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7 Questions with Troy V. Williams
helps you in your leadership.
7 Questions with Troy V. Williams
Name: Troy V. Williams
Current title: Chief Diversity Officer
Current organization: Baltimore County Government
Mr. Williams is a dynamic culture creator, leadership advisor and attorney. His expertise is in the areas of: diversity, equity & inclusion; change management; public administration; business and law. Troy has advised senior leaders in academic, corporate and government settings. Mr. Williams is an authentic change agent that is passionate about providing thoughtful consultation and leadership.
Mr. Williams was a four-year varsity letterman in football, where he studied Business Administration and marketing. Troy also studied Public and Education Administration at American University and Coppin State University. Mr. Williams received his law degree from the University of Maryland and is admitted to the Maryland bar. Mr. Williams has conducted his work both domestically and internationally. Currently, Troy and his family reside in Maryland.
1. What have you found most challenging as a CEO or executive of a large enterprise?
My greatest challenge has been the opportunity to transform the culture of a more than 8,00 person enterprise - with an emphasis on diversity, equity and inclusion.
2. How did you become a CEO or executive of a large enterprise? Can you please briefly tell the story?
My professional journey has not been a traditional path. I have worked in various arenas, in many different capacities. While my experiences have varied, some core pillars have guided my professional development.
1. Commit to being a life-long learner.
2. Bring the best of yourself to every endeavor.
3. Listen for understanding.
4. Value systems thinking.
5. Maintain high professional standards & integrity.
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
I structure my work several days and/or weeks in advance. While I understand the value of flexibility, I believe an effective leader should be very thoughtful and intentional about their future performance. I try to integrate exercise and mindfulness meditation into my daily routine as well for personal balance. I try to handle routine matters and communications early in the day, allowing me to focus on daily meetings, follow-ups and other priority actions as they arise. I am also very intentional about maintaining a healthy work/life balance.
4. What's the most recent significant leadership lesson you've learned?
In my view, leadership is best exemplified by individuals that can meet people where they are, be fully authentic and lead with a servant-leader mindset.
5. What's one book that has had a profound impact on your leadership so far? Can you please briefly tell the story of how that book impacted your leadership?
The book "The Servant Leader" had a profound impact on my development as a leader. I discovered this book at a pivotal moment in my leadership journey, as I was trying to define who I wanted to be as a leader. The book's focus on personal reflection and using those understandings as a guide for our leadership of others really resonated.
6. How do you build leadership capacity in a large enterprise?
When building leadership capacity across the enterprise it is important to create multiple opportunities for engagement, demonstrated practice and developmental coaching.These areas should be achieved through the use of both formal and informal systems across the enterprise Leadership development should be a core value of the enterprise, so that it permeates at all levels of the organization and amongst all stakeholders.
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a CEO or executive of a large enterprise so far?
Identifying a singular moment is a difficult task. However, one moment that resonates is the collaboration I led between Baltimore County, the Equal Justice Initiative and the Baltimore County Coalition (residents). Baltimore County took the courageous step of acknowledging the county's past transgressions with respect to racial lynching. The county committed to installing a marker acknowledging the unjust 1855 lynching of Howard Cooper in Towson, MD. This initiative started with a small core group of employees and community stakeholders. Over time the group's commitment to transformative community education, while advancing truth and reconciliation led to a movement that transcended the county jurisdictions. On the day of the installation, the Governor of Maryland not only recognized the Howard Cooper lynching, but he also went on to acknowledge all of the unjust racial lynching that occurred throughout Maryland - garnering international media coverage. Witnessing the values you espouse manifest themselves as part of an international movement is a powerful experience.