Bill Eckstrom, growth and development leader, keynotes Sept. 28 WIN breakfast
RENO, Nev. — Think of somebody in your life who, if they had your investment, they could become a more powerful person, they could touch more lives, and they could be more effective in whatever role they’re in — parent, teacher, boss, anything.
This is an example of a question renowned speaker and author Bill Eckstrom, an advocate for growth and development, will ask attendees as the keynote of the Western Industrial Nevada (WIN) breakfast meeting on Friday at the Atlantis Casino Resort.
Eckstrom, founder of EcSell Institute, which works with leaders across the globe to help them better understand and track the impact of coaching, has a soft spot for the Biggest Little City.
A couple years back, the Nebraska-based business owner was seeking a platform to give a talk on sustaining personal and professional growth through discomfort. The University of Nevada, Reno gave Eckstrom that stage in more ways than one, choosing his submission to present at the 2017 TEDxUniversityofNevada event.
“TEDx Reno’s acceptance of my talk created a stage and platform for this message to get out to the world that I never would have had,” Eckstrom said in a phone interview with the NNBV.
Ironically, Eckstrom had also applied to speak at TEDxLincoln at the University of Nebraska — located three miles from his office — but was turned down.
To say Eckstrom’s talk in Reno was a hit would be an understatement. It got so many hits, in fact, that it went certifiably viral. To date, the video has more than 2.2 million views on YouTube, and is one of the fastest growing TEDx talks in the history of the Reno event.
“I think I’m accurate by saying this: the TEDx talk I gave in Nevada — keep in mind success of talks is in number of views — has had more views than every single talk combined at the University of Nebraska,” Eckstrom said. “So I truly do have an affinity for Reno.”
An executive, author and mentor, Eckstrom will be returning to Reno with his message of becoming “comfortable with discomfort” and explain how leaders impact the growth of their teams. Specifically, attendees will learn when comfort is appropriate and needed, why discomfort should be embraced, and strategies for recognizing and creating discomfort.
“The challenge with comfort is once we get it, we have a tendency to stick to it,” Eckstrom explained. “Comfort is derived from knowing and having predictable outcomes. Once the outcomes become predictable, nobody wants to change the input. Because anytime you change an input, outcomes are then unpredictable.
“The Catch 22 is growth only occurs in states of discomfort. But nobody wants to go there.”
With that, Eckstrom said leaders, managers and coaches within an organization need to have a healthy balance of both order and complexity (unknown outcomes).
Eckstrom documented and researched more than 100,000 coaching interactions in the workplace to develop a concept called the “Growth Rings,” which illustrate the dangers of remaining in a state of comfort, and spell out the living environments that promote or hinder growth.
“As leaders, how do we impact the growth of our teams?” Eckstrom said. “There are three primary things we found in our research that have the biggest impact on performance environment: order, complexity and relationships.”
Eckstrom said he’s excited to return to Reno, the city that served as a springboard for his message.
“I’ve been doing a lot of various speaking engagements as a result of our work, but the TED talk (in Reno) blew that up,” he said. “I thanked Bret (Simmons of the TEDxUniversityofNevada team) over and over for taking a shot on me.”
Nevada was honored in the 3- to 5-million population category, alongside Kentucky and Utah, while Alabama was awarded the Gold Shovel in the same Category. Other Gold Shovel Awards went to Texas, Georgia, Virginia, Arizona and Mississippi.