LDI 25th Anniversary Leadership Insights - Calvin Anderson

LDI 25th Calvin Anderson

  • Above all else, what do you believe is one key characteristic that makes a successful leader? I would say diligence and focus.
  • How do you apply this in your daily life as a leader in the workplace? I have applied this in the workplace by setting specific goals and tasks, and by making a commitment to follow up until completion.
  • How do you keep morale high and spark inspiration among your teams? Involvement of team members at start of task and keeping activity inclusive.
  • Tell me about a mentor who shaped your leadership? There have been a number; one key mentor was former U.S. Senator Jim Sasser who taught me by example and words the importance of listening and providing a solution-oriented response that matched the problem.
  • What values are most important to you as a leader? Clarity and Integrity
  • What is a leadership lesson that you’ve discovered throughout your career that you wish you could have learned sooner? Communicate early, communicate often, communicate accurately.
  • If you could tell your 20-year-old-self one thing, what would it be? Make sure you have researched and know the facts, show up early, speak up with clarity, and by all means follow up in a timely manner.
  • What advice would you give to professionals who are stepping into the leadership space? Set accountability standards and metrics for yourself aside from the ones that are the company’s.
  • The best leaders know that learning never stops. What steps do you take to ensure you keep with personal and professional development? Attend conferences and workshops, reading chosen industry materials, networking and peer conversations.
  • Leadership extends far past the professional landscape at work, but into the broader Memphis community. Why do you believe it is crucial to make time to serve in other ways in the 901? It is important and vitally helpful to devote and share your talents with needed areas of the community. “To those whom much is given, much is required.”
  • Tell me about a time where you felt most challenged in your leadership? How did you rise above? I had the task of selling senior management on the creation of a health foundation. Uncertainty, need and complexity were the expressed obstacles. Crafting the vision of what could be impacted and displaying peer programs was the presented solution.
  • Why do you choose to lead in Memphis? I love the soul of the city and feel blessed by the opportunities I have received.
  • Leadership can oftentimes feel lonely, but it shouldn’t be. How do you believe leaders can best navigate and address this pressing issue? Stay connected, no one is an island unto themselves, and you get better satisfaction leading and working with others.
  • Share with us your biggest takeaway from your LDI experience and how would you convince another leader to take part in the program? The networking and the building of bonds and shared interest that transcend the class time.
  • The road to being a leader isn’t only paved with success, but a lot of trial and error. How do you adjust your next steps to combat failure? Leadership is a journey, not just a destination, failure is an opportunity to learn and some of the best success is delivered after you falter.
  • What is your hope for the future of Memphis? Really take advantage of the diverse talent and the sense of place and maximize the potential of the city.
  • What has been your great accomplishment in your career or what are you most proud of in your career? I am most proud of the meaningful projects I've launched, the bonds created in my network, and the careers of others I have assisted with. 

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Calvin Anderson is President of Clear Strategies Group, LLC a public policy and healthcare consulting firm. Clear offers strategic consulting to a range of clients and projects in the Memphis area and across the state.

Calvin has an extensive background in business and retired in 2017 as senior vice president of corporate affairs and chief of staff for BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee. He additionally served as executive director of the BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Health Foundation and Community Trust. In these roles, Anderson oversaw the public affairs of the company which included Corporate Communications, State and Federal Government Relations, the Health Foundation and Community Relations.

Anderson has served on the board of directors and as Chairman in a number of business and civic organizations, including New Memphis Institute, the Memphis Chamber of Commerce Chairman Circle, Memphis in May International Festival, Leadership Memphis and Shelby Farms Park Conservancy. Currently, Anderson serves on the executive committee of River Parks Partnership and Chair of the Memphis Convention Center Commission.

On a state level, Anderson served as a member of the Tennessee Election Commission from 1995 to 2007 and served on the State TennCare Advisory Committee in 2002. Served on the board of Tennessee Business Roundtable 2015-2016 and member of Leadership Tennessee class II in 2014-2015. On a national level, he represented BlueCross BlueShield as a congressional relations coordinator with the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, and served on America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) Policy and Regulatory Committee and Federal Government Relations Group.

Anderson also served on the Health Industry Council for District Eight of the Federal Reserve 2010-2014 and the board of Trust 1 Bank of Memphis ( Synovus ) 2009-2013 and currently serves on the board of Orion Federal Credit Union of Memphis (2017 to present) and the board Trezevant Manor.

Calvin and spouse Belinda have daughters.

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