Expert consultant, speaker, and author Alan Willett is the author of Leading the Unleadable: How to Manage Cynics, Divas, and Other Difficult People (Amacom: 2016). Alan works with clients around the world, including the UK, Turkey, South Africa, China, India, Canada and Mexico, and of course, throughout the United States. The companies he’s consulted for include HP, Oracle, Microsoft, NASA, General Motors, Intuit, NAVAIR, Orbital ATK, OnStar, Cornell University, Rutgers University, Technological de Monterrey, Acxiom, and many others. Alan’s passionate work has focused on leadership, with a laser focus on the unique challenges of leading in the elevated pressure environments of high-technology development.
Alan is the founder and president of Oxseeker, Incorporated, a consultancy that elevates leaders and organizations to world-class performance. Alan’s background in technology started with the first program he wrote at age 13, with his passion continuing throughout his career. He was one of the key leaders at Xerox who designed high-end production systems, including the first-ever Internet print production publisher. This product alone resulted in $40 billion in revenue for Xerox. Alan was able to have access to many of the technologies Xerox invented at its Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) before they were introduced to the rest of the world through products from Apple, Adobe, and others.
After leaving Xerox, Alan joined the world’s leading think tank on high technology development, the Software Engineering Institute (SEI), located at the Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA. At the SEI, Alan joined other renowned thought leaders in developing cutting edge methodologies adopted by corporations globally, including the Capability Maturity Model Integrated (CMMI) and the Team Software Process (TSP). The TSP was rated the top Agile methodology by Capers Jones in his seminal book Software Engineering Best Practices: Lessons from Successful Projects in the Top Companies (McGraw-Hill: 2010).
Through this work, Alan was able to establish a worldwide network of peers and thought-leaders that constantly push the high-tech development world to “do better.” It is from this position that Alan launched his own company in 2012.
Alan has been quoted and featured in a number of interviews and publications including The CEO Wisdom Exchange, #NextChat, The Matt Townsend Show, Associations NOW, The Globe and Mail, Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), Health Financial Management Association (HFMA), Skip Prichard’s Leadership Insights, Pete Mockatitis’ How to Be Awesome at Your Job, RocketMBA Rocket of the Week, South Korea’s Maeil Business Newspaper, and more.
Alan has designed and taught many different workshops at universities and corporations around the world, reaching over 2000 people directly.
Alan’s personal backstory enlivens his writing and his speaking. He grew up on a dairy farm that had been in the family for over 170 years, and which was honored as dairy farm of the year for New York State for many years running. Alan has run across the United States from ocean to ocean with his college team, beating the record of the Pony Express and earning him and the team a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records. He is one of the co-founders of EcoVillage at Ithaca, the largest co-housing ecovillage in the world, which is spotlighted in news on a global basis, including Japan and France, and featured in the book “Ecovillage at Ithaca: Pioneering a Sustainable Culture” by Liz Walker, (New Society Publishers: 2005).
As the author of Leading the Unleadable: How To Manage Mavericks, Cynics, Divas, and Other Difficult People, Alan is on a constant mission to promote his book with interviews and speaking tours. He has spoken and been interviewed in at least two places per month since publication. The pace is picking up with new interviews already scheduled each month through 2017. Alan believes in the work ethic of not just getting out there, but keeping out there.