Bill Edmonds is an “Outside-Insighter” (an Executive Coach, Mentor and Consultant) with over 30 years of experience coaching, mentoring, and consulting business leaders. He spent 24 years with Merrill Lynch, much of that time in a leadership role until his retirement in 2014, where he led a $100+ million per year revenue, wealth management business unit as a Director with the firm.
My Story: “My Crisis”
“Mr. Edmonds is here…Code Red!”, said the emergency room attendant upon my arrival at the Richland Memorial Hospital trauma center.
I’m referring to a near death experience that forever changed the course of my life on the afternoon of December 1, 2013. A rare, non-impact induced subdural hematoma (bleeding between the skull and brain) formed in my head from near the front of my right eye, extending beyond my right ear to the back of my head (see CT scan below).
I was fortunate my condition was detected by my astute family physician, who ordered me to have an MRI after going to him with a headache, a day before I was to fly to New York City for a business meeting. I was rushed immediately from the imaging office to the hospital emergency room, where I was greeted by a neurosurgeon who explained to me that emergency brain surgery may be required.
When you’ve been forced off the tread mill and you’re lying in a hospital bed facing a potential brain surgery, surrounded by your wife of twenty-nine years and your two children, it becomes very easy to stop and contemplate the things that matter most. Clarity and focus become simple – you have no choice.
My neurologist said that if she couldn’t get the blood removed through medication, she would have to perform brain surgery in an attempt to correct my situation. Failure to stop the bleeding would result in my central nervous system being shut down, which would lead to certain death.
Fortunately I did not have to have surgery. The heavy doses of medication administered by my doctor and her team worked. I avoided brain surgery and was able to walk out of the hospital less than forty-eight hours later with a full recovery.
But life hasn’t been the same since. I have no medical side affects, but I’ve sure had some heart and head (pardon the pun) affects. I’ve come to view this experience as one of the greatest blessings of my life. The benefits of a wake up call are invaluable, provided you actually wake up.
New questions began to surface from beneath by core. “For what do I want to be remembered? In the end will my life be defined more by success or significance? What will be said at my funeral? What do I want to be said? While I enjoyed my work – the company I worked for, the people I worked with, the duties I performed, the lifestyle it afforded my family and I, I knew that this season of my life needed to end and a new chapter needed to start.
What I most enjoyed about my Director role with my company was the one-on-one coaching and consulting time I spent inspiring, impacting and helping others grow toward reaching their full potential. Knowing God was calling me to my next and potentially greatest season, In December 2014, I made the decision to retire from my current executive role to pursue a dream of serving individuals in the growth of their business and personal life through private practice.
I founded Northstar Leadership Solutions, whose mission is to bring clarity and focus to marketplace leaders by offering our services as an “Outside-Insider” – a personal confidant to come along side leaders and help them uncover solutions to the challenges and opportunities that otherwise might hold them back.
Polaris, also known as The North Star, stands virtually motionless in the sky as all the other stars appear to rotate around it. This makes it a great fixed point for navigation. In my experience as a leader, I find many successful people lacking purpose and direction – lacking a “North Star” to chart their course and to keep them on course. For many of these individuals their North Star is more like a Boeing Dreamliner cruising across the night sky at at over 600 miles per hour, offering no fixed point for navigation.
Our goal is to help leaders find clarity and focus by helping them realign to their North Star – their purpose – or perhaps align for the first time. We believe that If you don’t have a North Star, you don’t know where you’re going. Having a North Star not only charts your course, but defines it as well. It’s the only way to finish well!
If you need help finding or realigning to your “North Star” let’s talk! Reach out to us to see how we might be able to help you and/or your organization:
My Story (continued): “Professional Narrative”
I’ve always been involved in leadership as far back as I can remember. After graduating from the University of South Carolina in 1982, I affiliated with a nationally known financial services organization as an independent business owner, building a client “book of business” and developing a successful sales organization.
In 1991, I was recruited by Merrill Lynch to be a Financial Advisor in Greenville, SC, and a few years later was selected to open and develop an office in a nearby market. In 2001, I was asked to return to Greenville as the Resident Director to lead and grow the office, which was generating roughly $15MM per year in annual revenue with a team of thirty-five individuals.
I was invited to enter the executive ranks of leadership with the firm in 2006, with my first assignment as the Associate Director of the Tri-South Region, based in Atlanta. In this role I served as an associate to the Regional Director who had responsibility for a three state market – Georgia, Tennessee and Kentucky.
In 2008, I was promoted to Director of the Columbia Complex, a market that encompassed most of South Carolina and some of Georgia, with offices in the following locations: in SC…Spartanburg, Greenville, Clemson, Columbia, Camden, Sumter; and Augusta, GA. In my nearly seven years in this executive role, I grew our team to over 200 professionals and annual revenues from $65MM to over $107MM. This included leading a merger of Bank of America Financial Advisors and support staff into the Merrill Lynch Advisor population with no initial losses. In addition, I recruited over $8MM in annual revenue through the acquisition of Advisors from competing firms.
- Merrill Lynch…
- Successfully grew revenues from $65MM to $107MM over 6 1/2 year period.
- Sourced, hired and trained over 200 financial professionals during leadership career
- Coached and mentored over 200 Financial Advisors resulting in increased…
- Personal Growth
- Client Satisfaction
- Built numerous high performing business teams through…
- Keynote speaking for client events, marketing presentations, and civic events
- Initiated and led marketing campaigns
- Organized and facilitated peer learning groups for business leaders
- Planned and delivered all training and professional development programs
- Led merger of Merrill Lynch and Bank of America for market
- Collaborated across lines of business delivering enterprise to 6,000 high net worth clients
- Dale Carnegie Leadership Training
- Telios Leadership Training
- Advance training through International Coaching Federation (60 hours)
- Completion of Biehl Consulting Institute (40 hours)
- B.A. University of South Carolina
- Current board memberships: Anderson University, Sandhills School, The Cooperative Ministry (Board Chair)
- Husband to Becky for 32 Years
- Father to Hannah (22) and Jonathan (16)
- Over 25 years combined experience as a teacher and small group leader with various churches and para-church organizations
- Strengths Finder 2.0 Assessment Results “Top 5”: