309: Bill Eckstrom – Coaching for Leaders and Managers


Bill Eckstrom Show Notes Page

Coaching for leaders and managers is essential to drive peak performance for your call center and business. According to Bill Eckstrom, the most effective leader behaves more like a coach. So, how exactly do you behave that way and what do great leaders do to increase sales, enhance performance, and sustain growth? In this episode of the Fast Leader Show, Bill Eckstrom lays out the strategies and tactics for you to apply coaching for leaders and managers. Learn how you can become more comfortable with discomfort and its importance in your call center and team’s growth.

Bill Eckstrom was born in Omaha, Nebraska, but calls Valley, Nebraska home, where he moved in his early teens and had a high school graduating class of 55 students.

As a self-proclaimed terrible student, Bill would have been labeled “behaviorally disordered” by today’s standards. He was kicked out of school in the 7th grade with a recommendation from the principal he be expelled from the district.

Had it not been for two amazingly tolerant parents and a couple of athletic coaches, Bill would likely have taken a much different path, one far more self-destructive. He grew up with two brothers and spent most of his young life on a field with a ball or in a field with his oldest brother pursuing wild game.

Bill began his professional career in 100% commissioned insurance sales, going against his father’s advice that it was most prudent to get a job with a big company, which he believed offered the most secure future.

Ironically, when Bill did pursue that path later in his career, he learned quickly that today’s world was not the same his father had experienced – Bill was fired from his job as Senior VP of Business Development for a publicly-traded company. That significant, life-altering event, however, was a catalyst to Bill’s future achievements.

Now Bill is the founder and CEO of the EcSell Institute, the world’s first and only organization to measure and quantify leadership effectiveness. His company works in a variety of settings, helping coaches/leaders in the world of business, athletics, and education.

Bill, along with co-author, Sarah Wirth, are the authors of the best-selling book The Coaching Effect. The book focuses on what great leaders do to behave more like a high-growth coach and lead teams that produce and perform at much higher levels. The book’s body of work is based on Bill’s company’s research, which measured over 100,000 coaching interactions in the workplace.

In his spare time, Bill is involved with therapy dog work. He and his Labrador, Aspen, work together at senior living homes, children’s hospitals, colleges, athletic teams, and anywhere the presence of Aspen’s wagging tail and soft soul can bring a smile.

Bill and his wonderful wife have been married for 35 years and live in Lincoln, Nebraska. They have three children ages 23, 29, and 31 spread across the country, living in New York City, Fort Collins, CO, and Hawaii. The only benefit of having them so far away is they all live in beautiful places to visit!

Tweetable Quotes and Mentions

Listen to @billeckstrom get over the hump on the @FastLeaderShow – Click to Tweet

“Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response, lies our growth and our freedom.” Victor Frankl  – Click to Tweet

“Become more comfortable with discomfort.” – Click to Tweet

“Growth only occurs in the state of discomfort.” – Click to Tweet

Hump to Get Over

In 2008, Bill Eckstrom was fired from his job. While it created chaos in the short run, the chaos turned into complexity, and the complexity turned into major growth. As a result, Bill started his own company, he was able to do a TED talk, and everything from that point in his life changed. While he thought it had changed for the worst, it changed for the better.

Advice for others

Become more comfortable with discomfort. Growth only occurs in the state of discomfort.

Holding him back from being an even better leader

My mind.

Best Leadership Advice


Secret to Success

My ability to identify and acquire amazing talent.

Best tools in business or life


Recommended Reading

The Coaching Effect : What Great Leaders Do to Increase Sales, Enhance Performance, and Sustain Growth

Man’s Search for Meaning

Links and Resources

Bill’s TED Talk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LBvHI1awWaI

EcSell website: https://www.ecsellinstitute.com

Bill’s website: https://www.billeckstrom.com

Bill’s LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/billeckstrom

Bill’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/billeckstrom

Bill’s Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/eckstromwl

Fast Leader Show on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/FastleaderNet

Fast Leader Show on Apple Podcast: https://apple.co/364qAA2

Fast Leader Show on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FastLeaderShow

