Bill Roma

William Adams–CEO of Full Circle Group & The Leadership Circle, and Roma Gaster–Director and Partner at Full Circle Group and The Leadership Circle

#042 – The Leadership Circle Approach to Collective Leadership Transformation: Coaching at the Individual, Team and Systems Levels”

Join Dr. Krister Lowe and today’s show guests– leading organizational coaches William Adams and Roma Gaster of Full Circle Group and The Leadership Circle. William Adams is the CEO of Full Circle Group and The Leadership Circle and has more than 30 years of experience focusing on transformational change, large systems change, leadership and teamwork as well as youth leadership. Roma Gaster is a Director and Partner at Full Circle Group and The Leadership Circle and also brings more than 30 years of experience working on the human side of business alongside their strategic context in order to generate results beyond expectations.

In this episode of the podcast, Bill and Roma share insights about coaching at the individual, team and systems levels. They explore their approach to “collective leadership” which they have been helping organizations capitalize on for 20 years. They also explore the developmental consciousness of leaders, teams and full organizational systems. Additional themes and resources explored in the podcast include: organizations as creating the greatest laboratory and environments to develop people; stories and lessons learned working with organizations around the globe; the Leadership Circle Profile; the recently published book “Mastering Leadership: An Integrated Framework for Breakthrough Performance and Extraordinary Business Results;” as well as information about their certification training programs and more.

This is an episode full of wisdom and value that both new and experienced team coaches will surely not want to miss!

Listen Now


Contact Bill and Roma


Part 1 – Getting to Know the Coaches: Bill Adams & Roma Gaster


  • William Adams, CEO of Full Circle Group and the Leadership Circle
    • Loves people and passionate about relationships
    • More than 30 years of experience, diverse clients
    • “This work is the work of my soul, it’s my passion place”
    • Worked as an internal consultant before starting own leadership consulting business in 1984, focusing on transformational change, large systems change, and leadership and team work
    • Passionate about the field of youth leadership
  • Roma Gaster, Director and Partner at Full Circle Group and the Leadership Circle
    • Over 30 years of experience working with the human side of business
    • Born in Nairobi, became a champion swimmer, realized that her own individual contribution was never as great individually as it was when in a team
    • Finding that “third space” where individuals and teams come together
    • Spent time in Japan and Australia during university

Full Circle Group

  • Consulting services side, Full Circle Group – leadership effectiveness (individual and collective leadership) and business performance with emphasis on business and cultural transformation
  • Looking at the fact that businesses that need to transform themselves need to have leaders who spearhead that process, and look at whether the culture is there to do it
  • Leadership Circle: assessment based on Leadership Circle profile
  • A lot of work around development process: episodic approach to multi-year engagement
  • Defining leadership: creating outcomes that matter to us; Deliberately disruptive definition
  • Key competitive advantage companies have is to focus on leadership, particularly collective leadership à affects internal culture but also business results

Part 2 – Perspectives on Team Coaching 

Collective Leadership

  • 15-20 years ago it seemed that the high leverage opportunities within organizations was capitalizing on collective leadership
  • Looking at top levels of leadership within organizations: often haven’t thought about these processes
  • How to get CEO and top leaders to look at development of self and others, measuring effectiveness of leadership and the business results
  • We can’t afford not to look at collective leadership development
  • There is now a decrease in “high performing teams” – operating environment is harder now
  • Allowing conversations to happen that haven’t in the past
  • Shifting to more complex systems
  • Keegan: In over our heads book – looking at operating system outmatched by the world in which it is operating
  • How can we become more conscious in a way that improves our ability and capability to operate within the complexity that will continue to develop
  • Looking at individual consciousness, team consciousness, and organizational consciousness
  • Leaders are starting to be more receptive, driven by more need
  • Parallel journey: leaders being committed on an individual level and modeling the journey
  • Nested systems within larger systems
    • What is connected, how is it connected, and how can we impact the whole?
    • Understanding individual impact on system and vice versa
    • Leader as practitioner, practitioner as leader: looking at organizations as practice field
    • Leadership Assessment: requires looking at what commitments leaders will make
    • Looking at pace of development: are we keeping up with the pace of increasing complexity?
  • Self-awareness within a systems framework
  • Looking for patterns within individual to interrupt or change these patterns
  • Good coaches already do this

Stories, Examples

  • Roma: teams located in Hong Kong, looking at individual and collective leadership effectiveness, team with 17 different nationalities and many non-English speakers, varying degrees of committedness among leaders – level of commitment makes a huge difference
  • “We exist to evolve the concept of leadership”
  • Leaders who understand that they are part of a system beyond themselves – millenials are very keen on this
  • One leader can make a difference as the collective begins to get on a transformational journey
  • Bill: Honda case study from book “Mastering Leadership
    • CEO looked across the world to look for local leadership in regions, investing in developing its leaders
    • Residential and then ongoing development with teams and internal Organizational Development team
    • Focusing on how internal group can continue to improve; significant improvements, leader focusing only on becoming better
    • Leader becoming coach within system

How to help individual leaders move toward collective leadership approach?

  • Transition around understanding and being committed to providing others with the resource of self
  • We are responsible for each other’s development
  • Self reflection, leader-to-leader interaction
  • The development environment that takes place within a team is the most effective environment we have
    • When you can get a team to work on its own development, it becomes an accelerant for both the team and the individual to continue that development
  • Learning orientation vs a performance orientation – the former enables better performance
  • Development agenda as the evolution of consciousness

Part 3 – Resources, Parting Words, and Contacting Roma & Bill

  • Resources
    • www.LeadershipCircle.com: white papers, books, video, intro to Leadership Circle Profile, Leadership Culture Survey, assessments, leadership system
    • Mastering Leadership book, published December 2015
  • Words of Wisdom
    • Bill: learned early on that the old cliché of surrounding yourself with great people is very real
    • Roma: “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”
    • Circle in logo – Japanese concept of enso: capacity to express a moment when the mind is free to let the body create
    • Continually allowing us to be shaped by and to shape the environment
    • Deep spiritual work required

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