1849 – Leadership Development Strategies with Anthony Dicks

In this episode of the Thoughtful Entrepreneur, your host Josh Elledge speaks with the Senior Leadership Consultant of 180 Management Group, Anthony A. Dicks, Jr.

Dicks Wide

Anthony's passion for coaching and transforming organizations is palpable, and he brings knowledge to the table. Anthony's work with 180 Management Group focuses on providing operations management consulting services, particularly to nonprofit clients, where he plays a pivotal role in fostering intentional leadership development.

Anthony explained the evolution of leadership characteristics and the critical need for intentional development. They delved into the idea that leadership is not a static trait but a set of skills and qualities that can be cultivated over time.

Anthony shared his approach to coaching leaders. He stressed the importance of guiding individuals to discover their solutions rather than providing direct answers. This empowers leaders to implement organizational changes effectively. He also highlighted the necessity of having a trusted support system, whether it's a coach, mentor, or peer group, to navigate the inevitable challenges that arise in leadership.

Key Points from the Episode:

  • Anthony Dicks' background as a senior leadership consultant with 180 Management Group
  • Discussion on intentional leadership development and the role of 180 Management Group in providing consulting services
  • Misconceptions about leadership being innate and the need for intentional development
  • The topic of burnout and recognizing signs of fatigue in leadership roles
  • Insights into Anthony's coaching approach and the importance of a trusted support system for leaders
  • Emphasis on guiding leaders to discover their solutions and implementing organizational changes

About Anthony A. Dicks, Jr:

Anthony A. Dicks, Jr. is a seasoned leader with over two decades of experience dedicated to developing emerging leaders across diverse industries. His commitment to leadership development is evident in his role as the Senior Leadership Consultant for 180 Management Group, where he applies his extensive knowledge and skills to optimize leadership potential.

Dicks, Jr. earned a B.S. in Applied Mathematics from North Carolina A&T State University, an MBA from Webster University, and an Executive Certificate in Digital Marketing from Cornell University. His transformative leadership style has garnered praise, with testimonials highlighting his loving and nurturing coaching approach.

Douglas Boyce, Chief Software Architect at P.D. Instore, and Cal Thompson, an award-winning St. Louis businessman with over 30 years of experience, attest to Anthony's exceptional coaching value, clarity, and attention to detail.

About 180 Management Group:

180 Management Group is an operations consulting firm specializing in operational strategy and design, focusing on non-profit organizations. The firm is dedicated to equipping Senior Leaders with essential resources, tools, and support, addressing needs that may be lacking internally.

The primary objective is to assist leaders in constructing efficient organizations, enabling them to navigate at the highest level and successfully fulfill their mission and vision. With a clear emphasis on operational excellence, 180 Management Group seeks to empower leaders by providing the necessary expertise to optimize their organizational structures.

The firm's mission is succinct yet impactful: to support and guide leaders in building and managing effective organizations poised for success in achieving their overarching mission and vision.

Links Mentioned in this Episode:

Want to learn more? Check out 180 Management Group website at

Check out 180 Management Group on LinkedIn at

Check out 180 Management Group on Facebook at

Check out Anthony A. Dicks, Jr on LinkedIn at

Check out Anthony A. Dicks Jr Book: Holy Hardship: How Jesus Turns Your Adversity Into An Advantage at

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Josh (00:00:05) - Hey, thoughtful listener, before we get going. Did you know that my company up my influence? Com has launched more than 200 business podcasts. The host of our shows are amazing leaders and collaborators. Folks, I want to connect you with. Maybe you deserve your moment in the spotlight as a guest of one of these amazing shows. Just go to up my influence. Com where you can see more than 50 shows that are actively seeking business leader guests like you to celebrate right now in front of their high caliber audiences. Just click on the podcast tab and up my influence. Com where you'll see shows like Profit, Powerhouse with Glenn Close, sales negotiations, and business insights. This isn't just another business podcast. It's a deep dive into the strategies that truly drive success. Hosted by Glenn Poulos, a seasoned sales strategist and business growth expert, each episode is packed with insights from top executives and business leaders. If you're a high level executive looking to share your expertise and story, we want you on profit powerhouse.

