By The Turknett Team
For thirty years, Bill Dickinson, D.Min, RCC, has been hard at work developing and supporting people-leaders across industries. Bill is a well-respected thought leader and a role model in leadership development. We are grateful to have him on the Turknett team and wanted to shine the spotlight on him and his accomplishments. We recently caught up with Bill to get the entire story.
Q: What led you into the leadership development field? Why do you do what you do?
I do what I do because it was clear to me early on that those in leadership had large responsibilities for both people and organizations but did not truly understand what they were doing or how to lead through it. They saw themselves as operational administrative managers, when in fact, it is people who drive all of that. As a result, people were not being attended to, supported, or developed. I saw that as a void that needed to be filled.
Q: Tell us about an experience with a client that you found memorable. How did it impact you?
I recently worked with a high-level senior team at a Fortune 10 company, all of whom were relatively new in their roles. The company has a health and wellness division they are planning to invest in heavily, and they hired all these leaders during COVID-19. As a result, these leaders did not know each other because they had dispersed, and the workshop I facilitated was the first time they had truly come together. During the experience, they were willing to be vulnerable and transparent as they identified how they would relate, work, and play together. I facilitated a process that allowed them to identify interpersonal norms, build trust with one another, and feel psychologically safe.
It is so rewarding seeing the risk, trust, laughter, and safety that come together. The leaders left in a much better place than when they entered the experience. Now they knew each other, better trusted one another, and had acquired an enterprise mindset that envisions goals, taking priority over functional roles (keeping them in alignment). It is powerful when you see relationships evolve and settle into themselves with trust and communication at the core.
Q: What has it been like for you working with TLG? How has being a part of TLG affected your journey as a coach?
I joined TLG in 2019, about six months before the pandemic hit. What attracted me to them was their strong emphasis on leadership development. Although a third of what I do is coaching, the rest of my business is leadership development. Bob and Lyn Turknett have been in the leadership development business for over thirty years. They are credible, trusted, respected leaders, and I want to surround myself with others who do good work in the field. I love that I can help them further build their business. They were founded in leadership, and in my own way, I get to uniquely support that with and for them. It’s a very nice thoughtful and synergistic relationship that contributes to building their brand as I build my own.
Q: You have been appointed as an advisor on Atlanta Mayor Andre Dicken’s LGBTQ Advisory Board. Can you share what this means to you?
I came out as a gay man just shy of my 55th birthday. I came out to everyone, professionally and personally, and I did so proudly. Atlanta is a metropolitan city with a large LGBTQ community, and the city attempts to be very inclusive. For me, to be relatively new to the community and being able to contribute my life experiences, beliefs, and commitment to acceptance and understanding is very special. I am working with many phenomenal people, including Mayor Dickens, who is doing a great job in his first six months. It’s an honor to be able to care for my community while helping the community at large be that much more inclusive. It’s a fantastic way for me to contribute and give back.
Q: So, what’s next in your career?
My retirement is something I am beginning to consider and talk about with my partner, Cesar. I’m on a strong run right now with my business and would like to spend the next five years building on that. I pride myself on being highly relevant, knowing what’s truly happening in the business world and leadership expectations, strategies, best practices, and well-being. All my materials are custom-made, always fresh, and up to date. My goal is to always be relevant. Once I retire, Cesar and I are interested in retiring to Valencia, Spain. We love it there, and I will continue to work part-time thanks to our technological capabilities. We are very excited about the next chapter in our lives.