ELO’s most recent webinar, featuring Jeff Williams, drew an engaged audience from Paris to Paraguay and Singapore to Los Angeles. ELO Webinars over the past months have featured global thought leaders such as NT Wright and John Lennox and international entrepreneurs such as Rob Wildeboer.
ELO was pleased to host Jeff Williams on June 10th, 2020 for a webinar and Q & A with Dr. Rick Goossen entitled “Rethinking Your ‘Why?’". Jeff Williams is the Founder and President of Absolute Results, a sales training business that is active in 19 countries and 5 continents. Jeff has a unique global perspective on the present COVID-19 pandemic. He works with large automobile manufacturers and dealers around the world. He is an active philanthropist, having worked with John Maxwell to set up the John Maxwell Leadership Foundation Canada and to work on international humanitarian projects. He is an ELO Advisory Board member and his company has been a key sponsor of past ELO Forums. Jeff’s life and business are rooted in Christian principles which he tries to reflect in all his endeavours, pursuing his calling with passion.
Here are a few extracts from Rick Goossen’s conversation with Jeff Williams, which have been paraphrased and summarized for brevity. To access a recording of the webinar, and an extensive set of questions, CLICK HERE.
NOTE: For the exact context of Jeff Williams’ remarks and a word-for-word record of his comments, please refer to the webinar recording or podcast. The below summary is not to be quoted as the exact words of Jeff Williams. Thank you.
RG: In terms of pivoting your business, is this a matter of responding to short-term or longer-term structural changes? How do you see your industry changing fundamentally as a result of this?
When change happens, John Maxwell taught us, the first thing a leader needs to do is define reality, then they need to communicate some form of a message of hope and then they need to create a plan. So, I took that advice, we looked at the reality of the business both internally and externally. I did a talk about 8 weeks ago where I told my people, my team and my industry that March 1st, 2020 was 100 years ago. I told them this because I wanted to make a bold statement that would cause us to shift towards the future drastically enough. Everyone including me wanted to go back to yesterday, we had some success we were having an impact. We thought we had worked hard to get where we were and then we had it pulled out from under us. If it was a mistake that we had made that would almost be easier to take than a pandemic because you have no control over a pandemic. In this situation, framing the change boldly to say to my team, we know society is changing and I know our industry is going to change drastically, how do we prepare for it? so we first had to frame the change and then once we had it framed we asked, what do we think it's going to look like? and how do we build towards that?
RG: What have been opportunities for you in the midst of this crisis?
To re-evaluate, why I am in business, what changes are happening in my industry, and where can I make an impact? There are huge changes ahead in the industry, and we get to ask ourselves, how do we find success in the new business of today, while creating tomorrow and not getting stuck in yesterday…so we can lead our clients.
RG: What are some of your spiritual disciplines and why are they important?
John Maxwell taught us that everything rises and fall on leadership, and that’s 50% of it, in an organization or corporation where productivity is the goal, maybe its 60%, but personally, everything rises and falls on relationship…my faith relationship with God and my relationship with others…so I take time every day to read, journal, take walks…and I seek out relationships with other business and faith leaders with similar passions to connect and be in relationship.
RG: Is this the time to rethink your ‘why?’ In other words, what is truly important in life?
Every once in a while a unique window of opportunity opens up, we talk about our 'why' all the time, but now we get to live it…and be honest and stop lying to ourselves…is the way I am engaging with my staff consistent with my why, and my clients, and the industry…in the last 10 weeks, I have intentionally reached out to my global team with regular video updates…I use to do it once per month, now I do it twice per week…