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.

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…

Business Myths About Military Leaders – Myth #1

Military Leadership Myths

I blame the movie Patton.  In today’s business world, people assume autocratic, top down leadership prevails in our military and that military leaders are not prepared for the less rigid world of business leadership.  This is a myth!

Just like all civilian business leaders are not like Michael Douglas in Wall Street, all military officers are not like George C. Scott in Patton.  Many business leaders without a military background have bought into the way Hollywood portrays military officers.  Continue Reading…

I Should Have Hired Jeff!

Can I Still Call Jeff?

He sat across from me for 90 minutes.  He demonstrated drive, humility, sales skills, and the character I love to hire.  The problem was his background.  I was hiring for a high-end medical sales position.  But, he was selling dumpster pick-up service to restaurants.  I really liked Jeff.  But I hired someone else because Jeff didn’t fit the mold.  I made the wrong decision.

Continue Reading…

Buzzword Defined (Part 2): Integrity

'Integrity' highlighted in green

There is a lot of discussion of the word integrity in business books, in politics, in universities…in every walk of life.  I read about it all the time.  But, my father, General Jim Anderson, the former Master of the Sword at West Point, taught me more about integrity than any other source.  He says:

INTEGRITY requires three steps:

  1. Discerning what is right and wrong.
  2. Acting on what you have discerned, even at personal cost.
  3. Saying openly that you are acting on your understanding of right and wrong.

Continue Reading…

Execution? I’m for it!

I'm For Execution!

“What do you think of your team’s execution?” Coach John McKay was asked.  “I’m for it!”  McKay replied.  The expansion Tampa Bay Buccaneers finished that season winless and McKay captured the hearts of coaches everywhere with that comment.

Whether it is in sports or in business, leaders often spend endless hours preparing strategies to insure success, only to see those plans fail due to poor execution.  Whose fault is it?  Is it the players’ fault?  Is it the leaders’ fault? Continue Reading…

Choosing Fear or Convenience Over Candor

Speak Up!

I agreed to talk to the boss.  Three of my peers approached me about a sales campaign that they thought missed the mark.  It was our boss’s idea, but it wasn’t a good one.

Over time, I became the person my peers came to when someone needed to confront our boss.  I accepted that role and felt comfortable doing it.  I just wish my peers would have spoken directly to our boss themselves instead of going through me. Continue Reading…

A Great Masseuse Is Like A Great Leader

A Leadership Analogy

I took a week long vacation recently in Puerto Rico.  I got a massage while I was there.  As I was lying on the table during my session, I realized the therapist was really not doing a good job.

I longed for the person who I use close to home.  She does a great job.  She knows my problem areas and gets after them.  The guy who was working on me in Puerto Rico was just not cutting it.

The guy in Puerto Rico worked like an average manager.  My favorite masseuse at home works like a great leader. Continue Reading…

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