals! Tune in now!
If you don’t have time to listen to the entire episode or if you hear something that you like but don’t have time to write it down, be sure to grab your free copy of the Action Plan from this episode— as well as get access to action plans from EVERY episode— at JimHarshawJr.com/Action.
[00:00] Dave Sanderson: Cause it opens my mind up to hear how other people handle challenge situations. So the next time it happens, I have another reference base. And the more references you have, the stronger you are to be able to handle it. Most people can't handle it because they don't have enough references in the back.
[00:14] Dave Sanderson: They stack the crap up top. They don't stack the references at the bottom.
[00:20] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: Welcome to another episode of success through failure, the show for successful people, and for those who want to become successful, the only show. That reveals the true nature of success. This is your host, Jim Harshaw, Jr. And today I bring you Dave Sanderson.
[00:37] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: It's Thursday, January 15th, 2009. US Airways flight 1549 departs LaGuardia airport headed towards Charlotte. 60 seconds after takeoff, both engines fail. They hit geese in the air and the plane has to make a crash landing. This is the start of Dave Sanderson's story in this conversation. You're about to hear with the last passenger to get off of the plane after a crash into the Hudson.
[01:10] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: This is the miracle on the Hudson. You remember when this happened, this was huge news. Dave Sanderson was a passenger. And he was the final passenger to get off of the plane. And he's since become a TEDx speaker and author of philanthropist. He's channeled this life changing experience on us. Airways flight 1549, the miracle on the Hudson.
[01:31] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: He's channeled this into his mission to provide insight in strategies on the essential facets of faith and conviction and leadership. And he attributes these. Attributes that he credits for saving his life. And he shared these lessons with 1700 audiences around the world. He's a speaker worldwide. He's been named by Inc magazine as a top 100 leadership speaker in the world.
[02:00] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: And he's learned and he's implemented so much from that experience. He's written multiple books, but he's taken this traumatic life event. And achieved his own goals because of it. And he's helped others do the same. And he's going to help you as well through this conversation today, before we get into that interview, let me ask you one favor.
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[02:41] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: That's what helps me get great guests like today's guest, Dave Sanderson. All right, here we go. My interview with the last guy off of the plane during the miracle on the Hudson, Dave Sanderson. Can you walk us through the moments leading up to and during the miracle on the Hudson? I mean, what was going through your mind as the planes going down?
[03:02] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: And did you think you were going to make it? Can you take us back to that moment? Oh,
[03:05] Dave Sanderson: most definitely. It's always very clear in my mind because those moments in one of my, all my books called moments because all these moments are there for a reason. Jim Canley, I didn't think anything was really serious.
[03:17] Dave Sanderson: Until I heard the captain say his famous words. This is your captain brace for impact. And this is Sully
[03:22] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: Sullenberger, right?
[03:23] Dave Sanderson: This is the captain. That is correct. That is correct. And that's the only words he said the entire time. Cause up to that point, you know, I just thought we had one engine out later on.
[03:33] Dave Sanderson: We learned both engines went out simultaneously. So back
[03:36] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: us up a little bit. So this is leaving New York city,
[03:39] Dave Sanderson: right? Leaving LaGuardia. Yep. Delayed flight, nothing unusual. Cold day. Yeah, LaGuardia is what LaGuardia is, right? So no big deal, nothing extraordinary about the takeoff, you know, and about 60 seconds after we took off is when I heard that explosion, you know, it was a C 15A, four rows behind the left wing.
[03:59] Dave Sanderson: So that got my attention. I looked up and I saw fire coming out from beneath the left wing. So I knew something had happened. Like I mentioned, I fly so often, I know planes have multiple engines. This plane had two engines. So no big deal. You have another engine. We'll go back to the airport. Then we started banking and you know, no big deal.
[04:18] Dave Sanderson: We're going back to the airport. All of a sudden you look out the window and you see the skyline of Manhattan right here up close. It's like, Whoa, I have never seen that view before. And then you look at a little further and obviously you see this. Bridge coming up. I'm like, never seen a bridge before. So I used to, you know, I flown that flight many times from LaGuardia to Charlotte and back, right?
[04:36] Dave Sanderson: I mean, I was going to New York city about once a quarter and minimum once a quarter. But like I said, until you hear that, those famous words is your captain brace for impact. Nothing really registered, but that's the moment that I knew it was serious. You know, because, you know, we only cleared the George Washington Bridge by roughly 400 feet.
[04:55] Dave Sanderson: The bridge is 600 feet up. The plane was about a thousand feet and descending at that moment. So it was about 400 feet, give or take. And then when I looked down the window, you could actually people see people's faces looking up from the bridge, looking at you. So you knew you're pretty close. Like, okay, this is not good.
