Author of 61 books, latest, Leadership Excellence(2012).
Senior Vice President, NBA Orlando Magic, Co-founded team in 1987 and helped lead to NBA finals in 1995
Served in the NBA as general manager for Chicago, Atlanta, Philadelphia teams, including the 1983 World Champion 76ers
Featured in Sports Illustrated, Readers Digest, and others
Completed 50 marathons in the past 13 years, including the Boston Marathon 12 times
Bachelors degree at Wake Forest Univ.; Master’s degree at Indiana Univ.; Doctorate in Humane Letters from Flagler Univ
Married to Ruth
Father of 19 children, 4 birth kids, 14 by international adoption and 1 by remarriage
Pat Williams: Leadership Excellence
THE MISSION IS REMISSION
Last year during an exhaustive, eight-hour executive physical made mandatory by Orlando Magic human resources, some abnormalities were discovered during Pat Williams' exam. Despite the warnings, Pat ran the Disney Marathon two days later. After additional testing, in February, 2011 Pat was diagnosed with multiple myeloma which is a cancer of the blood plasma in the bone marrow. While the cancer is incurable, recent medical developments have resulted in MM patients living prolonged lives as long as they are able to force the cancer into remission. Immediately, Pat adopted a new slogan: The mission is Remission.
While participating in an aggressive treatment program that consisted of both oral and intravenous chemotherapy, Pat vowed to not let the cancer control his life. He continued to work in full capacity, slotting in chemo treatments as his schedule allowed. Because the first rounds of treatment did not force the cancer into remission, Pat received a stem cell transplant of 4.9 million of his own stem cells in February, 2012. Although this type of treatment requires a three-week hospital recovery, Pat was out in 10 days to participate as Orlando hosted the 2012 NBA All-Star Weekend. Pat recently learned that the stem cell transplant has forced his cancer into remission, that his prognosis for survival is extremely positive and that his goal to live to 100 is still very much attainable.
Pat's positive attitude and optimism may be the reason he has reacted so well to the cancer treatments. He decided early on to use his public battle as a platform to encourage and inspire others. Instead of, "Why me?" Pat thought, "Why not me?" Pat has heard from hundreds of people touched by cancer. He answers each and every email and phone call, encouraging patients to stay positive and keep battling the disease. Whether he is speaking to doctors and nurses at a national convention or to cancer patients at treatment or in a local support group, Pat has influenced thousands of lives and inspired others to continue dream and to achieve.
Though they didn’t talk about it much, Pat’s parents modeled leadership when, to help their mentally disabled baby daughter and others, they took on the monumental task of organizing events, sports activities to raise money for research, etc. Always an avid sports lover, Pat learned leadership in his first year at Wake Forest University when he, who played on the baseball team, was drafted to quickly organize a freshman versus varsity basketball game. It was an amazing success and put him on his career path today to organize,
motivate and inspire. He also learned several profoundly practical insights into what it takes to be an outstanding leader: Vision, Communication, People Skills, Character, Competence, Boldness, and A serving heart. These seven sides of leadership are timeless. It doesn’t matter whether it’s King Solomon, President Lincoln, Coach John Wooden, Billy Graham, Jack Welch, or Steve Jobs, the essential principles of leadership are always the same and will produce magical results. Pat can prove the power of these principles through the lives of great leaders in history and today. Each person has at least a few of these qualities already. Pat shows how to build on that foundation.
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