Josh (00:01:19) - Your experiences could be the exact insights Glenn's audience of ambitious business leaders are craving. And for our listeners, if you're ready to elevate your business acumen and learn from the best in the industry, profit Powerhouse with Glenn Poulos is your go to resource. Subscribe now and join a community of professionals who are transforming the business world. Ready to be a part of something groundbreaking? Visit up my influence and click on the podcast tab to find profit powerhouse. Whether you're looking to be the next guest or just seeking invaluable business wisdom. This is where your journey begins. Again, just go to up my influence. Com and click on the podcast tab. With us right now. Anthony. A junior Anthony, you are a senior leadership consultant with 180 management Group. You're a speaker and you are found on the web at 180 management Anthony, thank you so much for joining us.

Anthony (00:02:26) - Just listen man I'm excited to be a part of this conversation. Thank you for having me on as a guest. I'm elated man.

Anthony (00:02:34) - Let's get to it.

Josh (00:02:35) - Yeah. It was so hard to stop talking before the conversation because you're just kind of finding these commonalities,, you know, things that we shared. So anyway, I just appreciate that. But. But, Anthony, I'd love to kind of hear it from you about the work that you do. And then I certainly would love to kind of, you know, kind of dip into your brain in regards to, you know, how we can be effective and great leaders today. But but if you wouldn't mind, maybe just share just a quick background and then kind of the work that you do today.

Anthony (00:03:02) - Well,, first and foremost, you said you wanted to dip into my brain. Well, we all know now we won't be a deep dive. But be that as it may. I'm Anthony Dix, and,, of course, you you've read. You know what I do for a living? I'm a I'm a leadership consultant. I coach leaders, and I consult,, organizations to help transform their leadership.

Anthony (00:03:21) - Because I sincerely believe that leaders are not made by accident. They must be engineered. And in order to engineer leaders, that takes some intentionality. It takes some patience. It takes some times, it takes some effort. But,, it can be done because the best we have to offer, I think this planet is leadership and influence. And so that's a little bit about what I do. I have the opportunity to inspire leaders,, do have the opportunity, of course, to do some executive coaching and to coach or consult organization wide with the nonprofits that we serve. But we really want to make sure that we leave this place with more leaders than we found it with before we exit the planet. So that's I hope I answered your question. I do these things at 180 management Group., 180 management Group is an operations management consulting firm and management consulting firm that specializes in operations. And we do it through a three pronged approach of people, processes and planning. And,, we offer a myriad of services to nonprofit clients so that we might help them get back to doing what they love.

Anthony (00:04:28) - And that's changing the world.

Josh (00:04:29) - Yeah. You know, on the topic of leadership, anyone who thinks that leaders are just naturally born and that they don't work at it, can you give us some insights on that?

Anthony (00:04:42) - Yeah. So there are several different leadership theories. And one of them was the great man theory. And the great man theory alluded to leaders being born and not made right. And a part of that is a, you know, a little primal because the human being, human beings, as social creatures, we had a way of picking who our leader should be, depending upon who looked the strongest, because that's what we needed to survive. So the alpha male and all the rest of that stuff, you know, we flocked to those alpha males so that they could help us survive. They got their pick of the litter when it came to,, spouses or mates and also meals. But there was a give and take. If you want these big meals, you don't have to protect us if a lion comes.

Anthony (00:05:23) - And for that you're born with a certain type of genetics to be able to carry that muscle and all the rest of that, as humanity has evolved, then the necessary requirements and characteristics for leadership have changed. And so we don't really rely simply on genetics anymore., we rely on development. We rely on the mind, the character, integrity, things of that nature. And so leadership is just a little bit different than it was when humans first graced the planet. And so I think that's kind of where we are now, because there are still some who believe that leaders are born and others who believe that leaders are made. I believe that you have to have both because in order for you to lead, you have to be alive. You can't you can't be a dead leader and still lead. So you have to be born. But in order to excel, you have to submit to a process of being made.

Josh (00:06:16) - Yeah, well, and that's good news, right? So if someone says, well, listen, I wasn't, you know, my well, like my parents, you know, my poor working class, you know, in the Midwest and, did that I'd say, you know, of the things that they gave me.