[05:10] Dave Sanderson: Something's going to happen and it's probably not going to turn out very well for at least me and probably everybody else on this plane. That's the moment I went into prayer. I just prayed. I just prayed to God. I prayed that someone would take care of my wife. And I prayed that, forgive my sins. I don't want anything between me and God at that point, man, it's going down.
[05:27] Dave Sanderson: And I got about 60 seconds until something's going to happen. And it was about 60 seconds after we crossed over the bridge when he crashed into the river. And I know that her terms, you know, controlled landing, all this. When you're in the back of a plane, it's a crash. You know, it's a hard hit, right? It's a hard hit, but then you survive the hit.
[05:47] Dave Sanderson: It's like, okay, you look up, you look out the window, you see the line. So I'm alive. But now part two is coming in because now you got to get out of a sinking plane and water started coming in immediately because if you saw how the plane hits, and of course, we know he hit perfectly because if he didn't, we're not here today talking hit backside first.
[06:05] Dave Sanderson: And so the back came off, which means water came in. So, towards the back of the plane, water was where I was and received 15 a. But ankle to knee deep. So it was already coming in in the back. It was even deeper. So it was, it was coming in very quickly. Now you have part two, you got to get out and you as an athlete and I am former athlete, likewise, one of the things that we always did was we game planned right for, for games or whatever.
[06:32] Dave Sanderson: I just had a game plan. So my game plan, as we were going down, if I had a shot was aisle up out, you know, I just, I kept saying to my mind, I'll up out, I'll up out. So when I had the opportunity, I knew what my game plan was. Now it's time to execute. But when I got to the aisle, it's like an aisle up out, I was ready to go out, but all of a sudden I heard my mom start talking to me, and my mom passed away in 1997.
[06:55] Dave Sanderson: But there was something she would tell me when I was a child, it just came into my head at that point, it was, If you do the right thing, God will take care of you. And, you know, all of a sudden I heard that, and one of the things I tell people, after I look back on that moment, My mom never told me what to do.
[07:12] Dave Sanderson: She made me make decisions on how to do it. Right. I didn't have to, I, I could, I didn't have to go do anything else. I could have gone out and everything would have been fine, but you know, I, I grew up in a small town outside of Cincinnati, Ohio, and shortly, you know, a little place close to you, Winchester, Virginia, where people knew everybody.
[07:29] Dave Sanderson: And he always ran, always ran with a bunch of guys who always had everybody's back. So instead of going out, I went towards the back of the plane, climbed over seats, go towards the back of the plane and to see if anybody needed help. Now things were moving pretty well back there. I mean, the water was about chest level deep, but people were moving pretty quickly.
[07:46] Dave Sanderson: So I just got behind everybody else. And I started making my way out. Now you got to remember the back of the plane is already submerged. The angle you see from the front of the plane, you can't see that, but the angle you see from the side of the plane, backside's already submerged. So it's already underwater.
[08:02] Dave Sanderson: So you're now, you have to move pretty quick and you're actually walking uphill a little bit. And there's luggage floating out and it's dark because it's late afternoon. New York, you already submerged. So it's, there's a lot of factors coming in. Right. But then when I got up, yeah, I saw a 10 F on the right side of the plane.
[08:18] Dave Sanderson: That was the first door that I saw was 10 F like, I'm out of here. Right. Time to go. But then I looked up, I looked out and there was no room on that wing, no room on that little lifeboat for me. And that's why I was inside the plane, way steep in 36 degree waters, about seven minutes, because there was no room.
[08:37] Dave Sanderson: And then all of a sudden people started yelling at me to hold on. And I didn't know what that meant until I realized they want me to hold on to the lifeboat because the lifeboat was actually floating out into the river. And, you know, if you don't understand the Hudson river, I learned a lot about it over the last several years when I actually went back and swam the Navy seals into the Hudson river, it's got a very fast current.
[08:57] Dave Sanderson: And as that plane was floating down the river, the lifeboat was floating out into the river. And I got to tell people, I don't know about you, Jim, I never paid attention. I didn't read the brochure. Right. You know, and fortunately the lifeboat was actually tethered to the plane, but no one read the brochure.
[09:15] Dave Sanderson: So no one knew. So that's why I was holding on to the lifeboat waist deep at 36 degree water next to the plane for about seven minutes.
[09:23] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: Wow. And the temperature outside is below
[09:26] Dave Sanderson: zero, right? It's actually 11 degrees in the afternoon. Yes. 11 degrees, 36 degree water. A lot of factors coming. You just survived the plane crash.