Fast Leader Show on Twitter: https://twitter.com/fastleadershow

Fast Leader Show on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/fastleader.net

Show Transcript

Click to access unedited transcript
Unedited Transcript <p>Click to access unedited transcript Unedited Transcript Jim Rembach (00:00): Okay, fast leader Legion today. I’m excited because we’re going to have somebody on the show today who is going to make you feel uncomfortable and you know what, it’s a good thing, bill, extra money. I was born in Omaha, Nebraska, but calls Valley, Nebraska home, where he moved in his early teens and had a high school graduating class of 55 students as a self-proclaimed terrible student bill would have been labeled behaviorly disordered by today’s standards. He was kicked out of school in the seventh grade with a recommendation from the principal that he be expelled from the entire district. Had it not been for two amazingly tolerant parents and a couple of athletic coaches, bill would likely have taken a much different path. One far more self-destructive he grew up with two brothers and spent most of his young life on a field with a ball or in a field with his oldest brother pursuing wild game. Jim Rembach (00:57): Bill began his professional career in 100% commission insurance sales going against his father’s advice that it was the most prudent job to get and be with a big company instead, which he believed offered the most secure future. Ironically, when bill did pursue that path later in his career, he learned quickly that today’s world was not the same as his father had experienced. Bill was fired from his job as senior vice president of business development for a publicly traded company. That’s significant life altering event. However, was the catalyst to Bill’s future achievements. Now bill is the founder and CEO of the Xcel Institute, the world’s first and only organization to measure and quantify leadership effectiveness. His company works in a variety of settings, helping coaches leaders in the world of business athletics and education bill, along with his coauthor, Sara worth are the authors of the bestselling book. Jim Rembach (01:54): The coaching effect, the book focuses on what great leaders do to behave more like a high growth coach and lead teams that produce and perform at much higher levels. The books body of work is based on Bill’s company’s research, which measured over 100,000 coaching interactions in the workplace. In his spare time, bill is involved with therapy, dog work, he and his Labrador Aspen work together at senior living homes. Children’s hospitals, colleges, athletic teams, and anywhere the presence of Aspen’s wagging tail and a soft soul can bring a smile bill and his wonderful wife have been married for 35 years and live in Lincoln, Nebraska. They have three children ages, 23, 29 and 31 spread all across the country, living in New York city, Fort Collins, Colorado and Hawaii. The only benefit of having them so far away is that they live in beautiful places to visit bill extra. Are you ready to help us get over the hump? Jim? I will do my best. And thank you for having me today. Well, I’m glad you’re here now, given my Legion. Yeah. A little bit about you, but can you share what your current passion is so that we get to know you in a better? Bill Eckstrom (03:00): My current passion is, uh, working with young men and women. Um, that’s always been a passion that that continues. And right now it’s really adapting a lot of what we do from business to athletics and education. So spending a lot of time expanding, uh, our footprint that way. Jim Rembach (03:30): Well, you know, and as you say that I, you know, I had the opportunity of reviewing your Ted talk and, um, we’ll put a link to that on your show notes page at, uh, fast leader.net/bill Ekstrom. Uh, so people can get a greater understanding of, you know, how you get to that point because quite frankly, how you do it is quite unorthodox and it’s had some significant impact, but in the book, you know, I, before we get into the depth of our discussion, I think it’s important that an essential that we establish the difference between, you know, a manager, a trainer, a mentor, and a coach. So if you could help us understand the very important distinctions between these roles. Bill Eckstrom (04:12): Um, sure. And that’s really a good question, Jim. They let’s start with manager the most commonly used term and I’ll even throw meter in coming up on the leader to that mix as well. Uh, but manager, as we say in the book, the coaching effect, it’s a very archaic term. The scientist study of management really came about in the industrial era in our country. And managers were known for doing, you know, having predictable inputs and driving predictable outcomes. And as you’ll learn from the Ted talk and, and w w w how you and I were discussing before the program began, growth only occurs in a state of discomfort. That’s not what management’s about. Management’s about driving predictability and that’s what creates comfort. So it’s the antithesis. So managers have nothing to do with motivation when we use that they have nothing to do with discretionary effort. And when we use that