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.

3 Words That Prove I Own My Actions

Who Owns It!

Ownership or excuses.  One is the mark of a leader.  The other is a sign that I am bound for mediocrity and failure.  In the long run, people who make excuses stall out.

Making excuses is a habit.  I wrote about how West Point deals with this habit in West Point:  How Leaders Seize Accountability.  But what are the results for me if I habitually make excuses?

Previously posted in December 2012.

Continue Reading…

Contracts Versus Covenants – In Business, In Life

Covenants Depend On Me Alone

“If you do this, then I will do that.”  This is the basic language in most contracts. The problem with contracts is that if one party does not comply, then the other party is not obligated to comply either.

I call this a problem because a lot of people consider all their relationships contractual ones.  “If you do this, then I will do that.”  This type of arrangement rarely makes for strong or lasting business or personal relationships.

A covenant on the other hand states, “I will do this.”  Period.  End of story.  Regardless of what you do.   What if we treated our business relationships and our personal relationships as covenants instead of contracts?  Continue Reading…

Hire – Work Ethic, Humility, Integrity, Maturity

Hiring Character

Skilled workers are available.  In this economy, there is always someone available who can do the job.  Skill and competencies are not hard to find or to hire.

Character is a different story.  As I have worked with oil and gas companies, large integrated medical systems, large regional banks and Fortune 50 companies, I see the same pattern repeated over and over again.  We hire skilled people that we end up firing for character issues.  Continue Reading…

When Is It Right To Quit The Fight

Why am I still fighting?

It was a good old knock down, drag out fight.  We had chosen our sides and were all vehemently sure of our positions.

In Patrick Lencioni’s The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, he expends 20% of his thesis on the need for healthy conflict on a team.  He says, and I believe, that without conflict it is highly unlikely a team is making the best decisions for an organization.

If this is true then by Lencioni’s scorecard, this was going to be a FANTASTIC decision!  But, in the midst of it all, I quietly raised my hand and gave in.  It was right to give up this fight. Continue Reading…

My Un-Resume: I Failed My Team

My Un-Resume

My un-resume is my list of screw-ups.  They are things I am not proud of.

Periodically I share my un-resume with the world.  Most people who speak and consult on leadership are sure to present their successes to their clients.  I’m doing something different.

Yes, I’ve had success through the years and received awards and recognition as a result.  But rarely did my successes teach me as much as my failures.  Rest assured, I’ve had plenty of opportunity to learn!

Edited since originally posted in April 2012.

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Three Things That Kill A Good Idea

Idea Killer

The death of a good idea is a tragedy.  Many individuals bring forward great ideas only to see them assaulted by three different assassins.

I have watched the assaults and done nothing.  Yet, I wondered why my team was stagnating and not moving forward.  I was asleep at the wheel.

These assassins were individuals, groups and/or processes.  All three were the result of an inattentive leader-me.  But once I learned how to identify these assassins, I was able to save some great ideas from the clutches of death. Continue Reading…

Teamwork: What Good Looks Like

What's Good Look Like

Values, values everywhere.  Every company seems to have a list of values they claim to be important.  Most of the time those values are a list of words on a website or a poster.  Integrity, Service,  and Teamwork are among some of the most common values companies claim.

But, we all know that just because a company or an individual claims a value, it does not mean they live by that value.  The values a company demonstrates truly is the character of that organization.

What does integrity look like in practice?  What does service look like in practice?  What does teamwork look like in practice? Continue Reading…

Bad Character Habits Become Addictions

What am I addicted to?

Lying, cheating, and cowardice, are all habits that can become addictions in the same way smoking, drinking, pornography and drugs can become addictions.

I have often used the latter to explain how our character habits are formed.  But last week I heard Pete Hinojosa (www.petehinojosa.com) speak on leading and coaching people.  As he discussed a leader’s role in affecting the beliefs of his people he defined addiction:

An addiction is a compulsive belief or behavior that brings short-term benefit but creates long-term problems.  Continue Reading…

One Thing That Kills Trust

"It's my fault."

Who do I trust? And why do I trust them?  There are a lot of things that play a role in whom I trust.

Integrity, consistency, and reliability are just a few.  I trust people who display these attributes – most of the time.  However, even the most honest, consistent and reliable person will lose my trust if they are arrogant.

Humility inspires trust.  Arrogance creates doubt.

Doubt kills trust. Continue Reading…

Five Battles Between Fear and Character

Fear or Character - Strength Comes From Exercising

There is a war that rages inside most of us.  The combatants are Fear and Character.  The weapons used in this war are our hearts and our heads.

In my case, like in most wars, my character wins some of the battles and my fear wins some.  But, which one will win the war?

The winner will be the one that is strongest most prepared and most determined to win each battle. Continue Reading…

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