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.

Leadership Failures Are Usually Character Failures

Leadership Philosophy

Leadership is a blend of competence and character.

BG (Retired) Jim Anderson, my father, taught me that. In 41 years in the Army, including two tours in Vietnam, he saw a lot of great leaders and a lot of leadership failures that formed his philosophy.

I started this website with this post.  I have learned a lot since then.  Thank you for joining me and contributing.  Every time you comment on a blog, you make me better.  Thank you for that!

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Courage: Leaders of Character Are Not Quiet

Leaders of Character Are Not Quiet

“What leadership book have you ever read that states, ‘A leader does what is right unless it will cost him personally.’”  There was a long pause on the other end of the phone.  It was not the empathetic answer Stan was looking for.  The question: “What can I do?  She’s my boss.”

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Leadership: There’s No App For That

Where's The App For Leadership?

I love my iPhone.  I resisted it for a time.  But now I know I can find just about anything I want at anytime of day, right on my phone.  The iPhone and other smart phones feed right into my need for instant gratification.

Our world allows us to find just about everything with just a few touches of a hand held device.  But, a smart phone cannot make us into leaders.

I cannot become a leader by downloading an app.  That seems obvious as I read this.  But, it is not obvious to many companies and individuals I have encountered. Continue Reading…

Cowardice and Courage for Front Line Leaders

Courage Rock

Cowardice and courage are obvious before and during battle.  In 1991, I witnessed another 1st Lieutenant back out of mission that I later volunteered for as a result of his cowardice.

In another part of the battlefield, I had a friend dismount from his tank and walk his platoon through a minefield while under enemy fire.  That act of courage earned him a Silver Star.  Those examples of cowardice and courage are easy to identify.

But, cowardice and courage in the business world are not always as obvious.  Sometimes they appear in the big moments when others are watching.  At other times they occur when no one is around to see them.

I define courage as acting without regard for perceived or actual personal risk. Continue Reading…

Courage: The Backbone Of Leadership

Courage:  The Backbone Of Leadership

Facing us is the River of Fear, made deep and wide by our hesitations, timidity, doubts, and paralysis.

Courage is rightly esteemed the first of human qualities…because it is the quality which guarantees all others. - Winston Churchill

Other than the words in this paragraph, this entire blog is taken directly from the introduction to a fantastic book I am reading by a fellow West Point graduate, Gus Lee.  Courage:  The Backbone Of Leadership clearly states what I believe about the role of courage in leadership. (Click on the title above to read more on about this book). Continue Reading…

Compliant Vs. Committed Teams

Committed Teams Beat Compliant Teams

My last 5 years leading sales teams I noticed a shift in our corporate culture. Because of increased regulations corporate compliance became a mantra throughout the organization.

Playing within the rules is a given in business. But, the increased communication around compliance had a negative side effect. Compliance became a goal in and of itself. The implication was that if I had a compliant team, I was a successful leader.

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4 Ways To Lead Without The Title

If Not You, They Who?

Titles mean something.  Team Leader, Manager, Supervisor, Vice-President- they are all titles bestowed on those who are called by an organization to lead.  They have the official duties and responsibilities that go with the title.

John Maxwell says leadership is influence.  If that is true, are the people with the titles the only ones called to lead?  No.  The title gives them some positional authority, but leaders are needed at every level of an organization. Continue Reading…

My Un-Resume: Arrogance with Good Intentions

My Un-Resume

“You are one of my projects.  I want to help you and teach you some of the things I’ve learned the hard way.”  Mitchel took a drink of his beer, looked at me, nodded and thanked me.

I had just transferred to a new geography. Mitchel and I were peers.  The only difference was I had been in leadership in our company for 5 years and Mitchel had recently been promoted.  I knew he and I would work well together and become fast friends.

I was right…and wrong. Continue Reading…

Preparing to Leave My Job

What's Next?

Recently, I spoke with a friend who decided he needed a change.  He has been very successful in his industry for more than a decade.  But, what was once a passion has become a J. O. B.

Statistics show he is not alone.  Gallup’s engagement data tells us that 70% of American’s are disengaged at work.  Further, other recent data shows that 60% of employees plan to pursue a new job when the economy improves.

In 2011, I stepped away from a 20 year career and began a new life.  There are two questions I recommend you answer before you leave a decent job. Continue Reading…

Leaders – Know Thyself

Know Thyself

Self-awareness sounds like some new age, kumbaya, talk show topic.  As an aspiring man’s man, my low sensitivity level has not always allowed me to consider things like self-awareness.  But, obviously I have or I would not have been able to write that last sentence…

Self-awareness is a critical element for the success of a leader.  As a leader, if I do not recognize who I am and how I affect other people, I will never reach my potential. Continue Reading…

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