[09:34] Dave Sanderson: You got everything hitting you at one time. And that's why I always tell people, you know, all these moments in your life, they're there for a reason for your defining moment, right? That was a defining moment in my life.
[09:46] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: Quick interruption. Hey, if you like what you're hearing, be sure to get the notes, quotes, and links in the action plan from this episode.
[09:53] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: Just go to JimHarshawJr.com/action to get your free copy of the action plan. Now back to the show. So what happens next? How do you actually get rescued from getting out of the plane, getting onto the wing, holding onto the lifeboat? How do you get rescued?
[10:12] Dave Sanderson: Never got on the wing and about seven minutes into this thing, give or take, I felt the plane shift and what I found out what happened later is one of the tugboats as part of the rescue, as he backed out, he hit the front of the plane.
[10:25] Dave Sanderson: And a tugboat's pretty big. They're pretty heavy boats. I don't know if you've ever been in a tugboat, but it shook the plane, shook the plane. I felt water going up my back. And the first thing that I thought was Titanic, I said, you know, all I remember was that boat tipped up and everybody got sucked down in it.
[10:40] Dave Sanderson: And I was like, man, I can't be sucked down. I can't get sucked down. I gotta go. And that's when I jumped in and started swimming to the closest boats that I could find. It was about the longest 15 yard swim I've ever had because it was into that wing. And now you get there, right? And now you got to climb.
[10:56] Dave Sanderson: And all of a sudden they're yelling at me to climb. I yelled up, can't, I can't. And then I heard my mom again, cause the word my mom hated most of life was the word can't. You grew up in my house. There's no such word as can't. So got one arm up, other arm up, two guys grabbed me. I don't know who these guys are.
[11:14] Dave Sanderson: And I, you gotta remember, I've been in the water now for over seven minutes. I'm not a light guy. I mean, I'm a pretty big guy, right? And everything's sort of disoriented at this point. Everything's going in every which direction. But they pulled me on the ferry. And that's how I got out of the water, onto the ferry.
[11:30] Dave Sanderson: I tell people, it's all about your mindset, right? It's all about maintaining that positive mental attitude, that mindset. That you can, you're gonna make it. But you just gotta have faith.
[11:40] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: And you have been in frigid water for a long time now, were there fears of hypothermia and still surviving at this point?
[11:51] Dave Sanderson: At that point, I was just happy to be out of the water. But yeah, later on, I actually got diagnosed with hypothermia. My body temperature was so low when I got to the hospital, several minutes later, my body temperature was so low. They actually couldn't even get my underwear off because it was frozen to my hips.
[12:07] Dave Sanderson: And I had to cut my underwear off. Oh, that's how cold my body was. So yeah, but no, I, you know, at that point. Yeah, I thought I made it, but I didn't, I really didn't know if I made it because all of a sudden things are happening so quickly at the triage center. A guy came up and wanted to get my name and, you know, and date of birth.
[12:27] Dave Sanderson: And all of a sudden he tagged my right foot. And all I could remember when I was growing up, I know when you grew up, I grew up in the seventies. There's a TV show called mash. And when they take your toe. You're out. And it's exactly what I thought, Jim. I said, you know, I survived plane crash, I survived the water and now I'm dying, right?
[12:48] Dave Sanderson: I'm already dead. I'm like the movie coast. I'm just watching myself die. I didn't make it. This whole thing's just, it's like a movie until somebody takes my blood pressure and it's like 190 over 120. And she goes, you got to go, you got a heart attack or stroke. So things are moving quick. But when I got to the hospital, ultimately, like I mentioned, after they started doing all the testing, They found out that my body temperature was so low, I had hypothermia.
[13:11] Dave Sanderson: And that's why I was, five hours trying to warm my body up. That's took him five hours to get my body temperature back up to normal.
[13:18] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: Unbelievable. This, this story, like hearing it firsthand is just mind boggling. I can't even imagine. All of that happening. I mean, just, you know, obviously seeing the engine on fire and coming in and doing the crash landing, the controlled landing slash crash landing.
[13:35] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: And then it's not over. It's like, you know, there's a perfect landing. It's not like, Hey, everything's great. Now there's a continued battle for survival. Unbelievable. 155 people on the plane and nobody died. You've said that you credit faith. Conviction in leadership for saving your life, faith, conviction in leadership.
[13:53] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: How did those traits play a role in your survival that day? I'll go in
[13:57] Dave Sanderson: reverse order because I think, you know, number one, when I did that final prayer, Jim, it's like, okay, I just gave it up. I just gave up. I said, you know what, whatever's going to happen is going to happen. Either I'm going to end up in a better place.
