In 2002, Bill Gallagher took over the jewelry business that his wife had started, Lori Bonn Design. The economy had already taken a nosedive. The market for premium jewelry was not good, and Bill was new to the industry.
The bank was not optimistic with the outlook, so it offered new terms that would spell the end of Lori Bonn Design. Bill thought that the only way out was to shut down the business and turn over their home to the bank.
He was ready to quit. When he took on the business, he was inspired. But now? He had no idea what to do. He had expected to master the industry in time, but the new economic reality left no room to learn the ropes.
The bank seemed to hold all the cards, and Bill knew more about starting over than a turnaround.
But Bill was also concerned about the impact closing doors might have on his family, and the example it would set for his kids.
“I was out of shape, out of money, and out of time. I was scared and I had no good solutions,” he said.
Bill wanted something better. He wanted to snatch a victory, to keep his family together, and set an example for his kids of courageous leadership. Bill made some bold moves….
He told the employees what the company was facing and what they had to work with. He laid out all the cards.
And then he promised he would never quit.
The employees could have panicked and deserted, but you need to know that Bill is skilled at sharing a vision. Instead of deserting the business, every single employee pulled together and strategized to find new approaches to win.
An employee’s friend said he knew an expert in bank negotiations… Then, with the support of his team, Bill worked with the bank negotiator to strike a seemingly impossible deal with the bank.
With a deal done, the team rallied and worked harder than ever, posting a new record year for the business, snatching a victory from near defeat over the next year. No team was ever prouder of its accomplishment.
This story defines Bill Gallagher. He understands that brilliant solutions are created by teams, by two or three people, or by hundreds working alongside one another to design strategies that are possible, survivable, and inspiring.
This is the essence of his coaching. Working alongside an entrepreneur, Bill is able to inspire people and companies, and then get them into action.
Bill is a sailor, a pilot, a surfer, a triathlete, a skier, and a scuba diver. He has been a brand manager, a software developer, a market researcher, a DJ, a radio executive, and a jewelry CEO.
Why all these hats? Because Bill Gallagher is always thinking of what is next.
Bill Gallagher is the guy you want around when things explode, when you need to build consensus, or when you want to jump into action—now!
An experienced entrepreneur and executive, he has created and run companies and business units ranging from up to US$500 million. He has served on the EO boards as the chairperson for Forum and Accelerator programs, and he was a twelve-year member of the Alliance of CEOs.
Full profile on linkedin: http://www.linkedin.com/in/billgall
For seven years, Bill also led an intensive leadership development course for Landmark Education, becoming one of their senior course leaders, and an instructor and program manager, training more than 35 other course leaders across the US west coast, Texas, and eastern Canada. His work in the program made a real and lasting difference in countless communities and many thousands of lives.
Happily married for more than eighteen years, Bill and his wife, Lori, live in the Oakland hills with their two teenagers, Jack and Sophie.
Linkedin page: http://www.linkedin.com/in/billgall
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