About me

I’m Chris Williams, aka CLWill. I’ve had a lifelong fascination with organizations and how they work.

With over 40 years of organizational experience, ranging from the smallest startups to the Fortune 500, I’ve seen a wide range of ways to build and manage teams. I have been an individual contributing member of project teams, a middle manager of substantial parts of major projects, and the leader of some huge teams — as many as 1,000. I’ve written code, run my own businesses, lead teams of technical and business professionals, and been the VP of HR at Microsoft at the height of the boom.

Along the way, I been fortunate enough to get to know some of the smartest people on the planet. That’s one of the amazing advantages of working at leading edge companies at the height of their popularity. They attract some of the best and brightest, and I’ve been fortunate to work with some of the very best. From this experience, I have personally seen the best and the worst — the new boss without a clue and some of the most experienced and enlightened managers in the world.

About Leading Smart

To hear how my job in the car stereo business started my fascination for the challenges of building and managing teams, listen to my podcast The Hit Man

Throughout it all, I’ve learned a great deal. This web site, which I’ve named Leading Smart, is my expression of that experience, my vehicle to share the lessons I’ve learned with the world. The articles, the podcast, the upcoming book, etc., are all a way for me to support leaders.

I’m particularly focused on leaders in this Brainpower Age who are finding it a challenge to build and lead teams of knowledge workers. In this era where output is not widgets but largely concepts and ideas, leadership is harder than ever.

Building teams has always be a delicate art, but when the work is so complex and hard to define it is even harder. Add in the needs of the workers to be motivated and passionate about their jobs, and it becomes a true challenge. That kind of leadership is my specialty.

How I can support You

I would love to help you and your organization excel in this Brainpower Age. The assistance and support can come in a wide variety of forms:

  • Executive coaching: one on one time, in person or remotely, to help you become the best leader you can be.
  • Team development: group meetings where I can help you, as the leader, get the most from your team.
  • Group sessions: work with the whole team to help improve team dynamics and culture.
  • Speaking engagements: from small groups to company meetings, I’d love to share my experiences with your team.

I’ll work with you to develop a customized plan that includes these, or whatever you have in mind. Just shoot an email to and we’ll start working on a plan to make you a better leader in the Brainpower Age.