Dr. Wilcox is a gifted and sought-after public speaker. He has keynoted local, state, regional and national events, treating audiences with a compelling message delivered with passion, humor, and a sense of joy. He has coached and mentored hundreds of leaders in the public and private sectors on topics including organizational design and development, executive leadership, compensation systems, and sales excellence. He has worked with C- suite executives and leaders across a broad spectrum of industries over his forty years in the private sector and public education.

Before joining Compass-Group as a Vice President, Ambassador for Community Relations, Dr. Wilcox created Thoughts2Lead, a venture which brought his unique blend of experience and passion to leaders seeking to improve personally and professionally.

Dr. Wilcox has written widely and recently released his new book, Leadership in Crisis where he documents the challenges of leadership in the twenty-first century. In Dr. Wilcox’s critically acclaimed new book, Dr. Wilcox shares his belief that regardless of anticipated and unanticipated forces which may arise, great leaders can and will prosper in difficult times, when they are grounded in core principles, and know where to find time-tested support and prospective. He firmly believes that if we only dare to look, we will see great people and more prosperous opportunities lined up for us. He knows that regardless of background, experience or individual circumstance – greater things are ahead of you, as they were for him.

Clayton has served in a number of leadership roles during his career, from his work at one of the nation’s leading publishing houses, to a storied career in K-12 education, to his work in a number of community colleges and university systems in Iowa, Florida, Maryland and North Carolina, Dr. Wilcox has made the most of every opportunity. He has served on a number of boards and advisories focused on many of our most pressing problems including planning for our future, building hope and possibility, income inequality, opportunity, race, and privilege. He has also been a frequent guest speaker and lecturer to community-based groups and organizations.

He was a governor’s appointee in Maryland looking at the use of longitudinal data in planning and decision making and he was asked to serve on a legislative task force to study 21st-century school construction and has been an invited faculty member of the Aspen, Institute.

Dr. Wilcox is married with two grown children. He and his wife Julie live in Charlotte.

How did you get started in this business?

My current role as Vice President, Ambassador for Community Relations is directly related to the experiences one gains through years of hard work, attention to detail and persistence, coupled with a keen eye for seeing relationships others may not recognize or honor. Each of those attributes, when taken together propelled me into progressively greater roles of responsibility ad impact.

When you were starting out, was there ever a time you doubted it would work? If so, how did you handle that?

When doubts came and they did often early in my journey, I turned to the only thing I knew to do. Face it head-on. I came to grips with what I feared and then put one foot in front of the other and move thoughtfully forward.

What do you think it is that makes you successful?

Being willing to do what needs to be done and not being caught up in title or position. I think being well read, being curious, and having a sense of humor have helped me along the way. I think seeing connections and relationships faster than many others has been a critical aspect in my success. And I think being a good friend has been a critical element in my success.

What has been your most satisfying moment in business?

Seeing those who I have helped in some small way, taught, or mentored advance has provided my most satisfying moments.

What business books have inspired you?

The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz
How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
Zero to One by Peter Thiel
Good to Great by Jim Collins

What advice would you give to your younger self?

Read more, listen more, talk less.


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