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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Small Tests Of A Leader’s Character

Oxymoron:  Small Character Tests

Small Test = “This is not a big deal.”

In a nutshell:  There are no small decisions when my character is involved.

For a leader, the magnitude of the decision should not determine my approach. If my moral compass is involved, then the decision is a big deal.  Too many times we make decisions based on our immediate perception of their impact. Continue Reading…

You Can Be An Unethical Rule Follower

Intent to Deceive?

I pushed the limits as a cadet at West Point. I marched well over 100 hours of punishment tours during my four years in school. There were a lot of ways to get in trouble, and a lot of rules to tell us what not to do.

Every violation of the rules at West Point had a title that described the offense. The most unique title for a violation of the rules was “Gross Lack of Judgment.” Basically it was a catch all phrase that meant a cadet did something that no one had anticipated needing to create a rule to prevent! Continue Reading…

The Essential Element to Having Influence

The Key To Influence

Tim was not the leader type. I made that judgment early in our work relationship. He was reserved and a little nerdy. He was not someone who attracted a lot of attention. I soon found out I was dead wrong about Tim’s ability to lead.

The key to leadership is influence. Tim wielded incredible influence within our team and with his customers. But, what is the key to influence? Some people might say it is charisma or power. However, Tim did not have either of these. Continue Reading…

West Point’s Eleven Principles of Leadership – Rewritten

Parade

One of the best books I ever read on leadership was John Maxwell’s 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership.  In fact, I recently gave a copy to a young man who just graduated from high school as a gift.

28 years ago, I was a recent high school graduate as well.  I was a brand new cadet at West Point.  I was handed the plebe handbook called Bugle NotesContinue Reading…

Management Training or Leadership Development

Is It Training or Development?

When Human Resources took over leadership training, I didn’t immediately notice a change.  In fact, I felt the leadership development department initially did a good job making the classes more specific to my job than the consultants they had hired in the past.

But over time, a shift occurred.  Leadership development became more about how not to get the company in trouble and not about developing the leader.  As a result, experienced leaders became ambivalent to training and younger leaders became HR processes experts. Continue Reading…

2015 Goal Setting – A Simple Model

Qualify Your Brainstorming Ideas

What are my priorities for 2015? What accounts and what goals should I focus my efforts on? The time is now to ask these questions. Do not wait until after the holidays.

I sat in many, many strategy sessions for individuals, small teams and large organizations. They can be a beat down or very productive and energizing.

Somewhere along the way I picked up a tool that helped me clear through the clutter of brainstorming sessions and simplified my action planning. Continue Reading…

Three Decisions That Destroy Comfort Zones and Mediocrity

Comfort Zones Create Mediocrity

“If you want to accomplish something you have never accomplished before you must start doing things you have never done before.” Those words hit me hard a few years ago. The truth is:

Your Comfort Zone is Also Your Mediocrity Zone

If you want to be average – if you want to be the same person in five years that you are today, then stay in your comfort zone. That was what I was doing. I never set out to be mediocre, but I was heading towards it at the end of my corporate career. Continue Reading…

The Confident Leader Vs. The Arrogant Leader

When The Arrogant Lead

Martin’s reputation for arrogance preceded him. He was assigned to our leadership team whether we wanted him to be there or not.

I decided to ignore his reputation and form my own opinions about Martin. I never tried harder to like someone in my entire life.   Unfortunately, the rumors about Martin were accurate.

Confidence is a desirable trait in a leader. But Martin was not confident. He was flat out arrogant. Continue Reading…

Leadership Video: Habits Form Character

What is the definition of character?

Character is our habitual way of operating.

HOW we are is WHO we are.

 

Our character is ultimately determined by our habits.  If I am in the habit of doing what is moral and right, I am a person of high character.  If I am in the habit of cutting corners, telling “small lies”, or any other morally questionable act, that is who I am as well.

This video is a clip from a training session on leadership I did for a group of salespeople.  It is only a few minutes long.  Take the time to watch it and see how your habits stack up towards forming your character.

Question:

How do the words you hear me speak cause you to evaluate your habits?  Do you see changes you can make at work or at home?  Do you see a path to teaching your kids about character?

 

Wanted: Coaches—Wimps Need Not Apply

Football coach

I was a wimp for three years.  I was a coach for twelve more after that.  Add it up and I spent fifteen years in sales leadership at a Fortune 50 company.  Not surprisingly, my success as a leader came in those final twelve years.  I realized, with the help of the people I was leading, that they wanted candor not coddling. Continue Reading…

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