term manager people, without even knowing it are asking people to limit performance of teams that that’s, that’s by nature. That’s what that role is involved is supposed to do. Jim Rembach (05:33): Well, the unfortunate side of that is when you start talking about in today’s world and the changing and the evolution, and, you know, it is no longer, you know, a production where I’m putting widgets together down the line Bill Eckstrom (05:45): Very well said, that’s, that’s exactly right. Yeah. Jim Rembach (05:48): Yeah. It’s, it’s now we’re asking people to do things that they’ve never been developed for, and that’s really what the book is all about. Um, but put things in proper context around the customer and the employee experience. What is the difference in high performance coaching and coaching environments and coaching practices mean versus just the average, um, Bill Eckstrom (06:15): When we, so, so we spent a lot of time trying to figure that out as well, by the way. And so what we were able to do with our research is we’re able to go across many, many hundreds of companies throughout the world. And it’s really easy to focus on, um, as a baseline, your research sales departments, because they measure everything right. And there’s always numbers attached to, to, to highs and lows and everywhere in between. And so what we were able to do is we took the top 20% of, um, meters within sales departments and across all different companies. Um, and so we were able to normalize that. And then we went back because we had so much data and research on all of them. We were able to go back and research what they did well, what they did differently. So we separate the top 20% versus the bottom 80. Bill Eckstrom (07:21): Now we could talk about perhaps upbeat the top three to 5%, but there wasn’t a huge difference within the top 20%. And here’s, what’s really kind of interesting Jim, between the top 20 and bottom 80, the gap is relatively small, meaning that the top 20% does 28%, what we call more of their high growth coaching activities. They coach was 17% better quality. Those aren’t huge separations. There are some statistically significant, but they’re not huge. And really what the pool, what we’re, what we’re seeing is the difference between the top 20%, which is what we’ll refer to as great. And everyone else is not that big, but what it takes to close that gap is really significant because it involves a lot of behavior change. So to not answer that question specifically, so what the top 20% are doing, they do more coaching and we measure that they do it better, better quality. We measure that the result is lower turnover, higher discretionary effort. Um, when we compare with engagement, results, engagement increases. So the results are really quite frankly astronomical. And, and in terms of dollar incense, if I, a team of salespeople, if I’m a top 20%, or my team average is $4.3 million more revenue. Jim Rembach (09:03): Well, as you’re saying that, you know, and you talk about all this measurement, I mean, the same thing happens in a contact center environment where I spend most of my days measured. Like you wouldn’t believe. Um, and for me, when you start talking about those differences and those gaps, I mean, real quick, when you start getting, even in some of these larger organizations, a one and 2% difference, that is massive. Um, when you start getting into, into 10, that is monumental. And unfortunately what happens is from a grand juror and a marketing perspective, you know, whether they’re coaches or whether they’re software companies, whatever, they’ll say a 97% increase in, you know, all those kinds of stuff. And it becomes, you know, a situation where people have significant doubt. So I I’m, for me, your transparency and your discussion about that to me, first of all, I appreciate, um, it, it is more realistic, but it is still yet quite significant. Bill Eckstrom (09:59): It, Oh, it is because, and here’s, here’s, what’s interesting when we, so we can share all this, right? And in the book we talk about this, people know this, we explain it to them. If you do these activities, okay. If you do them with greater consistency, greater frequency, your teams will produce and they’ll grow at a faster rate, but yet 40% of the people won’t change habits or behaviors, even, even you can statistically show them, just listen over time. I’m telling you it works. But now, you know, my old way is the way I do it Jim Rembach (10:43): Well. And that’s where, you know, the book goes into a lot of the different, you know, frameworks and structures and, you know, things in order to be able to, uh, help people to see, Oh, well, it’s not as difficult as I suspected. And I do now see a starting point and a journey involved with this because development is just that. I mean, you and I had this discussion earlier talking about where we were and what we experienced and how that impacts us and what we chose to do about it. And, you know, all of those things that it’s a journey. Um, but I think when you start looking at, um, some of these structures and frameworks to get us going, one of your foundational components and elements is something you call the growth rings. And