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GUEST COLUMN: Famous Dave on Leadership from the Heart

Editor's Note: This article is by "Famous" Dave Anderson and was posted on Facebook in October 2023.


This weekend our family hosted a Leadership From The Heart workshop. This incredible life changing leadership training program is led by our son James who has been recognized as one of the top personal development trainers in America by his peers. This workshop was put on by the parent company of Famous Daves, Granite City, Village Inns and Baker Square. This workshop is unlike any other training program as it unleashes the seeds of greatness within each person. Its not about success more than it about discovering the untapped potential already there.


James Anderson leads the workshop

As I witnessed the group’s dynamics, I thought of my own journey of discovery and how I started from very humble beginnings and had to overcome many hardships and adversities which I’ve come to understand “I was totally responsible for everything good & bad that has happened in my life!”—sometimes a very tough pill to swallow. But this made me think about how I used to think & behave as a youth and through non-stop studying, learning, and experiencing all that life has thrown at me I have come to understand the following:


When I was younger I craved “I am OK” recognition by my peers—and I say “peers” because the recognition I craved wasn’t necessarily from just my friends because I really wanted “the cool kids” to think I was OK even though in my own mind I could never be “cool.” In my youth it was all about “me”—I wanted to be happy. I wanted stuff that I couldn’t afford. I wanted others to love me. I wanted to belong. In my youth (age often has nothing to do with “youthful” thinking) I often said—“Listen to me!” In my youth, I often wished for everyone to—“Look at me!” When I failed, I always had reasons why I failed and made mistakes and almost always it wasn’t my fault. And I wondered—“Why is life so hard on me?”


Everything changed the day I took 100% responsibility for myself. Everything changed the day I realized it’s not about “me” or “my” happiness—BUT it is all about “others” and how I can be a positive difference in the lives of others! The day I started living in obsessive devotion to help others be happy is when I started to discover that magical things started to happen in my life.


In my maturity I now say—“tell me more!” In my maturity I now say—“Wow look at you!” The more I listen to what makes others tick and what’s important to them—the more I can give my best to help them realize their own greatest potential. Helping others discover their untapped potential is the key to creating “HOPE” and when people have hope for a better future that is when the magic happens. The greatest gift we can give others is Hope!

Today, I have learned that Leadership isn’t about me—more than it is how I can help all those around me stand in the sunshine! In order to be good at this I have to be totally focused “on them!”


In my maturity I now understand I am nothing more than a servant to help others find happiness. I work really hard to be the best so that others find happiness & joy eating my food. I work really hard to create fun restaurants that give unlimited opportunity to my employees.


Something to think about—if your life is filled with desperation, angst, and frustration. Think about where & what your mind is focused on. If your mind is filled with all that is going wrong in “Your Life” –than you need to start refocusing your mind to figuring out how you can make others happy! Yes this is tough when the world seems like it is caving in on you but that is because its been all about “You.” There is something magical that happens in God’s Great Universe when you help others first—you will find doors of opportunity springing open. You will discover people with resources reaching out to you. You will find that others will be going out of their way to help you. BUT this will never happen when you are lost in “you.”


The secret to success in life is found in Philippians 2:3 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility value others more than yourselves. I Corinthians 10:24 Let no one seek his own good, but the good of his neighbor. John 15:13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. John 13:34 A new command I give you: Love one another—


Do you want to see what's possible? Put ALL YOUR ENERGY into this and then watch out!!!


My whole purpose in life is just to make you happy! “Famous Dave”

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