Josh (00:06:31) - My dad wasn't an executive. He was just a hard working, you know, served his clients, you know, always did, you know, worked in honesty and instilled those values in me of that honesty and that work ethic. And, you know, just being a good person, having the right mindset. But, you know, would you call my dad a leader? Well, yeah, a leader in his family. Right. But,, yeah. So so our influences. So anyway, I share that in that I think that there's good news, right? That it doesn't matter what your background is. If you want to make a big impact in the world, there are skills that you can learn, and it's,, anyone can truly change the trajectory of their life. But also, I want to demystify this thing that there's just either you have it or you don't. Right? You know, leadership is a skill. And just like you go to the gym to work your muscles, leadership is something that you work on.

Josh (00:07:21) - You work on it both in practice. But then every leader I know studies leadership, and they look at examples and they work and they invest in their ability because it makes a big difference in terms of like your desire to make that impact in the world. Anyway, sorry to give my little mini TEDx talk. Let's hear yours.

Anthony (00:07:41) - So leadership is also a gift, so I can't lead a person if they don't give me permission to lead them. Secondly, it's a gift that I can't lead if I don't have a responsibility. So in the case of your father, your father was the leader because he took or assumed the responsibility as a parent. So parents are inherently leaders, and he could form you as his son for leadership if he ever gave you the responsibility for a chore, to take out the trash, to make sure the dishes are washed, or to make sure the grass got cut, those types of responsibilities, or to make sure that your siblings were taking care of you. Depending upon your birth order, those opportunities are given at young ages as an opportunity to lead.

Anthony (00:08:23) - Because you can't take leadership. Leadership is a gift. You can't take it from somebody else and say, these people have to follow me, or else are we not? We don't necessarily live in a context where that flies anymore. So in order for you to lead, you're right. It doesn't require a certain background. What it requires is a certain level of responsibility and permission to be given to you in order for you to seize the opportunity to lead.

Josh (00:08:52) - You know, so the leaders that you work with and advise,, when they come to you, what are they like if someone's coming in with a gap or a pain point, what are some of the ways that they describe it? And then how do you kind of help them realize that most problems? Here's my opinion again, most problems in business, it's going to be pretty heavily influenced by a leadership issue.

Anthony (00:09:23) - Yep yep yep. In the work that I do, I often,, when I hear about organizational problems, it boils down in my mind to there's probably a leadership issue there.

Anthony (00:09:34) - This is the caveat, though, about leaders don't judge leaders. Many of them are extremely articulate at explaining or at uncovering the challenges within their organization. They may not be as articulate or as gifted as identifying with identifying their own blind spots. And so usually when I'm in a conversation with the leader, I have to do a lot of discerning because what they may be sharing with me is the problem is usually the wrapper, the packaging to the problem, and not the core issue within itself. And so working with them through a process to where we mutually deduce what the challenges are and reach those conclusions together, that's that's where where the magic happens. Because often leaders may articulate that they're having a challenge here. When that challenge is really a symptom, it's almost like going to the doctor. You know, the doctor kind of deduces through a chain of, you know, the experiments or whatever the case may be, questions what type of sickness or dilemma you may have given the symptoms you are presenting. And leaders can be very well aware of the symptoms that they present, but still yet unaware of what those symptoms really mean.

Anthony (00:10:55) - And some of it. It involves loneliness. Some of it involves anxiety. Some of it involves,, some inner challenges with inadequacy., some of it involves resource allocation or the lack thereof, those types of,, conversations that I, that I have had the privilege of having. It usually boils down to how a person sees themselves. And these are the ancillary challenges that we have. I've reached my wit's end, and I've never had a challenge that made me reach my wit's end. I'm used to being able to work through it this way, that way in other relatively quickly. And I can't figure this, this particular thing out., and that's kind of how they talk,, talk about it articulated. I'm stuck or I'm lonely. I'm anxious on Phil. And,, we eventually get to the core calls and work our way right on out of it.

Josh (00:11:45) - Yeah. Burnout, I'm sure, is another one that you see from time to time. People like, you know, and if a leader, certainly if they're the founder, it's like, you know, there's probably times when.

Josh (00:11:55) - Well, let me ask you this on the topic of burnout. I'd love your take on this question. When we feel exhausted and just like we've been through the ringer a little bit, how do we know if it's something that maybe a vacation might fix versus,, no, there's there's some other,, you're going to have to do a little bit deeper work here.

Speaker 3 (00:12:17) - Well, it's.