[14:08] Dave Sanderson: Or I'm going to be here. So I had faith that if everything did work out, I'd have a shot. And so that played out really well. And I'll go to leadership because one of the things that people don't realize, and this is, you know, cause they see the movie and they hear the stories and all this. There was no crew on the right side of the plane.
[14:28] Dave Sanderson: All the crew went out to the left side of the plane. So the right side of the plane had to be managed by passengers like me, who had no training, no experience, but that's not what leadership is all about. Leadership is about leading people. And that's, you saw leaders step up. I said, so I think leadership was a huge part of this, especially on the right side of the plane, because all of a sudden, yes, I tell people, you don't have to know all the skill sets.
[14:50] Dave Sanderson: I don't want to know all the skill sets that happens in my company. I want people who do know how to do it, but it's about giving them the inspiration and being able to direct them in that moment. And that's what happened on the right side of the plane. Not only me, but other people stepped up. So leadership was a key factor on the, definitely on the right side of the plane that day.
[15:08] Dave Sanderson: And of course conviction is like, you know, and I talk about the mission, and it was an unstated mission. And it's actually, if you watch the movie Sully, The ferry captain actually states the unstated mission, which I, I felt I was fascinated because that's exactly what the mindset of everybody was, but he said it in the movie and it was, no one dies today.
[15:28] Dave Sanderson: And I think everybody put, you know, they checked their egos at the door. No one got out of sorts and everybody focused on the mission, right? From the captain and crew to the passengers and first responders. I think that when he stated that on the movie, I got, I got goosebumps because that's exactly what the mindset was of everybody on the plane that day.
[15:47] Dave Sanderson: And faith. Most definitely. There's, I think there's always a greater being out there looking over you. I think this happened for a reason and a purpose. Because I wasn't supposed to be on the plane. I was scheduled on the 5 o'clock flight that night. You know, got done with work early. Got to get on an earlier flight.
[16:03] Dave Sanderson: After a three day business trip, heading home. Ready to rock and roll, right? And all of a sudden I'm on a plane. And I gave up a first class seat. So I went from first class back to 15 a, you know, and so no big deal. But one of the things I realized, Jim, when I was walking on the plane, cause I was one of the first passengers because of my status is that I looked around like these poor people are like, I am, they fly way too much.
[16:27] Dave Sanderson: We're way, we were away from our families way too much. That was one of the things that registered with me a little bit. It's like, you know. I'm one of those guys, usually in first class with my head down and not paying attention. I didn't pay attention back in 15a until I had to.
[16:40] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: So I want to talk about these three components, leadership, conviction, family.
[16:45] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: In terms of leadership, we face things in business and in life that we don't expect. Obviously this story that you just shared was something that nobody expected. But leadership helped people survive. I mean, teach so many things, you know, business school and leadership courses. They teach so many things and we're trying to learn skills, but at the end of the day, it's leadership gets you out of hard situations and gets everybody moving in the right direction, pulling in the right direction, whether it's trying to survive a plane crash on the Hudson or trying to simply survive the next economic downturn, right?
[17:29] Dave Sanderson: You know, that's what I think one of the things that COVID really, the pandemic played out is, you know, there's people who in that situation, I mean, it wasn't COVID just wasn't about COVID, it was about social justice, police, elections that kept going on and as things start stacking on people and leaders, there's people actually grew through during the COVID.
[17:49] Dave Sanderson: Because of leadership and the mindset of focusing on the bigger mission, the bigger mission, the bigger mission. So I think that plays out significantly. It's also in sports and athletics. I mean, my blog this week, which I just posted is about one of the skill sets. There's two skill sets that I believe are the key skill sets right now, especially the way the world is changing so quickly.
[18:09] Dave Sanderson: First is being resourceful. If you're not resourceful right now, you're going to get left behind because it's not about the resources that you don't have. It's about how resourceful with the resources that you do have. And that day there weren't many resources on the plane except for your mindset. So number one, resourcefulness.
[18:26] Dave Sanderson: But the second one is what I wrote about this week. It's about the skill set of anticipation. You got to be able to see that one or two steps ahead. Like Wayne Gretzky said, he always went to where the puck's going. Right. That's one of the skillsets that I started developing because one of the things my mother and father did really well for me, Jim, and I'm guilty of not doing it as well as my parents.
[18:46] Dave Sanderson: Is they made their kids make decisions. They had to anticipate early in life and it also had to suffer consequences. And I remember that back to my youth. I mean, I remember a time when I made a decision, which was a bad, bad decision. My dad told me it was going to be a bad decision, right? But he let me do it.