again, you talk about that in a Ted talk and we’ll link to that in your show notes page, but at a high level, if you could please help us understand what the growth rings are. Bill Eckstrom (11:29): All right. So as I go through this, Jim, feel free to jump in and interrupt me at any time here and ask, tell me to either shut up or go further down the road or earn her, uh, just seriously, because I can go forever on this. So the growth rings are, they represent environments. So there’s four primary environments and they represent environments that either promote or hinder growth of living things. Okay. So they represent environments that promote or hinder growth of living things. Now, environments, we’ll talk about those for a second are our perceived surroundings that shape living things, okay. There are our perceived surroundings because what may be an environment to me, maybe a different environment to you. Okay. Then we step back away from that. And environments are created by our response to forces that exist in the world. And there are primary cultural forces, and there are physical forces in their social forces. Bill Eckstrom (12:46): And without going into great depth on all of those, the obvious ones right now, for example, the pandemic is a physical force. How we respond to that pandemic creates our own environment and that all I’ll get to in a minute what those foreign environments are. But so the forces are not, um, they are not environments of themselves. It is how we respond to them. So the pandemic, like I said, this is an example of a physical force. A forest fire in a forest would be an example of a physical force, um, in an environment that creates either within or creates an environment. Social forces are where we come in. Uh, Jim, we are, it is the teachers, coaches, bosses, parents, and our lives and how we respond to our engagement and interactions with them also dictate our environments. Okay. Now, so let’s take a step back from that. Bill Eckstrom (13:47): You’re my boss, Jim, and how I, and the others on my team respond to you. Um, getting back to the growth rings puts us in one of four environments. It can be either stagnation, stagnation as a negative growth environment, as the word would depict where there’s too many steps and permissions and new HSA. And we are typically are growing. We’re just going backwards. We, in a business perspective, you can see stagnation occur, um, with high-tech companies think no further than my compact computers, Kodak blockbuster, right, or really tech dependent. And if we don’t keep up or keep ahead of it, we can go into stagnation in a hurry. Chaos is the antithesis of that. Chaos is having no idea what’s coming and going. The pandemic has created an, a tremendous amount of chaos in people’s lives right now from a, both a personal and a business perspective. Bill Eckstrom (14:47): We don’t have any control. We don’t know what’s kind of going to happen next. And we certainly don’t know what the outcome’s going to be. That’s the second growth during the third one is what we call order order is knowing that what you do or what is happening around you leads to a predictable outcome. Now here’s where it gets interesting predictability is what creates comfort. Now that’s just let the listeners think about that for a second. When I know what the outcome’s going to be, whether even as good or bad, that’s what creates comfort. And while order is part of a high, high growth, high performing teams, or there is some order involved, we see it in our research. The challenge of the order is because it creates comfort. It’s where we want to be. That’s our visceral responses to, to have these predictable outcomes and to be in a state of comfort, that challenges, we only grow in a state of discomfort. Discomfort is created by the fourth ring. It’s a result of being in what’s called a complex environment. Don’t think of complexity as complicatedness. Just think of it as the name of an environment where now inputs have changed. And when inputs change outcomes are unpredictable and it’s unpredicted bility, that creates discomfort. So we’ll kind of noodle on that for a minute. Jim Rembach (16:26): You’re talking about that and you, and you, uh, um, and you explain it with a visual and everything. So, you know, it helps a lot of people kind of put these things in proper context, but you talk about those four primary things, and then you break them out into eight sub themes and broadly what these do is enable us to focus and where some of the order comes in, but then also gives us an understanding of where we want to create some discomfort, because it is, it shouldn’t be, um, a situation where we create discomfort in places where it’s not going to add value to anyone, including the organization customers and so on and so forth. Uh, and so I think the categories are really important. And also, I want you to talk about how the sub categories either get impacted through them from an evolutionary state, uh, as well as from, you know, increased information and data so that they have to be iterated. Jim Rembach (17:19): Okay. So these four sub themes are, you have overall coaching thing, which is overall coaching impact, uh, and