Leadership My Dad’s Way

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My dad, General (retired) James L. Anderson spent 24 years as the Master of the Sword at West Point. He currently speaks on leadership at the Lincoln Leadership Institute in Gettysburg, PA. He has dedicated his life to developing leaders of character wherever he serves. Click here to learn more about him.
The two of us will be sharing a father-son perspective on the leadership lessons he taught me, the lessons we both learned at West Point, and the unique perspectives we each have based on his lifetime in leadership in the Army, and my 20 years in the business world.

Management Training or Leadership Development

Is It Training or Development?

When Human Resources took over leadership training, I didn’t immediately notice a change.  In fact, I felt the leadership development department initially did a good job making the classes more specific to my job than the consultants they had hired in the past.

But over time, a shift occurred.  Leadership development became more about how not to get the company in trouble and not about developing the leader.  As a result, experienced leaders became ambivalent to training and younger leaders became HR processes experts. Continue Reading…

Three Decisions That Destroy Comfort Zones and Mediocrity

Comfort Zones Create Mediocrity

“If you want to accomplish something you have never accomplished before you must start doing things you have never done before.” Those words hit me hard a few years ago. The truth is:

Your Comfort Zone is Also Your Mediocrity Zone

If you want to be average – if you want to be the same person in five years that you are today, then stay in your comfort zone. That was what I was doing. I never set out to be mediocre, but I was heading towards it at the end of my corporate career. Continue Reading…

The Confident Leader Vs. The Arrogant Leader

When The Arrogant Lead

Martin’s reputation for arrogance preceded him. He was assigned to our leadership team whether we wanted him to be there or not.

I decided to ignore his reputation and form my own opinions about Martin. I never tried harder to like someone in my entire life.   Unfortunately, the rumors about Martin were accurate.

Confidence is a desirable trait in a leader. But Martin was not confident. He was flat out arrogant. Continue Reading…

Leadership Video: Habits Form Character

What is the definition of character?

Character is our habitual way of operating.

HOW we are is WHO we are.

 

Our character is ultimately determined by our habits.  If I am in the habit of doing what is moral and right, I am a person of high character.  If I am in the habit of cutting corners, telling “small lies”, or any other morally questionable act, that is who I am as well.

This video is a clip from a training session on leadership I did for a group of salespeople.  It is only a few minutes long.  Take the time to watch it and see how your habits stack up towards forming your character.

Question:

How do the words you hear me speak cause you to evaluate your habits?  Do you see changes you can make at work or at home?  Do you see a path to teaching your kids about character?

 

Wanted: Coaches—Wimps Need Not Apply

Football coach

I was a wimp for three years.  I was a coach for twelve more after that.  Add it up and I spent fifteen years in sales leadership at a Fortune 50 company.  Not surprisingly, my success as a leader came in those final twelve years.  I realized, with the help of the people I was leading, that they wanted candor not coddling. Continue Reading…

Culture: What Do Employees Want?

What makes a great place to work?

Would you recommend the company you work for to your best friend? The answer to this question says a lot about the culture of the company.

In the Dallas- Fort Worth Metroplex a survey involving over 82,000 employees and 315 companies asked this question and others to determine which companies were the best places to work in 2014.

Some common themes emerged that can help leaders in private, public, nonprofit or government organizations answer the question: “What do employees want?” Continue Reading…

Six Reasons I Like Humble People

What's Not To Like?

The world is full of self-important, self-absorbed, and self-promoting people.  I prefer humble people.  They are truly a breath of fresh air when I meet them.

Humility seems to be a virtue that is losing ground in today’s world.  Humble people do not make for good TV.  The media prefers to make the bold and the brash the lead story.  These are the people who make the headlines.

The bravado superstars show on Sportscenter or CEO’s demonstrate on MSNBC or Fox News makes for good ratings.  I just don’t think it makes for very good people. Continue Reading…

Three Traits Veterans Bring To The Workplace

Leadership-Duty-Adaptability?  Hire A Vet!

Leadership – Duty – Adaptability. These are three traits that make veterans great hires. The business world may call them Management Experience – Accountability – Problem-Solving.

Many who have not served do not understand the experience veterans have beyond what they see in the media and/or from Hollywood. Veterans need to get better at discussing how Leadership – Duty – Adaptability make them invaluable to an employer. Continue Reading…

Values – What Do You Stand For?

What do you stand for?

Why doesn’t my team act like a team? Why am I always dealing with politics, bad attitudes, and distrust among team members? Why haven’t we come close to reaching our potential?

I am always putting out fires. I never seem to have time to focus on bigger issues. The day-to-day tyranny of the urgent seems to overwhelm the more important strategic initiatives I always intend to focus on.

These soul-searching questions summarize what I see a lot of leaders struggling with in their organizations. This is when I like to ask them – “What do you stand for? And does your team know what you stand for?” Continue Reading…

Should Loyalty Trump Integrity

Which Is The Trump Card?

Loyalty and integrity are two character traits I think we all desire in ourselves and in others.  I like loyal people.  They are friends and co-workers I know I can depend on.  It does not matter how bad the situation may be.  I know I can count on the loyal people in my life.

I like people of integrity as well.  I like knowing I never have to question their words, actions, or motives.  What you see is what you get.  Their integrity makes trusting them easy.

But should loyalty ever trump integrity?  Is there a time when that is appropriate? Continue Reading…

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