[19:04] Dave Sanderson: And also he played out to be a bad decision. So I learned from that, but I had consequences. One of the challenges we have as parents now, and I'm guilty of this more than probably everybody else, is I didn't make my kids make decisions enough in their youth to have consequences. I stepped in too many times, right, to try to help them not to have the hard hit.
[19:24] Dave Sanderson: Until there was one time when I let my second daughter have a hard hit, and all of a sudden she learned so much from that. I was like, okay, I finally, you know, now I understand what my dad was talking about, right? We let her have that hard hit. Fortunately, it wasn't debilitating. But at least it could put her on a pathway to say, you know what?
[19:41] Dave Sanderson: I got to make better decisions because it's about decision making right now.
[19:45] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: It's hard as parents, you know, there's this balance you want to, you want to protect and take care of them and help them make good decisions. And sometimes it's about teaching them before they make the bad decision or guarding them, shielding them from a negative outcome.
[19:57] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: Sometimes it's letting them experience it.
[20:00] Dave Sanderson: I don't know about you in college. When I went to college, I made so many poor decisions in my college career. I look back, like, no wonder I have such a tough time because I was making stupid decisions. But my dad and mom made, let me make the stupid decisions, right?
[20:12] Dave Sanderson: And my dad put me on the line. Which made me make a decision, which made me help step up and be more of a man.
[20:19] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: The other thing you mentioned is having a conviction in a clear mission. You mentioned in the movie, the one individual stated the clear mission. Now, nobody had a chance to kind of convene everybody in a conference room as you were going down and say, Hey, listen, we're going to have a stated mission here.
[20:36] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: Okay. Everybody on the same page. All right, now let's continue with the crash. Right. Didn't have a chance to do that. But in that situation, obviously it's very apparent to everybody. We know what the mission is here. It's very clear. That's not always the case in business and whether it's in business or just in the individual, in the listeners lives, it's not always that clear is how important do you feel is it to have that clearly stated mission in the conviction in a clearly stated mission, whether it's in life or in business.
[21:11] Dave Sanderson: I truly believe my life changed when I actually understood what my mission was and wrote it down and internalized it. And if you talk to my team members, which I think you've interacted with at least one of them, they understand the mission, but you know, but sometimes when I tell people, you don't have to state the mission, but you always live up to your values.
[21:30] Dave Sanderson: And if you walk your values and your principles, people see that, right. And I wrote our walk up weeks about promises matter. Cause they do matter. When you make a promise, it's a word, your bond. And if you live up to that value set, people see that. And they all of a sudden raise their, raise their standards.
[21:46] Dave Sanderson: And all of a sudden your standards up here now, and they're starting to work towards a mission, but I think you have to state the mission. You have to understand why you're doing it and the bigger reason. But as long as you hold to your values and don't come back, I mean, there's times where, you know, I remember one time when I got offered to do an interview and I canceled with my team, I canceled with a couple other people and I did not take the interview because it didn't hit my value set.
[22:09] Dave Sanderson: And I got so much respect from my team for that. You know what, we're not going to put everybody through this because it doesn't live up to our value. So it really starts with your value set and your principles.
[22:19] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: Yeah. Not saying yes to everything, but making decisions based upon those values and those principles.
[22:25] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: That's actually the very first thing that we do when people come into our coaching program, is we create that very clear vision and those clearly stated values, not just circling words on a page, but we actually do the deep work that helps people understand what those values are. and we kind of take that as a sort of a throwaway thing sometimes.
[22:43] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: Like, ah, big deal. Yeah. Well, you know, I know what I value. I don't need to do that work. Like, no, you like, Actually have to do the very deep, hard, challenging work to discover what those are, because that drives the decisions that you make, right? Whether it's to take that interview or not, whether it's to eat that donut that's sitting in the break room or not, or whether to, you know, quit your job and go do the other thing.
[23:06] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: Like all those decisions that you make or should be, should be based upon those values. And if you are not crystal. Absolutely. Crystal clear on those. You will not always make the right decision. You won't know how to make the right decision.
[23:20] Dave Sanderson: I agree. And that's what happened that day. When I went towards the back of the plane, my value set said, you don't leave anybody behind.
[23:26] Dave Sanderson: You always, everybody had each other's backs and people signed, you just go out, right? It was an easy pathway. And what was interesting about that, Jim, is it was probably nine, maybe 10 years ago, I did an interview with another passenger, we were in Florida, South Carolina, and I did a talk and he did a talk.
