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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Book Review: Love Works

It's A Verb Not A Feeling

Love Works.  Seven Timeless Principles For Effective Leaders by Joel Manby has a title that may turn off some people who believe the words Love and Work should never meet in the workplace.

Joel Manby put his money where his mouth is on CBS’s hit show, Undercover Boss.   He creating a sensation when he exposed his leadership philosophy to the world on TV.  Now, the author has convinced me that by treating Love as verb and not as a feeling, leaders can lead with character and develop a devoted team of followers. Continue Reading…

West Point’s Leadership Legacy – 25 Years Later

A Legacy of Leadership

I just returned from my 25 year West Point reunion.  It was great to be with friends who went through the same trials and tribulations I did in order to graduate from America’s premier leadership development school.

A few quick impressions:

  • Those guys looked old!
  • We aren’t losing our hair.  We are gaining forehead.
  • West Point did an incredible job developing leaders in the Class of 1988!

The purpose of West Point is to produce leaders of character who are prepared to provide selfless service to our Army and the nation.

Continue Reading…

The Difference Between Criticism & Input


“That’s enough Lieutenant Anderson!”

I sat down and stayed quiet for the rest of my battalion commander’s weekly meeting.  I saw the smirk on our operations officer’s face.  As I walked out of the room later, a friendly captain patted me on the back, shook his head and told me not to give up.

Continue Reading…

Daring To Fail Is The Road To Success

Failure?  Your On The Right Road

My baby boy did not begin walking on his first try.  He took a step and fell.  He pulled himself up and tried again, and he fell.  He repeated this over and over until he successfully navigated the family room.

There was no fear in him then, just determination.  Now he runs sprints at practice in high  school football.  In fact, fear of failure did not stop a single one of us from learning to walk or even run. So why are we scared of failure now?  What prevents us from taking risks?  Why don’t we dare to fail? Continue Reading…

West Point: How Leaders Seize Responsibility

Where Excuses Go To Die

“No excuse, sir.”  Of the four approved responses a West Point plebe may use, this one was hardest for me to say.  But, everything we did at West Point had a purpose.

The purpose of teaching 18 year olds not to make excuses actually fulfills West Point’s purpose:  To provide our nation with leaders of character.

A leader of character takes responsibility no matter the circumstances.  A leader of character does not make excuses. 

Continue Reading…

Leaders: 3 Poor Excuses To Say “No”

"No" Is Too Easy

I’ve been that guy.  I wanted everything to run smoothly so I would do as Nancy Reagan did and “Just Say No.”

Years later, in my rearview mirror, I realize by saying “No” too quickly, I damaged my team and the individuals on my team.  I missed opportunities to develop better decision makers and therefore better leaders.

What was it about me as a leader that made me say “No” so quickly?  I usually had 1 of 3 excuses for saying “No” and none of them were good.

Continue Reading…

From Reactive To Proactive To Innovative

Where do you turn?

The truth is many people go through life in the reactive mode.  Others make the leap to proactive.  But, being proactive is not enough in today’s business world.  The special few move beyond proactivity and become innovative.

Where do most individuals and organization land?

  • 60% Reactive Mode = Run To It
  • 35% Proactive Mode = Plan For It
  • 5% Innovative Mode = Have Another Plan

Continue Reading…

My Un-Resume: My Team Lacked REAL Diversity

My Un-Resume

The first team I led had two women, two African American’s and someone of Asian descent.  The other 5 were white males.   Our team picture could have been used as an HR poster for diversity!

I hired most of them because I felt they were of high character and high potential.  Diversity was not part of my decision making process, even though it may have looked like it.  Unfortunately, looks can be deceiving.  That team was not REALLY diverse.  That team was not very good either. Continue Reading…

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…

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