Welcome to a new chapter in our ongoing #MeetTheTeam series – where we introduce you to the fantastic team of instructors at RBLP, one at a time. Today we’re speaking with Felton Williams, RBLP-T!
Hi Felton, thanks for chatting with us! Tell us a little about yourself and where you’re from.
My name is Felton Williams but everyone calls me BigWill. I grew up on the East Coast, the son of a sailor. We lived in Pennsylvania, New York and Rhode Island, and finally landed in Norfolk, VA. That journey motivated me to start a military career of my own; I soon joined the Marines at age 17. I recently retired after 22 years of service and I am so appreciative of the opportunities that the Corps has presented for me. I am married and a father of five of the most awesome kids anyone can ask – good people, smart, and athletic. My passion has been to not only provide for them but through example and leadership, set a foundation that will make my family thrive.
What can you tell us about your education and career background before you started working with RBLP?
I take pride in life-long learning. I believe that once you stop learning, you close doors to yourself. I graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from Post University, studied project management through Syracuse University, and continued my studies in organizational leadership through Grand Canyon University. I also have 16 years of consultative selling, coaching, and counseling training through Achieve Global and Marine Corps Recruiting Command. Most notable is my experience as a formal school instructor in these subjects, as well as curriculum developer experience.
Who is a role model that you’ve interacted with in your life that inspired you toward this career trajectory?
I would say that there are many leaders that have inspired me over the years, and the character trait that they had in common was selfless service. I believe that you can learn from anyone, however later in my career I was inspired by the young leaders that were willing to take risks and really strive to better themselves and all the people around them. They inspired me to pursue RBLP because they were pushing [against] the status quo of “we have always done it that way.”
What drew you to the role that you’re fulfilling with RBLP as a certification instructor?
I have been a part of many teams within my organization. The successful teams were so special but I really learned lessons from failure. Being able to coach professionals on building a resilient team is a privilege, and passing on my experience is an honor.
In your mind, what is the best definition of “resilience” for those who might be unfamiliar with the program that RBLP offers?
The fight to win! What I mean by that is leadership is not an easy task. Even as you move through the stages of the team and encounter turnover, leaders have to fight and invest the time into people to get the results they are looking for. You have to wake up every day and say, “No problem is too big because my team can take on anything.” That confidence comes from building a resilient team.
What are the three most important components, in your opinion, that you try to convey to every team that you train under the RBLP certification program?
Leadership takes involvement, and you have to make sacrifices to be there when times get tough. It takes action through coaching, influencing, training and managing things. As the leader of a team you have to ensure that they have the knowledge of what to do and the skills to get the job done; make sure that there is a system in place that promotes productivity, and that the environment fosters a positive attitude towards the team and task.
What is one of your own best personal experiences in your career that has influenced or inspired you in your certification training?
The best experience of my career was when I figured out I can’t and don’t have to do everything by myself. I was able to achieve success as an individual but it was impossible to maintain long-term. Learning to trust my team and the process allowed me develop others and really become a leader. That’s why I was so bought in to RBLP, it truly lays out the formula for success in any team environment.
In your time as an RBLP instructor, what is one of your best memories and why?
The best thing that I have accomplished as an RBLP instructor and the thing that keeps me going is the “a-ha moment”: Seeing professionals understand the strengths and areas for improvement for their organizations. When you see someone inspired to take action and formulate a plan for success, it is inspiring.
Pivoting a bit from the program – tell us a little about yourself outside of work! What other activities or hobbies do you love?
I am a family man. I have a large family and spending time with them is important. I really enjoy my kids’ competitive sports of football and basketball, they didn’t get those skills from me. I enjoy running and hiking, and I have participated in half marathons, and Mud and Roc runs which are good to get a gut check periodically. I enjoy shooting weapons and maintaining myself as a warrior. Finally, I have a great time reading and learning about history, politics, and self-help.
Can you give us a quotation that you feel really inspires you to continue inspiring others?
“One must put himself in the place of those whom he would lead; he must have a full understanding of their thoughts, their attitude, their emotions, their aspirations, and their ideals; and he must embody in his/her own character the virtues which he would instill into the hearts of his/her followers.” – Gen John A. Lejeune, 18 Jan 1921
RBLP leadership certifications are about Building Resilient Teams™ that overcome adversity and then can adapt and grow together!