then coaching culture. And then you have relationship things which are relationship building and listening. Then you have ordered things which are coaching activity and coaching consistency, uh, and then complexity things which are self-development and catalytic factor. Now that’s, what’s in the book. So even before we started our interview, you said, well, even from when we wrote the book, I mean, some of these things have changed because of the data that we’re collecting and, you know, things along those lines. But if you could, you know, give us an understanding of, and you kind of did you did a moment ago when you were explaining, you know, give us an understanding of the order, you know, how I need to focus, how I need to execute, how I need to get started and how these things can iterate. Bill Eckstrom (18:11): Okay. Uh, uh, wow, great. You’ve done your due diligence, Jim. Um, first of all, let me, let me back up on this. So when we think about those four, uh, rings within the growth rings, and, you know, again, there’s stagnation order, complexity and chaos. When we look at high growth, high performing teams, really two of them come into play that that have to be there, uh, components of order and components of complexity. If there’s stagnation or chaos involved, things are getting bad in your teams. Okay. As leaders as coaches, we control this, we have the greatest impact on that environment within our organization. Okay. So within order now, before hold on, before we get there, there’s one more primary theme. So the primary themes, when we look at high-growth high-performing teams, there’s an order theme, a complexity theme, and a ring relationship theme that you and I haven’t even discussed yet of those three, they are inextricably linked, but yet what’s foundational. Bill Eckstrom (19:20): The one that’s most foundational is relationship without that in place the other two fall apart, you cannot put in healthy order or healthy complexity. In other words, you can’t put in great processes and systems and you can’t challenge people and make them uncomfortable without first having relationship a trust-based relationship in place. So what you were already alluding to Jim is those of those three primary themes, we’ll break them apart. First of all, relationship, there are two sub themes under relationship, and I think you missed it. Um, one was listening and the other, what was the other, uh, uh, trust Jim Rembach (19:59): Relationship building? So that’s the relationship Bill Eckstrom (20:01): Builder. So yes, that’s evolved even since the printing of this book, for example, missing used to be one. When we continue to look at data missing is no longer having a very strong correlation to discretionary effort to driving a stronger relationship, as weird as that may sound. But what we’ve found that is replacing it, that has a stronger correlation is psychological safety. So relationship now we measure that by measuring the psychological safety in leader or coach brings to their teams, as well as their ability to we’ll use the term connect, create trust-based relationships. So those are the two themes that re that comprise your relationship, um, order it is doing, you know, the right activities at the right time and doing them consistently. Those are themes that are measurable within teams as well. And then when you look back at the complexity, and this is what, this is the one that surprised us most in our research, um, and we talk about this in the book early on, we figured that there needed to be trust and relationship involved. Bill Eckstrom (21:18): We knew that there were probably great systems and accountabilities and processes that great coaches and leaders had in place, but there was something else and we kept investigating it. And then when we discovered it, we couldn’t even figure out how to explain it. And that’s how quite frankly, the growth rings were developed, but it is my, my meter, my coach’s ability to create healthy discomfort. And I used it to the qualifier healthy gym, because you can make me uncomfortable through fear that is not healthy. I can grow, you can make me uncomfortable. I can still grow in fear, right? I’m just not going to do it with you for long turnover will eventually, uh, increase, right? My engagement will go down. So when we measure this within organizations, we’re measuring a leader or coach’s ability to develop your skills when whatever role you’re in. And the only way we’re going to develop them is by challenging you and making you uncomfortable. Bill Eckstrom (22:27): And by creating what we call catalytic events, that means I’m going to do something to disrupt because when disruption occurs growth should be the outcome of that if it’s done well. So that’s a long answer. I apologize, but those are kind of the themes and the beautiful part about this is they’re all measurable people wonder, and you know, well, how do I know that? How do I know if I’ve got great leaders? How do I know if I’ve got great coaches? How do I know if I have great managers? And I hate that term, um, measure it, you can quantify it now. There’s a, so that’s how it’s done. Jim Rembach (23:07): Well, and as you’re talking, I started