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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The Integrity Ripple Effect

The Integrity Ripple Effect

Temptation hits me everyday.  I am tempted by a lot of things I wish I wasn’t:  French fries, Buffalo wings, the SI Swimsuit issue, naps, and sarcasm are just a few.  This is just a sub-set of a much larger list.

But the most insidious temptation in my life is lying.  What I used to call fibs, white lies, or exaggerations are truly the hardest temptations to beat.  Continue Reading…

My Un-Resume: I Didn’t Call HR

My Un-Resume

It was nuts!  I had all the documentation and evidence I needed to fire her, but I was being investigated! She claimed I created an unfair work environment.

This woman skipped work and lied repeatedly.  I got reports of her sleeping with some customers and unprofessional behavior with others.

Her actions created a schism within my team.  I had multiple reasons to fire her, but I was being investigated! Continue Reading…

Leadership In The Gates Of Fire

Leonidas, King of Sparta

He was tearing up!  I hadn’t signed up for this type of seminar.  This was not some new age self-actualization guru speaking to us. This guy was a Navy SEAL!

You could hear the words get caught in his throat and see his eyes fill as he read to the audience.  Everyone in the audience listened intently to the words he read as his emotions took over. This guy was a Navy SEAL!

This was the final speaker at the Chick Fil A Leadercast in May.  He was closing the conference for speakers like John Maxwell, Condeleezza Rice and Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski.  This guy had a tear running down his cheek.  But, I didn’t care.  This guy was a Navy SEAL!

Continue Reading…

Hire and Fire For Values – Part 2

Fire For Values

It takes a lot of work to fire someone these days.  Our friends in the legal profession have made the process of firing employees incredibly time consuming.  For some leaders, this process is a disincentive for doing the right thing.

When a leader  allows a low performer to stay, that leader is failing.  In the same way a leader who keeps a person who displays disdain for the organization’s values due to this legal disincentive is failing as well.

Hiring For Values (previous blog) is a critical first step for leaders who believe in the values they claim.  An equally important step is being willing to Fire For Values as well. Continue Reading…

Hire and Fire For Values – Part 1

Fire For Values

Why does one person get hired over another?  Why does one person get fired over another?  Performance is a good reason.  Values are an even better reason.

A hypocrite is someone who says one thing but does another.  Therefore an organization that claims values that they do not demonstrate is hypocritical and so is its leader.

One way to demonstrate the importance the leader places on the organizational values is to have the courage to hire and fire people based on the leader’s proclaimed values.  Today, Part 1 focuses on Hiring For Values. Continue Reading…

Private Tests Of A Leader’s Character

Private Tests Of Character

Private Tests = “No one is going to get hurt.”

In a nutshell:  “Your character is who you are when no one is watching.” We can all justify our choices by saying others won’t get hurt.  But we all know there can be collateral damage to others when a leader makes a poor, private choice.

However, I want to focus on the character implications of these private battles we face. The definition of character I use is:  Character is our habitual way of operating.  In other words, HOW I AM IS WHO I AM. Continue Reading…

Four Keys To Training Decision-Making

Decisions - Decisions

He was a good military officer and is still a good friend.  He is now in a sales job that does not have a leadership title, but he is developing people where he is.  I recently asked him what he was doing that made him so successful.

His response was simple:  “I try to help them make good decisions.”  He spent his time training people how to think.  Because the people around him made better decisions, they were getting promoted.  Could it be that simple? Continue Reading…

Business Myths About Military Leaders – Myth #2

Military Leadership Myths

“Anderson!  You have to be like Gumby!  Come up with a new plan and do it quick or your men will die!”  These words echoed through the woods as I stood confused during my first attempt leading an infantry squad during Cadet Basic Training at West Point.

The staff sergeant wasn’t going to allow me to implement my plan when the circumstances had changed.  It was a lesson I would be taught often as a cadet and as a young officer.

Attention Business Leaders: You have to be flexible to lead in the military. Continue Reading…

4 Naïve Assumptions Of New Leaders

I Was Naive

I couldn’t wait to be promoted.  I knew all the things I wanted to accomplish.  I was also looking forward to the perks of leadership.  In the Army we used to say, “Rank Has It’s Privileges (RHIP).”

But, years later, I realized that these sentiments were naive.  They seem real to someone who has not held a position of leadership.  But, once I earned that promotion, I learned that my assumptions were far from reality.

Continue Reading…

My Un-Resume: My Agenda vs. Their Needs

When Is It Time To Throw Out The Agenda?

I powered through my agenda for the meeting.  The meeting addressed everything I felt was important to cover from my vantage point.  I walked out satisfied and fulfilled.

The problem was I was the only one feeling that way.  From the team’s perspective, the meeting left too many issues unaddressed.  They left more frustrated than when the meeting started.  I had failed my team. Continue Reading…

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