Anderson Shares Recipes for Success with Band Youth


By Amikogaabawiikwe (Adrienne Benjamin) Mille Lacs Band Member

During the week of May 14–18, James Anderson (Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe) brought his energy, attitude, and zest for life to the Mille Lacs area. He visited Onamia Public Schools on May 14, East Lake on May 15–16, and Chiminising on May 17–18. A youth session and an adult session were held in both East Lake and in Chiminising, as an opportunity for personal and professional leadership development. The trainings were sponsored by the District II Representative, while gift card drawings and lunch (adult sessions) were sponsored by the Department of Administration.

James brings many years of experience in leadership development to his high-energy seminars. He has trained employees at big-name companies like Boeing and Famous Dave’s, and has toured all over Indian Country and beyond spreading his message of self-love and success. He has written a book titled Yesterday’s Wisdom, Today’s Success, co-authored a book with his father called Recipes For Success, and is in the process of working on his third book, Great Results Begin with Great Thoughts.

While James has definitely made a name for himself, his father is “Famous Dave” Anderson of “Famous Dave’s BBQ” fame. Growing up, James took note of his father’s “recipe for success,” watching him stand over his stove night after night, tasting and re-tasting sauce recipes. He watched his father fail, and try and try again until he got it right, knowing he was onto something special. He then watched his father turn his passion for cooking into a multi-million-dollar business with restaurants across the globe, all of which started with the first Famous Dave’s on the Lac Courte Oreilles reservation in Hayward, Wisconsin.

James teaches about developing habits that will boost your confidence and put you in prime positions to achieve your goals, no matter how small or large they are.

One of his most important lessons is “Energy is everything!” He believes that no matter what the situation is or how you might be feeling that day, the energy that you bring to your passions, children, or workplace is everything.

For those who participated in the training, it may have come as a shock that the first thing they were asked to do at 9:00 in the morning was to stand up, clap wildly, and shout along with James saying, “I’m happy, I’m healthy, and I feel terrific!”

From there, James took the participants down a path of in- ternal soul searching and goal setting. He challenged everyone to write a letter to the people who they would want to thank when they achieve whatever goal that they set for themselves in five years. In James’s mind, his trainees need to visualize themselves having the success they envision, before they actually set out to achieve it, therefore making it more likely to occur.

Those who attended, young and old, left feeling energized and ready to take on the world. Chiminising attendee Jaylene White said, “I wish more community members would have signed up for this. It was so amazing and I learned so much from James!”

Participants who attended this training will have the op- portunity to take on the second and more in-depth round of James’s leadership training entitled “Leadership from the Heart” in June.

Congratulations to those youth and adults who took the initiative to attend this wonderful workshop!

PHOTOS BY GIGSY: James Anderson's infectious enthusiasm made a big impact on Mille Lacs Band youth during his visits to Onamia, East Lake, and Chiminising in May.