Bill Butz

Position: President and chief operating officer of Maxim Healthcare Services, a home health care, medical staffing and wellness services provider in Columbia.

Bill Butz worked in the service, banking and manufacturing industries after college and while pursuing his CPA. After passing his exam, he realized he didn’t want to go into public accounting. Instead, he was more interested in helping to grow a business. He worked at Allegis Group for 15 years before becoming chief financial officer, and later president of Erickson Living. In December 2012, he joined Maxim as its CFO. Last month, he was appointed president and chief operating officer.

You joined Erickson Living after the company had been purchased in a bankruptcy auction and put in a lot of work getting it on solid footing. What sort of challenges does Maxim present?

As much as Erickson was a challenge, there definitely are financial and operational challenges at Maxim as well. I came into a turnaround situation I’d say probably three years into a five-year turnaround, and we’re at the point now where we’re back to being a stable growing organization.

Do you embrace deep diving into companies and helping them turnaround?

I think almost all the way back to childhood with things like sports and baseball, I was someone that probably wasn’t the most natural athlete, but someone who worked hard to really be successful at almost anything that I’ve done. I’m definitely not afraid to dig in and work hard to succeed and always looking for a new challenge.

How have sports influenced your career?

I was a three-sport athlete in high school: football, basketball and baseball. I went on to play baseball at Western Maryland College. I would say in high school and college, I was probably more of a lead-by-example leader, the person who put in the extra time whether it be in the weight room, whether it be in the batting cages. The one piece that I have embraced over time, which was not easy, is being more vocal and being comfortable standing in front of a group of 1,000 people and delivering a very passionate message. That’s been probably one of the things I’ve worked on the most over the last 20 years.

How have you grown as leader?

I was very conscientious in my work. What I found as the organization started to grow quickly, was that even though my way might have been slightly better than maybe delegating the work, that quickly would become a problem. What I learned to embrace is allowing others around me to do the work and really looking at my role as a coach, teacher and mentor.

What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned?

There is a benefit to have structure and order and operational efficiencies. But at the same time, you want the folks empowered that are closest to the customer to have a voice, to be able to communicate openly, so in turn we can make the best decisions, provide the best tools for them to be successful to serve our customers.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?

Some of the best advice I have received came from my dad. He showed me by example what servant leadership was, before I even realized the concept existed. His advice was to always work hard and to work hard for others. This instilled in me a strong work ethic, not only because of what he said, but because of what he did — working multiple jobs, taking time to coach our sports teams, etc. His focus on our family also taught me to put others in front of myself, which is the core of servant leadership. It is this type of example and advice I have tried to share with my own children.

— Interview with Kathy Orton