The ultimate discovery

William Loads, a leadership advisor and executive coach, has had an extensive career teaching and mentoring at universities and within his own businesses. One of his most exciting ventures is, however, one that not many people can say they’ll ever be a part of; William Loads has a dinosaur named after him.

Atlascopcosaurus loadsi
Atlascopcosaurus loadsi
A drawing completed by the Museum of Victoria Art Department.

Atlascopcosaurus loadsi an approximately 125kg, 1.7 metre herbivore walked the earth nearly 120 million years ago during the early Cretaceous period – apparently in Victoria. A fragment of jaw bone was discovered by palaeontologists, Dr Tom Rich and his wife, Dr Patricia Vickers-Rich, in 1986 by the dangerous ocean-front cliff edges on the southern Otway coastline in Victoria.

Being the Regional Manager of Atlas Copco for Victoria and Tasmania at the time, William stepped up to the plate, making the executive decision to offer much-needed equipment and advice. He would often go down to the dig site in his own time, teaching the volunteers how to safely use the machinery. He, alongside Dr Tom Rich, developed a way to recover fossils in a controlled, mechanised way without damaging them, using mining and construction equipment. Thirty years on, he still supports paleontological digs.

In recognition for all his hard work, William was awarded an honoris causa by the Museum of Victoria. His dedicated and supportive nature has continued to help many people and businesses overcome their struggles.

"I fell into mentoring and coaching naturally, at an early age, and it translated into my work life helping staff and colleagues build trust and solve industrial disputes."

Atlas Copco unveiling
Atlas Copco unveiling
The unveiling of the COBRA Breaker in February 1986 with Willam (second in from the left) and his colleagues including Dr Tom Rich (second in from the right). Loans and donations of equipment, such as the COBRA, led to the discovery of 10 new dinosaurs.

Looking back at RMIT

A Master in Business Administration (MBA) graduate (1979 – 1984), William recalls his time at RMIT University fondly. The MBA was a difficult course – around 24 subjects, a 30 000 word thesis, along with a full-time job later, he pulled through. “It was very easy to be a dropout,” he said of his educational marathon. “The MBA was a course of perspiration and inspiration – there was a lot of thinking and hard work involved.”

During his studies he took on roles in chemical engineering fields at companies Boral Energy, Exxon and Simplot. Constantly moving with the times and keeping up with the industry, William made the connection that he’d been working with Atlas Copco compressors all along and applied for a position, going through a rigorous interview process.

“Job hunting is like running a marathon, you have to have faith in yourself. You can only imagine the finish line and you must put in the preparation.”
– William Loads

Words of wisdom

Starting his own consulting business in the 1990s, William sticks to helping people develop their businesses by sharing his expertise in fields such as change management, executive coaching, career mentoring, entrepreneurship and business start-ups today. An adjunct lecturer at RMIT University and Australian Catholic University, he inspires students to put their best foot forward. He believes in having a plan and being ready to change it if it’s not working.

When asked about his advice to graduates and alumni, he left the conversation with this:

“Think, then do, otherwise without a plan you’ll walk around like a tourist. Planning, preparation and performance—those are my three P’s.”

William today
William today
William standing in front of a painting created by artist Peter Trusler for the Museum of Victoria.

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