7 Questions with William Dolan
Name: William Dolan
Current title: President / Creative Director
Current organisation: Spirit Media
Bill Dolan is the Emmy-nominated creative director at Spirit Media. For over 30 years, he has produced events for hundreds of thousands, directed broadcasts for millions, and has acted as consultant for world class organizations, from start-ups to Fortune 500 companies. In 1999, Bill had a death experience that challenged his world view and approach to communication and marketing. Years of research led him to write the book, The 7 Disciplines of Relationship Marketing. Today, he is a recognized authority, national speaker, and workshop trainer of the 7DRM Strategy. In his free time, Bill loves family time, CrossFit, refining his chocolate chip cookie recipes and writing with his office buddy, Marcella, their tabby cat.
1. What have you found most challenging as a leader of a small or medium enterprise?
One of my greatest challenges is always pressing to serve our clients better by pressing to become the best every day.
2. How did you become a leader of an SME? Can you please briefly tell the story?
We started our business many years ago when I was just looking for an additional vehicle for making money so that we could afford to start a family. After a number of failures, I found that my core gifting and passion around TV, Video Production, Live Events was a genuine market need. We found a niche and continued to evolve. As to how I became a leader, I believe leaders emerge out of a combination of passion, gifting, experiences and a constant hunger to become a better leader everyday. It's a lot of hard and faithful work.
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
Everything I do is first driven around clear purpose. Then I establish a list of missions that must be accomplished to fulfill that purpose, Then, everything is broken down into responsibilities for which I assign an appointment to complete. I have NO TASKS. I only have crucial, mission and deadline driven appointments to fulfill my responsibilities to the purpose, team, clients, family and myself.
4. What's the most recent significant leadership lesson you've learned?
Your life is a gift. Use the gift of your life in service to others.
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 of Matthew accounting the life of Jesus has taught me most about leadership. After I had a death experience in 1999, I began a deep search for who and what would shape the next chapters of my life. Who is the best teacher? Who is the best leader? Who is the best marketer? Who has used their life for powerful impact and good? Who authored a movement that has lasted thousands of years? The resume of Jesus made me look at him as far more than a spiritual figure but a literal mentor whom I could learn the power of leadership by multiplying my impact through the lives of others. His work as well as the lives of others played a significant role in shaping my research into my book, 7DRM - The 7 Disciplines of Relationship Marketing.
6. How do you build leadership capacity in an SME?
You can only build it by investing in others.
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a leader of an SME so far?
On January 28th, 1999 while on a flight to Nashville, I died… and it may have been the greatest thing that ever happened to me.
For over 30 years, I’ve worked as a television, video and entertainment director with celebrities such as the Black Eyed Peas, Gwen Stefani, Maroon 5, Kenny Chesney, Mark Burnett (Survivor, The Voice, Shark Tank), world leaders and global brands.
With Emmy-nominations and over 10,000 Productions, Videos, Virtual and Live Events, our digital marketing agency, Spirit Media has grown into a global brand.
But we have transformed to do so much more because the day I died changed everything.
I learned that great leaders are purpose-driven, commit to serving others, and have a deep burning passion to make a lasting difference in the world. We are not great leaders just because people follow us. We are great leaders because people emulate our example and multiply our impact for generations to come. Real leaders build lasting legacies.
Today, we are a cause-driven creative agency committed to helping great organizations flourish by impacting both heart and mind by revealing their BRAND STORY and their BRAND SOUL.