[23:43] Dave Sanderson: He was one of the first passengers out, you know, and I was the last passenger out and I said, I don't have any judgment. I have no judgment. It came down to his value set, right? Because his value, I understood his value set was he told his wife. When he left that last message, if I can get out, I want to get out.
[24:00] Dave Sanderson: So he lived to his value set, right? And I had no judgment whatsoever. My value set, when I got doors, take care of other people first because I was alive. So I think if you live to your value set, you can live with yourself and the mission will be fulfilled.
[24:17] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: You had a life changing moment on the river there, Dave.
[24:23] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: And did that change? Your mission that it helped you get more clear on the purpose for your life.
[24:31] Dave Sanderson: Most definitely. It's definitely a moment of clarity. I think the one thing that came out, well, there's a lot of things that came out of it. The one that really stuck with me, and this is one of the real, I think starts shifting the direction and actually opened up many doors for me was that it happened about two weeks after the plane crash.
[24:49] Dave Sanderson: Cause I was doing interviews. I was on good morning America with a group of passengers and the crew. We were in the green room and there was a passenger who was there with us. Who got, say emotional. All right. Got emotional, wasn't real happy. And all of a sudden I'm looking at it. It's like, what's wrong with this guy?
[25:08] Dave Sanderson: We survived the plane crash and we're on national TV. I mean, how bad can it be? Then what I found out later is he was going through a divorce and he lost his job. And I immediately, how many times have I judged somebody so quickly? I don't know the backstory. If I could just start working towards being less judgmental, how could that change my life?
[25:30] Dave Sanderson: I kept saying that, be less judgmental. That's why I love Marvel movies so much. Cause they show you the backstory, right? Of the, of the characters. So that opened up so many opportunities. Cause you know what? So I know you, Jim, I have no judgments on you. Once I find some background information on you and how you do work things, then we'll have a conversation.
[25:50] Dave Sanderson: But that opened up opportunities for me because all of a sudden people start calling me and who, you know, I may have judged earlier, but say, you know what, maybe I can impact somebody else's life in a different direction, that one thing. Being less judgmental was probably one of the biggest learnings I had out of the situation that day.
[26:07] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: For the listener who doesn't want to wait for the traumatic event to happen in their life, to get clear on their mission, to gain new perspective and have this sort of ah, these epiphanies and aha moments in this life changing experience. I mean, Any thoughts, tips, how we can get that kind of clarity without having to wait for
[26:32] Dave Sanderson: the traumatic event?
[26:33] Dave Sanderson: Yeah. I mean, I think personally, I think everybody's going to have what I call a personal plane crash moment in their life. Something's going to happen, right? I am, whether you're Queen Elizabeth. Or you're the janitor at three o'clock in the morning, something's going to happen. So, but I think, so one of the things I shared with people is like, you may not have that right now.
[26:49] Dave Sanderson: You may have already had it, but I tell people, look at model people, look at read, understand other people's stories. Cause you'll see how the traumatic life experience hit them and how they overcame it. So when you have your time, yeah, at least something to model or reference from. So that's why I told my kids the same thing I said.
[27:08] Dave Sanderson: This, this read a little bit. I listened to one book a week. I do audio books, one book a week, because it opens my mind up to hear how other people handle challenging situations. So the next time it happens. I have another reference base and the more references you have, stronger you are to be able to handle it.
[27:23] Dave Sanderson: Most people can't handle it because they don't have enough references in the back. They stack the crap up top, they don't stack the references at the bottom, you know?
[27:31] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: You wrote a book called From Turmoil to Triumph and you outlined 13 lessons in that book that you learned from the Miracle on the Hudson.
[27:39] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: Can you share one or two that you think are the most important lessons for achieving
[27:42] Dave Sanderson: success? book, what happened was, lessons my mentor taught up back in 1984 when he c which played out that day I mean, it all played out I love to talk about and You know, an alternative vision for your future. And he was telling me these stories about back cause he started his business back in 1929, he owned over 80 movie theaters and restaurants through the Carolinas.
[28:11] Dave Sanderson: He was, he was a Sam Walton of Charlotte. You never knew who this guy was cause he wore a flannel shirt, drove a pickup truck, right? But he had wisdom. He told me about this story. He was telling me back. Back when he met Franklin Delano Roosevelt back in the thirties, right? When all this right before the war, right?
[28:28] Dave Sanderson: All he met him and what he realized about Franklin Delano Roosevelt is he was always positive. He could always see the future. He had an alternative vision for how the United States was going to be. Fast forward. He had a similar experience in the eighties when he met Ronald Reagan and Ronald Reagan has the same mindset, right?
