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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Values – What Do You Stand For?

What do you stand for?

Why doesn’t my team act like a team? Why am I always dealing with politics, bad attitudes, and distrust among team members? Why haven’t we come close to reaching our potential?

I am always putting out fires. I never seem to have time to focus on bigger issues. The day-to-day tyranny of the urgent seems to overwhelm the more important strategic initiatives I always intend to focus on.

These soul-searching questions summarize what I see a lot of leaders struggling with in their organizations. This is when I like to ask them – “What do you stand for? And does your team know what you stand for?” Continue Reading…

Should Loyalty Trump Integrity

Which Is The Trump Card?

Loyalty and integrity are two character traits I think we all desire in ourselves and in others.  I like loyal people.  They are friends and co-workers I know I can depend on.  It does not matter how bad the situation may be.  I know I can count on the loyal people in my life.

I like people of integrity as well.  I like knowing I never have to question their words, actions, or motives.  What you see is what you get.  Their integrity makes trusting them easy.

But should loyalty ever trump integrity?  Is there a time when that is appropriate? Continue Reading…

Failure: The Difference Between An Excuse and A Reason

Excuses Shift Blame

“Making excuses is a bad habit.” Making excuses is a favorite topic of mine when I speak to groups about leadership and character. I am often asked, “Aren’t there legitimate reasons for a failure? Shouldn’t that matter?”

My reply: “Yes. It matters. As long as we know the difference between an excuse and a reason.” Continue Reading…

The Three Checkpoints Before Firing Someone

Should They Stay or Go

“I will do everything I can to help you be as successful as you want to be…right up to the point I realize I am working harder at it than your are.”

I developed this point of view as a result of hanging on to employees for too long. I believe everyone I work with deserves my best. But at times, my desire to help them goes way beyond their desire to improve.

I always use three checkpoints before I make the final decision to fire someone. If these three criteria are met, it is best for everyone – my company, my team, the individual and myself – to fire them. Continue Reading…

Three Times A Leader’s Feelings Are Irrelevant

How you feel doesn't matter.

The team was sure their boss had emotional issues. “He could fly off the handle at any minute! If he doesn’t like you, your life will be hell. He really has a bad temper.”

The leader was losing his team. He called it passion. They called it unpredictable. He did not want to ignore his feelings. They wanted him to be more predictable.

As a leader, there are times when my feelings are irrelevant. I give up the right to be controlled by my emotions when I take on a leadership role.

Continue Reading…

Inspirational Leadership is Risky Business

Risky Business

There was always a lot of talk, but there was rarely any progress. I was worn out at the end of every meeting. The leadership team was stuck. Therefore the whole company was stuck.

Leadership through risk avoidance inspires nobody! If a leader wants to have committed followers, the leader must be willing to take some risks. Otherwise, the whole organization will be stuck in a quagmire of fear and doubt.  Continue Reading…

Cultivating the Team Everyone Wants

What are you cultivating?

Do you want a “me first” team? Do you want a team filled with politics and positioning? Do you want a team that does the minimum necessary? Few of us want a work culture like this.

The word culture is derived from the middle English word cultivation. When I work with teams, I see the results of a leader’s cultivation efforts. The good and the bad cultures are a direct result of the efforts or lack of effort from the leader. Continue Reading…

Duty – Beyond A Job Description

There is more to it than this!

Ask a veteran why they served and you will likely hear the word Duty in the explanation. The concept of Duty still runs deep in military circles.

Many people use the word Duty to describe the list of tasks in a job description. But the idea of Duty goes well beyond a “to do list.” Duty seems to be a forgotten principle outside the military. The concept of Duty needs a revival. Continue Reading…

Three Reasons People Don’t Trust You

Are you trusted?

His team didn’t trust him and Tom was confused. He was a good guy and an award winning salesman prior to being promoted. But, he and his team were not connecting. They liked him just fine. But, they did not trust him.

Trust is not easy. In today’s world, it takes more than just being a good person and being honest. The more I work with leaders (young and old) the more I see this same pattern. People want to be trusted, but they continue to do things that erode trust. Continue Reading…

When A Leader Should Fight A Policy

Leaders fight for what is fair

“Sorry. It’s policy.” This comment may be true, but it can also be a sign of a weak leader. Policies are not perfect – especially personnel policies. Leaders need to be willing to stand up and fight when needed.

Most companies have personnel policies, and the larger the company the more rigid the policies usually are. But, the rigidity of the policy does not always make it right. Continue Reading…

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