Leadership Circle CEO recognized among leading executives in Utah for his inspiring and innovative leadership
DRAPER, UTAH – Premier leadership consulting firm Leadership Circle today announced that CEO and Co-Founder Bill Adams was named a CEO of the Year 2023 honoree by Utah Business magazine.
Utah Business provides in-depth journalism on tech and entrepreneurial businesses. Each year, the magazine honors executives in the state who have led their organizations with strength, courage, and endurance, and who have made it their mission to change the way business in Utah is done.
“I’m honored to be recognized among so many exceptional leaders and proud to represent forward-thinking business leadership in Utah,” said Adams. “Leadership Circle may be a global company with employees and clients around the world, but our home—and headquarters—is right here in the heart of the state.”
A serial entrepreneur, Adams has more than 30 years of experience as a trusted advisor, teacher, consultant, and coach. He works with CEOs and executive teams in Fortune 500 corporations, nonprofits, startups, and more, helping them to fulfill their leadership and organizational potential. With Leadership Circle co-founder Bob Anderson, Adams has co-authored Mastering Leadership and Scaling Leadership, offering unparalleled insight into how great leadership drives transformational business outcomes.
To view the full CEO of the Year honoree list, visit: utahbusiness.com.
Five Questions With CEO of the Year Bill Adams
LC: What is the most rewarding thing about your job?
ADAMS: The nature of the business is rewarding, in itself. Daily, I have the opportunity, either directly or indirectly, to help people become better and more effective leaders, which essentially means to become better human beings. All of us have the opportunity to be better at who we are and what we do, to know better what it means to show up in a way that makes a difference in others’ lives every day—to be radically human. If we can help leaders become more effective as a result, we can help them and all the people they influence. Whether there are a hundred thousand in their organization or just a few, helping them become better people: husbands, wives, partners, parents, better human beings, it’s absolutely rewarding.
LC: Who inspires you most?
ADAMS: There are two answers to this question: One, I am inspired by my children and my grandchildren, literally, every day. I’m a proud grandfather of 14 grandkids, all under the age of 16. What I’ve learned from them every time I’m with them, the way I’m able to participate in their lives, the way they change me; frankly, I admire and am inspired by them all the time. Another beautiful thing is watching my children, the four of them, all grow up, become adults, become parents, do those things that are most important in their lives. I’m inspired by them all.
The second answer is that I’ve worked with remarkable leaders for the better part of 40 years. One is Steve Ewing, retired vice chairman of DTE Energy. He is one of those leaders who so deeply cares about his people, the customers they take care of, the community, that everything he does is to improve the lives of the people he serves. This is a guy who shows up, takes a stand on everything that is important, and makes a difference in all of the lives he touches—and who is still doing it, at 75-plus years, today.
LC: What does success look like to you?
ADAMS: Success looks like me being the best version of myself every day. My job is to bring the best me to the table in everything I do, whether it’s within my family, community, church, or business. When I do that consistently—and it’s not always easy; I screw up a lot—that’s one way I measure my own success.
When we work with leaders, I view success as being able to help them become more effective and modify the way they lead. The end result is better business, better organization, better taking care of their customers and making a difference in the world. Ultimately, success is helping these leaders become the kind of human being that they were meant to be.
In some cases, I have the privilege of working with leaders that have impact in the world, like in commercial agriculture (how we’re going to feed the world and eliminate hunger) or in a large pharmaceutical company (global health and the elimination of disease). Success for me is to bring my very best to those customers and clients and to be serious about our mission of raising the conscious practice of leadership in the world. What a privilege that is.
LC: What advice do you have for your younger self?
ADAMS: There’s a level of seriousness in rigor and precision to the work that you do in the world, and you need to achieve that every day in the best way possible. Take it seriously. And then I would tell myself: Don’t take yourself too seriously.
Learn how to forgive yourself and give yourself grace. Don’t be your own harshest critic because, you know what? At the end of the day, it doesn’t do any good. It just makes life difficult in a way that it doesn’t have to be.
Find humor every day. Love and laugh a lot. I used to be so fearful that I would do something that would embarrass me. That fear of embarrassment kept me from being as effective and as good and as adept as I want to be in the world. I was afraid to take risks. That’s taking yourself too seriously in all the ways you shouldn’t.
Sometimes, the learning doesn’t go quite as quickly as it needs to, and I feel like I’m learning the same lessons over and over again. But that’s part of it. You just have to keep at it.
LC: If you weren’t a CEO, what would you do?
ADAMS: I’d still be doing the work of the work, all the time. I’d still be working with leaders, working to make a difference. As long as I’m relevant, I’m going to do that.
I would spend a lot more time giving back. One of the areas that I love and want to do even more in is youth leadership. Working with young adults and helping them mature and develop more rapidly in the way that they interact and involve themselves in the world.
And then, quite honestly, I would be much more engaged and involved with my own family—for as long as they’d put up with me.
About Leadership Circle
Leadership Circle is a global leader in leadership development on a mission to evolve the conscious practice of leadership. Through its tools, methodology, and consulting approach, Leadership Circle aims to integrate the otherwise fragmented field of leadership development. With more than 10,000 certified practitioners around the globe seeking to bring the Universal Model of Leadership to leaders, Leadership Circle has worked with more than 200,000 senior leaders to actively improve their leadership. For more information on Leadership Circle’s methodology or leadership and certification solutions, visit leadershipcircle.com.