[28:47] Dave Sanderson: He had a different vision for the United States, that shining city on the hill, right, the bigger vision. So one of the things he's taught me is about, you got to have a bigger vision. You got to see things from a different perspective and look at things from, you know, maybe this is the way things are going, but this is my vision.
[29:02] Dave Sanderson: I'm visioning how I can impact a million people in 10 years. And this is how I'm going to do it. And all of a sudden you're changing people's lives in ways that you never thought that's one of the things that played out that day, because now I'm impacting people's lives and I'd never even think about it.
[29:16] Dave Sanderson: So that's one of the greatest lessons that not only I learned, but played out that day, you know, and another one, of course, is I talk, I already talked about the ability to anticipate. That really came from sports, Jim. I mean, you know, back when I was young, back in the 60s and early 70s, my, I had sports heroes, I don't know about you, I had sports heroes and there were four heroes that I had in the NBA, Jerry West, Oscar Robertson, Pete Marovitch, and John Havlicek, I had the opportunity to meet three of the four face to face and ask him some questions and I learned something from them, but the one that really stayed with me the most was John Havlicek.
[29:54] Dave Sanderson: I've actually modeled my game after his game because one thing that he did, he was a six man. He never really started for the Boston Celtics. He was a six man. But the skill he had that not many other people had was the ability to anticipate, see where that next pass is going, get in front, take the charges, right?
[30:10] Dave Sanderson: So that skill set played out not only during my sports career, because I was always anticipating the tip, where I'm going to go on this play on football, where is he going to hit in baseball. But also play out that day on the Hudson river. Cause I was looking at one step ahead, one step ahead. Okay. If I survive, I'll up out now I'm going back.
[30:28] Dave Sanderson: So I could anticipate that one extra move. This is why these supposed heroes, they may not be heroes, but figures that you look up to, you know, they teach you lessons. I mean, you Russell, Kale Sanderson was one of your people, right? I saw him, right. I saw him Russell.
[30:44] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: I'm older than Kale, but I've actually, you know, I looked up to him.
[30:47] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: Actually, as a wrestler, but also now as a coach and as an incredible leader of the Penn State program now.
[30:53] Dave Sanderson: Exactly. The only reason I followed him was because A, he wrestled, my brother wrestled, you know, in college, in high school. And B, he had the last same name. So I'm going to think I was related. But I was watching his career, and you're right.
[31:06] Dave Sanderson: I mean, that guy could anticipate the next move in wrestling. I mean, I told my brother, watch this guy. Watch this guy, he's always one move ahead. Always one move. It was amazing. He's instinctively great because he can anticipate. So there's probably the two big lessons of from the book. There's 11 others I talk about.
[31:25] Dave Sanderson: And the biggest one is about gratitude, having gratitude. And that's the one I really came home to me after I went back into the Hudson river and swam with the Navy SEALs a couple of years ago. What
[31:35] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: is the value of failure? Maybe there's a failure moment you can take us to in your own life. Maybe it was.
[31:41] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: That day on the Hudson, maybe it was, you know, somewhere before or after that. How did you move through that? How was that? Maybe, how did you find success either because of that or despite
[31:55] Dave Sanderson: that? No, I appreciate that question because it was actually after the miracle on the Hudson and I started my speaking career and, you know, I've been in sales for 30 that's on 25 years, you know, in sales.
[32:06] Dave Sanderson: So I was pretty good, right. I hung around long enough to make a few dollars, but it happened. I think it was by 2013, 2014, where things were going pretty well and I was driving revenue, but I wasn't looking at the backend. I wasn't looking at the payables or, you know, receivables, all the things you have to do in a business, right?
[32:27] Dave Sanderson: And I was just taking for granted because in sales, you think revenue conquers all, right? Well, you find out pretty quickly. If you're not taking care of the back end, it can, things can go down pretty quickly. And that's what happened. I wasn't looking after the back end. I was trying to run this on Skinny on myself.
[32:43] Dave Sanderson: And I figured out I wasn't good at this. I'm not good at this. So I had to find people. And that's why I have a team now. Because I, my focus and my unique ability, my distinct advantages is helping people and really coming up with content that can impact people's lives. It's not watching out to receivables because all of a sudden I was in debt because I was pre funding things.
[33:04] Dave Sanderson: I wasn't collecting on time. People were delaying. They knew they could get away with it. I would say that was one of my biggest failures of business because then I had to really step back and say, you know what? I'm not that good. I'm not this good. I got to find an alternative, which means I had to find somebody.
