Character Based Leadership Development, Consulting, and Training.

I'm Dave Anderson, President of Anderson Leadership Solutions based in Tyler, TX.  I am not an academic spouting leadership theories.  I learned my lessons in the trenches at West Point, in the Army and during 20 years at a Fortune 50 company.  The solutions I provide are practical and applicable.  Why Leadership Development? Because developing leaders transcends business.  If I help someone become a better leader at work, they become better husbands/fathers, wives/mothers and better in their ministries, volunteer work and communities.  No other business focused training impacts our society like leadership development.   This site includes blogs, videos, MP3 audio files and many other resources for those of you who want to grow as leaders.   I will also have online training options coming in the near future.

Leaders – Who Sets The Standards?

Where The Standard Is Set

My boss had some pretty high standards.  In fact, he often bragged that his standards were higher than those of his peers.

When I came onto the team, I liked his approach.  I truly believed that a leader who set high standards got more out of people and had better teams.  I was wrong, and he was wrong.  Continue Reading…

Focus Requires Elimination

Diffusion of Effort versus Focus

If everything is a priority then nothing is. I sat in hundreds of meetings in the twenty years I spent in the corporate world where we discussed our need to focus.

The irony is we developed new areas for focus at each meeting, but we never eliminated a thing from our to do list. We just kept adding and adding and adding….

Mr. Miagi told young Daniel to “Focus, Danielson.  Focus.”  I heard it and believed!  But the question that The Karate Kid did not answer was – How? Continue Reading…

Why Do You Want To Be The Leader

Thoughtful man in the living room

“Dave, my goal is to do your job someday.” Debbie confidently stated.

My response was one word:  “Why?”

Too many people look at moving into leadership and moving up the chain of command as the definition of success at work.  I wanted to be clear to Debbie that climbing the career ladder for climbing sake is not success!

Continue Reading…

Painful Tests Of A Leader’s Character

This Is Going To Hurt

Painful Tests = “Someone is going to get hurt.”

In a nutshell:  Inflicting pain on myself or someone else is a test of character and courage.

There are some decisions I make in leadership, I know are going to hurt.   They may hurt me, or they may hurt others.  In these situations, it may not be my integrity being tested. It is most likely my courage.

Continue Reading…

7 Habits Of A Highly Stagnant People

Am I Stagnant Or Moving?

“I am the same person I was last year.”  15 years ago, I realized that statement was a dubious accomplishment.  Twelve months had gone by, and I had little to show for it.  I hadn’t moved forward.  I was stagnant.

Characteristics of a Stagnant Pond:

  • It has nothing flowing in or out.
  • It becomes overgrown with algae.
  • It becomes poison.
  • It stinks.
  • It is abandoned.

Continue Reading…

My Un-resume: I Treated Everyone Equally

My Un-Resume

As a leader, one of my biggest mistakes was believing I should treat everyone equally.  This is a societal fallacy that has moved into HR driven management training.  In fact, treating people equally is management not leadership.

Treating all people equally is a management strategy that is meant to prevent litigation.  It is a strategy that has little to do with driving productivity, developing leaders, or motivating employees.

As I strived to build Low Maintenance Teams in a bureaucratic organization characterized by equal treatment for all, I would often tell my people, “I will treat you all fairly, but I will not treat you equally.”

Continue Reading…

3 Keys To Good Advice

Who Do I Listen To?

It was another day at work with Janet.  She was once again telling me about her problems with her boyfriend.  In my mind, she needed to ditch this loser.

I was confident he was lying to her, cheating on her, and was not the guy she should commit to any longer.  But, her friends were advising her differently.

Me:  “Who are these friends?”

Janet:  “My girlfriends from the gym who I hang out with after work.”

Me:  “Are any of them married?”

Janet:  “No, why?”

Me:  “Seek advice from people who are where you want to be.  Not from people who are where you are.”

Continue Reading…

Mistake Proof Equals Growth Proof

Growth Prevention

All real growth comes from mistakes.  My son did not go from crawling to running a few months later without falling down.  When he learned to walk, he fell after one step and got back up.  He fell after 2 steps and got back up again.  This pattern continued until he was running full speed through hallways of our home.

Every kid learns to walk in close to the same way.  They fail, fail, and fail again until success finally comes.  They are not afraid of mistakes.  But something changes in us as we age.  Our willingness to fail in order to get what we desire wanes.  Fear of making a mistake takes over and we stop growing.

I often say that a tree that stops growing, starts dying.  It is the same with an individual or an organization.  Yet I see people trying to mistake proof their lives or their companies and they wonder why they feel like stuck where they are.

Continue Reading…

Leaders: Be Memorable

The Rule Of Seven

Too often as a leader, I think my job is to educate those I lead.  Honestly, if I step back and look at most of my coaching and mentoring of others, I am not telling people anything they haven’t heard before.

“People need to be reminded more often than they need to be instructed.” -Samuel Johnson

This quote tells me that as a leader, I need to be the chief reminder not the not the font of all worldly knowledge!  True learning doesn’t happen because I flood my mind or the minds of others with information.

Continue Reading…

Courage: Confrontation Can Heal Wounds


As a parent, I always want to clean and bandage a cut on my children to avoid infection and promote quick healing.  I know wounds left to themselves can cause serious problems to the health of my children.

Issues at work, within a friendship or at home that are left alone can be dangerous as well.  But if that is the case, why do I avoid attending to these wounds?  It is because I do not see confrontation as part of healing.  But, confrontation done well can heal wounds!

Continue Reading…

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