William L. Sparks & Associates, LLC, is a professional services firm focused on helping clients improve corporate performance, employee engagement and overall effectiveness. Each client partnership is unique and is based on understanding the underlying issues and challenges, and designing and implementing a targeted program, project or intervention aimed at achieving measurable results. Although the types of engagements vary, recent projects include change management, enhancing employee engagement and retention, facilitating corporate creativity and innovation, and leadership and team development.

Our Focus is Simple…

Improving organizational performance while enhancing the satisfaction and motivation of individuals. Dr. Sparks has developed two proprietary assessments for improving individual, team and organizational performance.

A 57-item assessment that measures leadership style based on individual motivation.
A 25-item group assessment that measures the emotional intelligence and resulting “culture” of teams and organizations.

The Director’s Manual: A Framework for Board Governance

The Director’s Manual: A Framework for Board Governance offers current and aspiring board members essential up-to-date governance guidance that blends rigorous research-based information with the wisdom found only through practical, direct experience. The book’s flexible approach to solving governance issues reflects the authors’ belief that no two boards and the cultural dynamics that drive them are the same. As such, the advice offered reflects recognizable leadership dynamics and real world, relevant organizational situations. Available February 2016.
Now Available

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Latest Blog Posts

Actualized Leadership: Happiness

Happiness is not a goal, it’s a by-product. Eleanor Roosevelt Don’t aim at success – the more you aim at it and make it a target, the more you are going to miss it. Viktor Frankl Chase away the demons, and they will take the angels with them. Joni Mitchell After our last blog that explored FEAR I thought it appropriate to examine what is often on the other side of fear and vulnerability: tranquility, serenity, and happiness.  Rather than thinking of happiness as a goal unto itself, we should think of it as an outcome of living at our fullest potential, which often requires risk, vulnerability, and courage.  The purpose of this blog is to explore and define happiness, to examine the genetics or DNA of happiness (and estimate your happiness set point), and to discuss ways to increase your overall sense of happiness and satisfaction. Happiness Defined The word happiness comes from the Old Norse word “happ” which means good luck and fortune.  Although happiness has historically been thought of as something that happens to you, we now know scientifically that a significant portion of happiness – roughly 50% – is based on how you think, what you feel, and what you do.  And although there are many characteristics that are often associated with happiness, such as sensual pleasures, serenity, and flourishing, we will focus on the straightforward definition of feeling primarily positive emotions during one’s lifetime. Happiness Set Point Dr. Pierce Howard has conducted seminal research into this question of happiness, and the role that personality plays in feeling happy.  In “The Owner’s Manual for Happiness”... read more

Actualized Leadership: Fear

The danger lies in refusing to face the fear, in not daring to come to grips with it.  Eleanor Roosevelt Our doubts are traitors and make us lose the good we oft might win by fearing to attempt. William Shakespeare Always, always, always, always, always do what you are afraid to do. Ralph Waldo Emerson I have spent the better part of 20 years researching self-actualization and what it means to live and to lead at your highest potential.  Recently someone asked me to boil it all down to one insight – what had I learned that was the most important takeaway?  That question really caused me to stop and wonder, and I think I have discovered an important answer.  Becoming more self-actualized requires you to face your fears.  I have touched on this topic indirectly in any number of blogs; the attributes of Trust, Courage, and Candor, living an independent life and caring a little less about what others think, and meeting the 3 Leadership Shadows that are all grounded in fear (i.e., Fear of Failure, Fear of Rejection, and Fear of Betrayal.)  However I really haven’t addressed this topic – fear – directly yet.  As such, the purpose of this blog is to examine fear, including the role it plays in our lives, suggested strategies for facing our fears, and the ultimate price we will pay if we are not willing to do so. The Role of Fear in Our Lives We typically consider the concept of fear, whether through our own experience, a TED Talk or a blog like this one, as something that needs to... read more