[33:20] Dave Sanderson: I talk about finding your who for your how. That's the key. Like in sports, you find your coach, you find your trainer, right? You find that who. For how to get it done. And that's how I got back in Hudson river and swam. That's how I fixed that problem and turned that failure around to success. Dave for
[33:38] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: the listener who is bought into what you're saying and they're looking for an action item.
[33:43] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: Well, okay. What can I do to embrace what Dave is sharing here with us today? What can I do in the next 24 to 48 hours to really start applying what I'm learning here? What would you share?
[33:54] Dave Sanderson: I will give you an equation because I love equations. I think everything breaks down pretty easy. This equation I learned back probably in the early nineties with my mentor and when I was in business and it's P which stands for your purpose or your mission, P.
[34:08] Dave Sanderson: Plus T, which is your talent. So if you take your purpose, what you're most passionate about and your talent, you'll be successful, but you won't be only be successful until you take the next, what's called MA, Massive Action. Then you'll start making some progress, but here's the thing that people can take away right now is the next step.
[34:26] Dave Sanderson: And this is the next step that most people don't do, or if they do it, they do it sporadically. It's the RA. What's that? The right associations. Getting the right people around you. Right? Being able to interact with the right people. And now it's so much easier back when I was growing up you couldn't get a hold of anybody.
[34:45] Dave Sanderson: But now with the internet, you can go on LinkedIn, you can get a hold of anybody. Right? So, P plus T times massive action times having the right associations, and that's the one thing you can take right now. Start going back. I have a list. I have what's called my top 20 and my farm club. My top 20 are people I talk to every week, my farm club, and I talk to them every quarter.
[35:08] Dave Sanderson: And these are the people that I interact with just to get in their headset, right? So they know that I'm there for them and they're there for me. And that's the right associations. And that's when, that's when you go from so linear to exponential.
[35:20] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: The RA really jumps out to me is, you know, something we talked about in my coaching program is the environment of excellence.
[35:25] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: It's you can't do this alone. Get around the right people, even your failure story. Right. You, we can't do this alone. We have to have the right team, the right people around us. Nobody, nobody's gotten to the top of their game by themselves, nobody. And we have to get us ourselves around the right people, build the right team around us, and then just associate, associate with the right people, the people who are doing the things that we want to do, the people who we can help them, they can help us, we can walk along this journey.
[35:53] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: Together.
[35:54] Dave Sanderson: Always give first. Always give first, right? And I tell people, you know, I had somebody last week who just, all he did is he won something from me and I picked up on it very quickly. And he was an athlete, he was a former football player in college, and it was all about him. So I gave him a little, a little something, but it's like, dude, until you start giving out a little bit first, you don't want to go get so far.
[36:17] Dave Sanderson: So you're exactly right. It's about, you got to build that team around you, finding your who's for your house.
[36:22] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: Dave, excellent wisdom here. Thank you so much for sharing. How can people find you, follow you, buy your books, et
[36:27] Dave Sanderson: cetera? Well thank you. Well, check me out on LinkedIn because every week I put out new content and just, I would love that.
[36:33] Dave Sanderson: You know, you follow me on LinkedIn. That's the best way, but go to my website, Dave Sanderson speaks. com. You have my books are out there, my magazine, my moments matter to the magazine, which I'm very proud of because this way I can help other people expose their content. Likewise, in a format where you can download it, you can get a physical copy.
[36:51] Dave Sanderson: But, you know, just go out, check out the magazine is free. It doesn't cost you anything. Just check out the magazine and you'll get insight from around the world. These people that my right associations. So if I can help you build my, use my right associations, then I've helped you through the day. Those are the two ways.
[37:05] Dave Sanderson: Dave Sanderson speaks. com and LinkedIn
[37:07] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: for the listener. We'll have all that in the action plan as always. Dave, thank you for making time to come on the
[37:13] Dave Sanderson: show. Jim, thank you for having me and hope, God bless you and God bless the audience. I hope everybody has a fantastic day.
[37:21] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: Thanks for listening. If you want to apply these principles into your life, let's talk.
[37:25] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: You can see the limited spaces that are open on my calendar at JimHarshawJr.com/apply where you can sign up for a free one time coaching call directly. With me and don't forget to grab your action plan. Just go to JimHarshawJr.com/action. And lastly, iTunes tends to suggest podcasts with more ratings and reviews more often, you would totally make my day.
[37:49] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: If you give me a rating and review, those go a long way in helping me grow the podcast audience. Just open up your podcast app. If you have an iPhone, do a search for success through failure. Select it and then scroll the whole way to the bottom where you can leave the podcast a rating and a review. Now, I hope this isn't just another podcast episode for you.
[38:08] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: I hope you take action on what you learned here today. Good luck and thanks for listening.
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