Transcript

Dr. Dave Miles: Welcome to “Conversations on Leadership with Dr. Dave,” your weekly visit to the crossroads of leadership, communication, and engagement. We provide captivating conversation while helping you create your compelling company culture. Get meaningful insights on these topics from fascinating interviews with top business leaders, trendsetters in leadership research, and perceptive commentary from your host, myself, Dr. Dave Miles. Today, we are thrilled to have Bill Wiley with us. Bill has a diverse background, not just from a business leadership perspective but also from a political perspective. Bill, thank you for joining us today on the show. Could you take a few minutes to introduce yourself to our listeners and give us a little bit of your background?

Bill Wiley: Thank you, Dr. Dave, for having me. My name is Bill Wiley. I’m your delegate here in the 29th District, which encompasses Frederick County, Winchester, and the northern part of Warren County. I’m from Roanoke, Virginia, born and raised. I went to high school in Northern Virginia and then to George Mason University for undergrad and graduate studies. I’ve had various jobs and eventually settled in Winchester with my wife. We’ve been here for about 20 years and have three beautiful boys. I work for Shockey in business development and have served on various boards and commissions in the city. I started in city council and then moved on to being a delegate. My approach is all about giving back, and I’m excited about the upcoming session and the other hats I wear. Thank you for having me today, Dave.

Dr. Dave Miles: No problem. Thanks for being here. For our listeners in the UK and others who might not be familiar with Shockey, can you tell them what Shockey is and what you do there?

Bill Wiley: Absolutely. Howard Shockey & Sons is a regional general contractor. We build vertical commercial facilities in sectors such as industrial, assisted living, medical, parking garages, K-12, municipal, and more throughout Virginia, West Virginia, and Maryland. My regional coverage is pretty much the I-81 Corridor, including the Shenandoah Valley down to Roanoke. I find opportunities for our company to build and have been doing this for Shockey for about seven years.

Dr. Dave Miles: Thanks for explaining that. Let’s get into the first question. What does leadership mean to you, and what does good leadership look like?

Bill Wiley: Leadership, to me, is about guiding, managing, organizing, and influencing individuals toward a common goal. Good leadership involves cooperation, communication, and being hands-on with the team. It’s important to lead by example and be a role model that people look up to. Good leadership means getting your hands dirty and working alongside your team to achieve a common objective. It’s about being a delegate, listening to your constituents, and working through the state to help meet their needs.

Dr. Dave Miles: What are some examples of good leadership that you’ve seen?

Bill Wiley: Coming from a background in teaching and coaching, I often look at great coaches in college and professional sports, like Vince Lombardi. These leaders demonstrate how to do things, educate their teams, and get their athletes to buy into their vision. This kind of leadership applies not just in sports but also in parenting, academics, and other areas. Leaders like Winston Churchill and Dwight Eisenhower also come to mind. My grandfather worked under Eisenhower, and he was a great role model for me. He had a strict but effective approach, and his stories have always inspired me.

Dr. Dave Miles: That sounds fascinating. Can you tell us more about your grandfather?

Bill Wiley: Sure. My grandfather was a colonel in World War II and worked under Eisenhower and Churchill. He later worked in the federal government under several presidents and became a turnaround specialist in the corporate world. He worked for companies like TWA, American Airlines, and Ford. He was known for coming in and cleaning up companies that were not profitable. He was strict but had a wealth of knowledge and experience. After retiring, he continued to be a consultant and was involved in the community. His collection of war memorabilia and other items was donated to the Marshall Foundation at VMI.

Dr. Dave Miles: That’s an incredible legacy. Let’s move on to some of the challenges you’ve faced. What was one of the biggest leadership challenges you’ve ever had to face?

Bill Wiley: One ongoing challenge has been balancing family life with my roles at Shockey and as a delegate. Taking care of my family, especially my mom who is in a nursing home, while managing my responsibilities at work and in politics is a constant juggle. Another challenge was teaching and coaching in a very diverse school. Teaching Algebra 1 to students who were at a grade level three in math and dealing with language barriers was tough. But seeing their growth and learning was extremely rewarding.

Dr. Dave Miles: You mentioned joining the Virginia House of Delegates from the city council. How was that transition?

Bill Wiley: The transition was challenging, especially moving from city council to the state level with its different parliamentary procedures. The first half of my term was spent learning how things worked, and the second half was trying to implement bills. It was a steep learning curve, but it was an honor to serve in such a historic legislative body.

Dr. Dave Miles: What do you see as one of the biggest mistakes leaders make today?

Bill Wiley: Two things come to mind: negative messaging and using the word “you” in a negative context. Negative messaging is not productive. Leaders should promote positive messaging and teamwork. Using “you” in a negative way puts people on the defensive. Instead, leaders should use “we” or “I” to foster a more collaborative environment.

Dr. Dave Miles: Absolutely. Now, what do you think is the best way for leaders to improve their leadership skills?

Bill Wiley: Education is key. Leaders should always be learning, whether through reading, attending conferences, or talking to peers. Learning from role models and those who have been successful is important. Leaders should also be open to feedback and willing to improve. Educating yourself on different topics and staying informed helps you become a better leader.

Dr. Dave Miles: Great advice. Tell our listeners how they can connect with you and learn more about you.

Bill Wiley: Sure. My email is dbwiley@house.virginia.gov. My office phone number is 804-698-1029. I try to attend as many events as possible and am always open to meeting with constituents. Please feel free to reach out.

Dr. Dave Miles: Thank you so much, Bill, for joining us today. And thank you to our listeners for tuning in. We’ll see you next time on “Conversations on Leadership with Dr. Dave.”

On this episode of Conversations on Leadership with Dr. Dave, our special guest is Delegate Bill Wiley.

In 2020 he was elected to the Virginia House of Delegates.

He represents the 32nd district, comprising the city of Winchester, and parts of Warren and Frederick Counties in Virginia.

Before his election to the House of Delegates, Wiley spent six years on the Winchester City Council.

Bill is actively involved with his community as well.

You will like his perspective on leadership – let me know what you think in the comments!

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