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BILL SANFORD

Leadership Trainer, Speaker & Coach
Bell Leader since 2008
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Recognized as an impactful trainer, stand-out speaker and insightful coach, Bill Sanford embodies a unique combination of substantial credibility with a down-to-earth approach. Bill has worked with executives, leadership teams and organizations globally, developing business relationships that span the decades. Companies such as The Home Depot, Radio Flyer, Extraco Banks, East West Partners, Grady-White Boats and Heartland Dental repeatedly call on Bill to design and facilitate programs that lead to higher organizational performance.

Bill devoted the first part of his career to resolving ethnic conflicts and complex public disputes in Central Europe and Central Asia. Bill has built leaders in a wide range of industries– from tech, manufacturing and healthcare to banking, government and education. His extensive work in athletics ranges from national champion college sports teams to the National Basketball Association (NBA). With expertise in conflict resolution and a keen ability to help break down barriers, Bill leads clients to clarity, alignment and highly productive teamwork. Bill has solidified his reputation as a leadership expert who holds your attention, gives you practical steps to improve your performance and makes you laugh along the way.

Bill is a native Tar Heel who continues to call North Carolina home. In addition to spending time with his wife and three sons and attending as many Carolina games as he can, Bill loves making playlists for all occasions.

  • M.S. in Comparative Politics from London School of Economics and Political Science
  • M.S. in Conflict Analysis and Resolution from Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution (ICAR) at George Mason University
  • Morehead Scholar recipient from University of North Carolina Chapel Hill

Fun Facts About Bill

I would say time travel, but I think that could get messy quickly. I’d drive myself crazy! How about the ability to teleport – or as the young folk say, to “apparate”?

The farthest I’ve traveled was to Kazakstan and Kyrgyzstan when I was in grad school back in the early post-Soviet days. Good news: I was only detained by the secret police once! The ability to apparate would have come in handy…

It’s corny and sappy and some of the social aspects haven’t aged well, but I’m a sucker for Jimmy Stewart in It’s a Wonderful Life. “Each man’s life touches so many others.” “Merry Christmas, Mr. Potter!” “No man is a failure who has friends.” And the good news is, it’s probably playing somewhere on cable right now!

My mind immediately goes to Dr. Bell sneaking out into the hallway during a seminar at the Carolina Inn and rolling a couple of bagels down the hallway. Our team had been huddled up and deep in discussion… and then these bagels roll by. It took us a minute to figure it out because he was back training without missing a beat – then we just cracked up. What a fun-loving, life-changing goofball of a gentleman he is!

Just one? Well, one of my favorites is, “You can’t judge your past behavior by your current knowledge.” Learn from the past, and then Achieve Forward. The more I think about it, time travel would be a terrible idea!