Anthony (00:12:18) - Kind of twofold with this,, that kind of thing. And,, it's that's a hard one because our mind continues to live in spaces even when our body is at rest. And so we kind of tout that vacations, things of that nature, are going to give us the answers that we need, when it really may rejuvenate the body. But the mind is still experiencing fatigue, which is why you can wake up tired still. And so people leaders have to have mechanisms in place to where they have the opportunity to bring both back to life. I was reading this article Harvard Business Review. A friend of mine referred me to this article.

Anthony (00:13:00) - It was written several years ago talking about the the corporate leader as an athlete. Wonderful, wonderful article. And it talked about how athletes are required to perform at a high level. Let's say you're in the NFL, you're going to get the NFL, you're going to be in your 20s, you might be done by the time you're 35. So that's maybe a 15 year time span. To perform high. Well, leaders have to perform at a high level for like 30 years, right. And they're doing it at a more advanced ages. And one example that the author gave that helped someone get beyond that place when they were feeling a little bit burnout. He talks about how work is not linear. You oscillate. And so the mental energy that a leader exudes,, to give your mind to rest, work your body.

Speaker 4 (00:13:52) - .

Anthony (00:13:53) - You notice that you see the distinction there. It's not when your mind needs a rest. Give your body a rest, he says. Know you can differentiate between certain sources of stress.

Anthony (00:14:04) - So when your mind is tired, go work out.. And by the time you finish working out your mind will be replenished because it's an oscillation. It's a give and it's a take. And so the occasion may not necessarily be the answer. Maybe it's exercise or as we were talking about in the green room, maybe it's hiking. And maybe through that hiking process you learn how to respond when your body burns out and how to respond when your mind runs out to find maybe another source of energy to get you to push through to the end. And sometimes you don't find that Josh by resting. Sometimes you find that by pushing yourself to the limits a little bit more. And that might be a little counterintuitive when you're talking about burnout., yeah, I'm not a doctor, but I am saying that there are opportunities where burnout can be a great indication that you finally learned the edges of your capacity. Yeah. And you have the opportunity to grow.

Josh (00:14:58) - Yes. Yeah. Yeah. So, I mean, there's something to be said to for, you know, kind of pushing on those edges because it's, you know, it's at that,, sharpens us.

Josh (00:15:07) - You know, it's like you're pushing on the edges of your comfort zone. There's no growth in the comfort zone kind of thing. Yeah. But at the same time, it's like, you know, it's like if you're lifting weights in the gym, there is a time where you need to, okay, we're we're done with that move. Because if you keep doing that, it's going to lead to injury. So we don't want injury. We want to you know, we want to stress those muscles. You know we kind of get that. They kind of break down the muscle tissue. So being mindful being aware is sounds like a you're advocating for that. It's like no no no.

Speaker 3 (00:15:39) - The other thing.

Josh (00:15:39) - No sign right there. Like work work harder than most people. But also be cognizant of your breaking points.

Anthony (00:15:48) - And then don't do without a spotter if you're going to lift heavy. And I think that's where most leaders get in. A little bit of trouble is when we are feeling the weight of our responsibility, we look out and we don't see anybody one that is there to help or two that we trust with weight distribution.

Speaker 5 (00:16:09) - .

Anthony (00:16:10) - Who can I put this on while my muscles recover. And when we look out because of some of that leadership loneliness, we don't necessarily have the, the trust equity to put on someone else what we're dealing with. And then we, you know, we justify and say I don't want to burden this person. I don't want to do this for this person.

Speaker 3 (00:16:29) - Oh yeah. Yeah. You gotta, you.

Anthony (00:16:32) - Gotta have, as you alluded to with the analogy of weights, you need a spotter. Yeah. Somebody else to say this is too heavy for you. Let me take it off of you.

Josh (00:16:40) - Yeah.

Anthony (00:16:41) - So I'm not going to lift it, but I could at least rack it.

Speaker 3 (00:16:44) - Yes. Right.

Josh (00:16:44) - So our friend that's listening. And if you find that you, you feel lonely from time to time or you feel burnt out and you don't have anybody that you can go to, I'll just say, I think you need to prioritize finding someone that you could go to. Maybe it's a professional mentor, Coach Anthony like you, or at the very least, find a peer who struggles with the same stuff that you do.

Josh (00:17:07) - Yeah. Just so you know, because what I don't want them to feel like is that they are all alone in their problems or they, you know, feel bad about cashflow. They feel bad about,, you know, maybe they got some bad customer situation or something like that. It happens. You're not alone. That's, you know, that is the lifestyle of, of a business leader. Like just those sorts of it could be different for everyone. But we all have challenges, right? So something so comforting to at least not burdening yourself that you need just talk it out with somebody., let's share just a little bit more about like how you work with your clients and how you serve as that spotter.

Speaker 3 (00:17:45) - Well.

Anthony (00:17:46) - It depends upon what the person is. But as a coach, I come alongside and there are some styles of coaching where you come alongside to be that catalyst, to be the ignition, to start something, because the person that you are serving has the answers within them. They just need a guide to help them find those answers.

Anthony (00:18:06) - So in that way, you're either operating like a map or a flashlight to point out certain things, shed light on certain things to give them a way where they can say, oh, I knew this was there. I just didn't know how to get to it. In other cases, people need the path paid for them. People need someone who can think through the challenges with them and then present options, really, for solutions as to how you move beyond this point. And that takes a trusting relationship. And so in a one on one case, that's how I would come in to a person's a leader's life to really help, to be a guiding light or a help alongside them, to move them into the future that they believe that they that they've been created to, to see on the other end when it comes. To organizations. You can transform a normal person, but if you put them right back into the same unchanged organization, they're going to get burned out again. Yes. And so I can come alongside them as a leadership consultant to help put the necessary systems in place to match this transformed leader so that there is not it's almost like a challenging marriage where you got one spouse wants to go one way or another, spouse wants to go another way, and neither one of them one changes, the other one doesn't.

Anthony (00:19:23) - It really doesn't work out that way. You need to have evolution and both the responsibilities in which they work from a day to day basis, and the person executing those responsibilities in order to create long lasting change. And as a leadership consultant, we can come alongside and put some systems in place organizationally to enhance that leader and give them an opportunity to shine now that they've been transformed.

Josh (00:19:49) - Yeah. Your website 180 management Group. Com Anthony when somebody goes by the way., I just want to point this out to our regular listeners., if you're like 180 management group. That sounds familiar., you are related to Miriam Dix. If we featured. I loved my conversation with her so much. And,, you know, I just I knew we had to chat, but,, if you wanted to. Our friend that's listening. If you want to go and kind of hear part one of the Dix family,, you can go to my conversation with Miriam Dix. It should be about a month or so ago.

Josh (00:20:27) - A month or two ago., you can go back and listen. But, Anthony, when someone goes to 180 management, what do they click on? What do they do? Where do they go from here.

Anthony (00:20:36) - The first thing you want to do when you go to 180 management, if you're coming from this conversation is click schedule a call. We'd love to connect with you. Right. There's a lot of things you can read on the website, but it's nothing like that personal interaction. And if you click on schedule a call if you need training or speaking assistance, if you need leadership consulting or operations consulting, you will be directly connected to a person to have a conversation with. And we'd love to have the opportunity to connect, to learn more about your organization and how we might be able to come alongside and serve you so that you can continue to accomplish mission. So the first thing you want to do when you go to 180 management, especially if you're coming from this conversation, is click on schedule a call.

Anthony (00:21:20) - Do that.

Josh (00:21:21) - Yeah. 180. Management group. Com Anthony Dix. It's been great. Thank you so much for the conversation man.

Anthony (00:21:28) - Thank you for having me I appreciate it.

Josh (00:21:36) - Thanks for listening to the Thoughtful Entrepreneur show. If you are a thoughtful business owner or professional who would like to be on this daily program, please visit up my influence. Comment. Guest. If you're a listener, I'd love to shout out your business to our whole audience for free. You can do that by leaving a review on Apple Podcasts or join our Listener Facebook group. Just search for the Thoughtful Entrepreneur and Facebook. I'd love, even if you just stop by to say hi, I'd love to meet you. We believe that every person has a message that can positively impact the world. We love our community who listens and shares our program every day. Together, we are empowering one another as thoughtful entrepreneurs. Hit subscribe so that tomorrow morning. That's right. Seven days a week you are going to be inspired and motivated to succeed.

Josh (00:22:34) - I promise to bring positivity and inspiration to you for around 15 minutes each day. Thanks for listening and thank you for being a part of the Thoughtful Entrepreneur movement.

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