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.

My Leadership – Their Lives

A Leader's Impact

75% of a person’s waking hours are spent on work – Getting to and from work.  Thinking about work.  Actually working in their job.

I heard this statistic last week and started thinking about what an awesome responsibility we have as leaders.

My leadership at work has huge implications for the lives of my people.  Not just their work lives, but also their home lives. Continue Reading…

The Often Ignored Key To Getting Promoted

The Key To Promotion

“I want to do your job someday Dave. Will you show me how to get there?”   I loved the ambition and drive Dorothy showed with that statement. But like others before her, she had no clue what the most critical thing she needed to accomplish was before she became promotable.

I had just offered her an advanced position that was one level below management.  She wanted to know about her next promotion. I asked her what steps she thought would make her a great candidate for the next level. Her answers were typical, and they were misguided. Continue Reading…

Being Good Sometimes – Is Not Good Enough

Don't Be Surprised

Should someone continue to pay me for doing part of my job? I have encountered people who think that doing a good job in parts of their work is enough to expect continued employment and in some cases promotions.

Here are some examples:

  • A nurse who is strong clinically, but consistently fails to correctly document things in patient charts.
  • A salesperson who knows his products and competitor products inside and out, but creates very few strong client relationships.
  • A middle manager who always gets reports in on time, but does not coach or develop individuals on her team.

Continue Reading…

Three Reasons Servants Are Happier People

Servants Are Happier

There is a woman I know who does nothing but serves others. Every time I see her, she is helping or offering to help others. I am amazed at her energy and her constant giving. She is always in a good mood!

Who are the biggest servants you know? I am talking about the people who never stop giving of themselves. They may be leaders with a title. They may be someone without a title. Picture them in your mind.

Now I ask you, how often have you seen that person have a bad attitude or even a bad day? Continue Reading…

When High Performance Is Not Enough

Who cares if he's good!

“He’s doing the job. In fact, he is meeting every performance goal we have for him. But….” It’s what comes after the “But” that can drive leaders crazy and cause sleepless nights.

Unfortunately, many leaders will put up with what comes after the “But” because the performance metrics are being met. It is a tough call for a leader to fire a high performer. It takes conviction and courage to make this decision. But, it is necessary. Continue Reading…

Why I Fired My Entire Team

Speak Up!  Please!

It was one of those meetings. Every time I brought up an issue or an idea, all I got was blank stares or nodding heads. Every time I tried to illicit feedback from my team, I felt as if I were pulling teeth. All I heard was crickets.

When I finally had enough, I looked at my high performing team and said, “You’re all fired!” There was a nervous laugh until they saw my face. I had a stone cold look I learned when I was in the Army.  The laughing stopped. Continue Reading…

West Point’s Prayer for Leaders on July 4

cadet-chapel-at-west-point

Thirty years ago this week, I entered the United States Military Academy at West Point as part of the Class of 1988.  This week the Class of 2018 began their journey as part of the “Long Gray Line”.

In honor of Independence Day and the men and women who serve so we can have the freedoms to speak and to pray as we see fit, I am publishing The West Point Cadet Prayer.

Before you read it, ask yourself: “What challenge does this prayer offer me?” Whether you are a person of faith or not, I think you will find a challenge meant for you.

Continue Reading…

Video: The Courage To Lead

Last month, I spoke to over 700 people about the role of courage in leadership.  I had 10 minutes to speak.

Courage goes beyond the physical courage displayed by our soldiers on the battlefield.  Moral courage is needed from leaders in the hallways and boardrooms of businesses and non-profits as well.

Click on the image below to see and hear what I had to say to that audience.

2014 Leaderscast Screenshot

 

Question:

How else do leaders display moral courage in the workplace?

Wisdom Versus Intelligence

Wisdom or Just Intelligence

I knew some brilliant people in high school.  They made good grades and graduated without even trying.  They went to good colleges and got impressive degrees.

I also knew some people in high school who struggled with grades.  Try as they might, they fought to make it to graduation day.  Some went to community college and then finished their bachelor’s degree at another local school with unimpressive grades.

Today, I see success and failure in both the brilliant and the average.  The difference between success and failure is often wisdom.  I’ll take wisdom over intelligence every day. Continue Reading…

I Am An Optimist Except About Pessimists

Half-Full or Half-Empty?

I am an optimist. If you have read my blogs in the past, you know this. Few people follow pessimists anywhere. Pessimists usually keep themselves and those around them from making any progress or experiencing growth.

I understand that past experiences may cause some people to be pessimists. But I do believe being an optimist or a pessimist is a choice. That choice will often determine the quality of a person’s life and their impact on the lives of others. Continue Reading…

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