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5.0 out of 5 stars Dave Ramsey Breaks it Down, September 11, 2009
This review is from: The Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness (Hardcover)
Dave Ramsey is a financial counselor and a syndicated radio talk show host based in Nashville, Tennessee. His popular three hour radio program consists of Mr. Ramsey taking calls from ordinary people who are having trouble with their finances.
His method of helping them is the culmination of years of experience as a financial counselor, and he walks his callers and his clients up what he refers to as the Baby Steps. These are seven progressive financial milestones that help people eliminate their debt and build wealth systematically. His approach is based on common sense and not financial mastery or overly-complicated gimmicks. His strategy is to show people how to live on a budget, spend less money than they make, and save and invest the rest.

The Total Money Makeover Live Event is essentially a presentation where Mr. Ramsey speaks to an audience of 10,000 or more and inspires them to change their paradigms about personal finance. I attended with my wife, and this was especially useful because, as he points out, one spouse is usually on-board and one is reluctant. The live event is entertaining and dynamic in a way that huddling around a radio is not.

This event further speaks to the leadership qualities of Dave Ramsey who challenges and inspires families to "change their family tree" by shedding credit card debt along with the illusions that a life built upon debt creates. He speaks in absolutes and is not afraid to call someone out on their behavior, but he always does so with an immovable kindness. The other great leadership quality that I respect is his consistency. In matters of personal finance, there are a lot of what-ifs, and Mr. Ramsey continually aligns his advice with his convictions, which is the hallmark of a great leader.

Even as the counsel he dispenses gets easier and easier to predict, his followers still tune in to hear his take on the outrages of congressional spending, or to simply get a much needed recharge when the mountain of debt elimination seems too steep. He has taught many people to get on track and he acts as a leader speaking out against the predatory aspects of financial products which are aimed at taking advantage of the poor. He has particular disdain for payday lenders and for rude collection agencies that often violate federal law with some of their intimidating tactics. In a world of spineless and corrupt public figures, it is always a welcome respite to check in with a true leader with the heart of a teacher.

Leadership traits
* Conviction: He speaks his heart backed up by his belief system
* Extraversion: He is a very animated and dynamic speaker which helps him to deliver a mundane topic in a compelling way
* Integrity: He talks about the importance of honesty and fidelity in his presentations and backs it up with examples from his daily life.
* Articulate: Years of public speaking have honed his ability to communicate clearly and with humor.
* These leadership traits combined with intellect and drive have been the recipe that have made the Dave Ramsey brand such a success. I chose to profile his presentation because it seemed like a great chance to research some of the personal characteristics of a dynamic leader.
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