Dave Anderson - Leadership Speaking, Development, Consulting, and Training

I'm Dave Anderson, a leadership speaker, trainer and consultant. I help business leaders build a culture of character, courage, accountability and trust. As a West Point graduate who spent 20 years in leadership at a Fortune 50 company, my goal is to have IMPACT on you and your team.
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Leadership Depends On Character

Leadership Philosophy

I believe leadership is inherently a positive term.  Some well known experts whom I respect define leadership as influence, or influence towards a common objective.  However, I believe these definitions do not go far enough.

In my mind, being a leader is a positive statement.  There is a moral component to leadership.  Leadership is not simply about influence.  If I convince someone to perform immoral acts, I am influencing them, but I am not a leader. Therefore. I do not use the word leadership when discussing historical figures like Adolf Hitler or Joseph Stalin.   Continue Reading…

3 Words That Prove I Own My Actions

Who Owns It!

Ownership or excuses.  One is the mark of a leader.  The other is a sign that I am bound for mediocrity and failure.  In the long run, people who make excuses stall out.

Making excuses is a habit.  I wrote about how West Point deals with this habit in West Point:  How Leaders Seize Accountability.  But what are the results for me if I habitually make excuses?

Continue Reading…

Contracts Versus Covenants – In Business, In Life

Covenants Depend On Me Alone

“If you do this, then I will do that.”  This is the basic language in most contracts. The problem with contracts is that if one party does not comply, then the other party is not obligated to comply either.

I call this a problem because a lot of people consider all their relationships contractual ones.  “If you do this, then I will do that.”  This type of arrangement rarely makes for strong or lasting business or personal relationships.

A covenant on the other hand states, “I will do this.”  Period.  End of story.  Regardless of what you do.   What if we treated our business relationships and our personal relationships as covenants instead of contracts?  Continue Reading…

Hire – Work Ethic, Humility, Integrity, Maturity

Hiring Character

Skilled workers are available.  In this economy, there is always someone available who can do the job.  Skill and competencies are not hard to find or to hire.

Character is a different story.  As I have worked with oil and gas companies, large integrated medical systems, large regional banks and Fortune 50 companies, I see the same pattern repeated over and over again.  We hire skilled people that we end up firing for character issues.  Continue Reading…

My Un-Resume: I Failed My Team

My Un-Resume

My un-resume is my list of screw-ups.  They are things I am not proud of.

Periodically I share my un-resume with the world.  Most people who speak and consult on leadership are sure to present their successes to their clients.  I’m doing something different.

Yes, I’ve had success through the years and received awards and recognition as a result.  But rarely did my successes teach me as much as my failures.  Rest assured, I’ve had plenty of opportunity to learn!

Continue Reading…

Three Things That Kill A Good Idea

Idea Killer

The death of a good idea is a tragedy.  Many individuals bring forward great ideas only to see them assaulted by three different assassins.

I have watched the assaults and done nothing.  Yet, I wondered why my team was stagnating and not moving forward.  I was asleep at the wheel.

These assassins were individuals, groups and/or processes.  All three were the result of an inattentive leader-me.  But once I learned how to identify these assassins, I was able to save some great ideas from the clutches of death. Continue Reading…

Teamwork: What Good Looks Like

What's Good Look Like

Values, values everywhere.  Every company seems to have a list of values they claim to be important.  Most of the time those values are a list of words on a website or a poster.  Integrity, Service,  and Teamwork are among some of the most common values companies claim.

But, we all know that just because a company or an individual claims a value, it does not mean they live by that value.  The values a company demonstrates truly is the character of that organization.

What does integrity look like in practice?  What does service look like in practice?  What does teamwork look like in practice? Continue Reading…

Bad Character Habits Become Addictions

What am I addicted to?

Lying, cheating, and cowardice, are all habits that can become addictions in the same way smoking, drinking, pornography and drugs can become addictions.

I have often used the latter to explain how our character habits are formed.  But last week I heard Pete Hinojosa (www.petehinojosa.com) speak on leading and coaching people.  As he discussed a leader’s role in affecting the beliefs of his people he defined addiction:

An addiction is a compulsive belief or behavior that brings short-term benefit but creates long-term problems.  Continue Reading…

One Thing That Kills Trust

"It's my fault."

Who do I trust? And why do I trust them?  There are a lot of things that play a role in whom I trust.

Integrity, consistency, and reliability are just a few.  I trust people who display these attributes – most of the time.  However, even the most honest, consistent and reliable person will lose my trust if they are arrogant.

Humility inspires trust.  Arrogance creates doubt.

Doubt kills trust. Continue Reading…

Five Battles Between Fear and Character

Fear or Character - Strength Comes From Exercising

There is a war that rages inside most of us.  The combatants are Fear and Character.  The weapons used in this war are our hearts and our heads.

In my case, like in most wars, my character wins some of the battles and my fear wins some.  But, which one will win the war?

The winner will be the one that is strongest most prepared and most determined to win each battle. Continue Reading…

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