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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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.

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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

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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…

Why Do You Want To Be The Leader

Thoughtful man in the living room

“Dave, my goal is to do your job someday.” Debbie confidently stated.

My response was one word:  “Why?”

Too many people look at moving into leadership and moving up the chain of command as the definition of success at work.  I wanted to be clear to Debbie that climbing the career ladder for climbing sake is not success!

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Painful Tests Of A Leader’s Character

This Is Going To Hurt

Painful Tests = “Someone is going to get hurt.”

In a nutshell:  Inflicting pain on myself or someone else is a test of character and courage.

There are some decisions I make in leadership, I know are going to hurt.   They may hurt me, or they may hurt others.  In these situations, it may not be my integrity being tested. It is most likely my courage.

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7 Habits Of A Highly Stagnant People

Am I Stagnant Or Moving?

“I am the same person I was last year.”  15 years ago, I realized that statement was a dubious accomplishment.  Twelve months had gone by, and I had little to show for it.  I hadn’t moved forward.  I was stagnant.

Characteristics of a Stagnant Pond:

  • It has nothing flowing in or out.
  • It becomes overgrown with algae.
  • It becomes poison.
  • It stinks.
  • It is abandoned.

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My Un-resume: I Treated Everyone Equally

My Un-Resume

As a leader, one of my biggest mistakes was believing I should treat everyone equally.  This is a societal fallacy that has moved into HR driven management training.  In fact, treating people equally is management not leadership.

Treating all people equally is a management strategy that is meant to prevent litigation.  It is a strategy that has little to do with driving productivity, developing leaders, or motivating employees.

As I strived to build Low Maintenance Teams in a bureaucratic organization characterized by equal treatment for all, I would often tell my people, “I will treat you all fairly, but I will not treat you equally.”

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3 Keys To Good Advice

Who Do I Listen To?

It was another day at work with Janet.  She was once again telling me about her problems with her boyfriend.  In my mind, she needed to ditch this loser.

I was confident he was lying to her, cheating on her, and was not the guy she should commit to any longer.  But, her friends were advising her differently.

Me:  “Who are these friends?”

Janet:  “My girlfriends from the gym who I hang out with after work.”

Me:  “Are any of them married?”

Janet:  “No, why?”

Me:  “Seek advice from people who are where you want to be.  Not from people who are where you are.”

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