Ron Williams is best known for his leadership at Aetna, where he transformed a $292 million operating loss into $2 billion in annual earnings. He has extensive leadership experience, including multiple board memberships, executive coaching clients, and a seat on the President's Management Advisory Board from 2011 to 2017. Williams currently serves as the chairman and CEO of RW2 Enterprises, and as a director for American Express, Boeing, and Johnson & Johnson. He holds an M.S. in management from the Sloan School of Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
"Learning to Lead is an expert tutorial in leadership and
management, with lessons that are applicable to all levels of
leaders, from new business leaders to Fortune 500 CEOs. The stories
and insights are clear and come alive with rich examples applicable
to anyone who leads a team or organization. Ron Williams aptly
identifies many of the attributes we look for in successful
executives. Learning to Lead is accessible, practical, and
inspiring. Its lessons will help you become a better leader and may
help you become a better person."
--Rusty O'Kelley, Global Leader of the Board Advisory & Effectiveness Practice, Russell Reynolds Associates
"A prominent investor recently told me that his fund 'doesn't
invest in companies, it invests in leaders.' That's one key reason
why Learning to Lead is a must read. It embraces the notion
that only a few great leaders are born that way--most must learn
the DNA of leadership. Ron Williams is a proven leader and teacher,
and reading his book is a great way to start learning to lead!"
--Dennis Carey, Vice Chairman Korn Ferry and Founder, CEO Academy
"Aetna CEO Ron Williams's extraordinary book, Learning to
Lead, not only details his remarkable rise from Chicago's South
Side to become the CEO of one of America's greatest companies, but
shows what it takes to lead in today's complex society. With
courage, tenacity, and wisdom of experience, Williams provides
pragmatic advice on leading authentically to rise to the top. A
must-read for all leaders."
--Bill George, former Medtronic CEO; Senior Fellow, Harvard Business School; and author of Discover Your True North
"Engaging and insightful stories are what distinguish Ron
Williams's book, Learning to Lead. His well-told personal story
inspired me, producing moments of both laughter and learning. One
of America's most influential business leaders, Ron has produced a
book you shouldn't miss."
--Michael Leavitt, 14th Governor of Utah and 20th Secretary of the United States Department of Health and Human Services
"I've known Ron Williams for many years and I've followed his
career with admiration. We all can benefit from Ron's vast
leadership experience. Now that he has written Learning to
Lead, many other people--especially young men and women who
aspire to leadership roles in organizations of every kind--can take
inspiration and guidance from his experiences and his wisdom."
--Bernard J. Tyson, Chairman and CEO, Kaiser Permanente
"In Learning to Lead, Ron Williams has given us an
indispensable guide to leadership. Whether you are seeking ways to
jump-start your career, lead others, or lead an organization, the
book offers actionable tips and tools, from reframing issues, to
the importance of honest and transparent communications, to
creating a high-performance culture in the face of leadership
challenges. Ron manages to distill what he's learned throughout his
extraordinary career, and the book should be on every
professional's must-read list."
--Julie Sweet, Chief Executive Officer-North America, Accenture
"Nurturing and developing leaders of the future is an
incredibly important calling, and while it's hard work, its impact
can be felt for generations to come. Sharing accounts of Ron's own
remarkable experiences, Learning to Lead is insightful and
inspiring and offers practical advice and methods for developing
leadership excellence, an area in which Ron has demonstrated great
success throughout his decades-long career. A powerful and
--Bruce D. Broussard, President & CEO, Humana Inc.
"Ron Williams has written an exceptional book that seamlessly
blends his amazing personal journey with keen business insight. In
today's world, where leadership is often associated with bombast
and antagonism, his commitment to empathy, ethics, diligence, and
belief in the innate good of others offers an alternative vision of
how to lead businesses that is extraordinarily compelling."
--Troyen Brennan, Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer, CVS Health
"Ron Williams represents the kind of leader we need in every
sector of society today--a person of integrity, focused on solving
problems and building organizations that serve human needs with
both efficiency and compassion. Learning to Lead offers wise
counsel on every page."
--Steve Odland, President and CEO, The Conference Board
"Ron Williams reveals how to turbo-charge your quest for
success with this honest roadmap for all who want to thrive in
their careers . . . starting on day one! Everyone from front-line
managers to CEOs will find lessons that will help them unlock their
potential and avoid needless mistakes when they read Learning to
--Jerri DeVard, Executive Vice President, Chief Customer Officer, Office Depot
"Ron Williams writes the way he leads his life and
career--thoughtfully, honestly, with integrity and elegance--and
provides whack-on-the-side-of-the-head, 'aha' vignettes that
illustrate how to lead. His book provides wise and easy-to-digest
counsel on how to fully develop the head, heart, muscles, and soul
of a winning organization, one designed to do the right thing in
the right way."
--Ted Leonsis, Majority Owner, 2018 NHL Stanley Cup Champion Washington Capitals
"Ron Williams's life story and business experience are
inspiring, and the lessons he imparts about leadership apply across
all sectors. His advice is personal, practical, and profound.
Learning to Lead offers valuable insight for those seeking
to grow and thrive in the workplace."
--Roger W. Ferguson, Jr., President and Chief Executive Officer, TIAA
"The remarkable inspiration provided by the candid and
reflective storytelling in Ron Williams's Learning to Lead
will hopefully encourage many more individuals to take the path of
integrity in leadership, which is so essential at this time. Ron
has laid out his remarkable journey from the South Side of Chicago
to the C-suite not as the exception to the rule, but to light the
way so others can follow. The clarity and conviction of this book
will be a guide for generations of leaders from all walks of life
for years to come."
--Darren Walker, President of the Ford Foundation