thinking about, you know, going back to the conversation about, you know, Taylorism, you know, Frederick Taylor, when we first started looking at management and all that stuff, and you talked about the turn of the century, meaning the 19th, um, you know, there, there is a significant shift that has happened because of the type of work that we are doing today, uh, where the, the manager and the coach and the leader have to be the same person. It’s no longer a situation of choice. It’s a situation of necessity and essentially mystic types of foundations in order an organization to be not just Bill Eckstrom (23:47): Thriving, but surviving. Jim Rembach (23:49): And so if I start thinking about going back to what you had mentioned, it’s the, you know, the frontline people are doing their work. It’s a whole lot of chaos, a whole lot of disorder, and a whole lot of, you know, things that are going on that are going to impact, you know, the organization as a whole. And you have this middle group that is trying to sustain and maintain and put in process and all that. And you have these groups at the top, which are also dealing with the chaos. So you got, you got this wall, um, and you, you, you know, you talked about them, uh, in a lot of different ways in regards to these constraints and, and all of that, how can we take? And I think the important point is what we’re talking about here is how do we get the manager and the leader and the coach to be the same person. Bill Eckstrom (24:33): Uh, and that’s, you’re right. And that’s a very poignant question. And that is in essence, really what, what the book is all about. It’s, it’s people need to behave when we, when we go back and look at everything, people need to behave more like a high growth F high-performing athletic coach than they need to be a business leader. And, and here’s how we differentiate that we believe great coaches have management skills. We believe great coaches have amazing leadership behaviors and traits. The difference where we separate this is I can be a follower the way, the way we view leadership, I can be a follower and be a great leader. I can have great leadership characteristics and great leadership traits. The only real gap between coaching and leadership is to coach. I got to have a team of people, a follower again, can I have great leadership traits to be a coach? I got to have a team of people that reports to me. So that’s our distinction. And we, we know in our research, people who do the right activities with the right frequency and the right quality can come, can evolve from someone who just behaves more like a manager into a coach, some of behaves more just like a leader, but into a coach that if they really put their mind to it, our ability to evolve is limitless. It’s just, how much are we willing to do Jim Rembach (26:12): Well? And so you, then you talk about, you know, having coaching activities, you talk about meetings, you talk about one-on-ones and you talk about team meetings and you go into depth in those, in the book, we don’t have time to go into those, you know, on the show. That’s why people need to get the book. Um, but one area of having those medians that I think really impacts the whole quality element that you’re kind of opening the door for is something you call tone. Now, we’ve all heard about tone, but in context of going from being, you know, that average to being Bill Eckstrom (26:44): A high performer, tell us a little bit about tone. Um, you know, Sarah worth in our company, our president, uh, studies pays a lot of attention to this. I don’t pay as much attention to it because I think naturally I seem to be better at it, but then I catch myself not doing it. So when we refer to tone it’s are we being condescending? How are we communicating with our voice? How the questions we’re asking, are we asking why questions versus how questions? And when you’re in a coaching relationship, when you ask why versus how now don’t get me wrong. It’s the opposite of we’re talking strategically about a business, how our, why questions are better than how questions, but one-on-one from a coaching relationship. I asked you why, if that’s the tone, whether, I mean it or not, if that’s the word I use, regardless of my tone, you’re going to be on the defensive. Bill Eckstrom (27:56): So, you know, if I were say, Jimmy and I look back on the year, why was it? You handled this situation the way you did all of a sudden. Now you’re like, Oh, I did something wrong. You know, so why questions are an example of, of not just tone. Um, and we need to approach people from the basis of a trust-based relationship. I’ll use that term again, if I’m visiting what the friend, which is now, you’re not going to be beer drinking buddies with everybody in your team. I understand that, but you need to be able to sit down with everybody and have a one-on-one conversation that is give and take, not top down. It, it, everything starts culture starts top down, but it’s only perpetuated bottom up. So I’m going to visit with you, Jim, not as your coach or your boss, or your teacher or your mentor. Bill Eckstrom (29:02): I’m just going to have a conversation with you. And what’s fascinating to me is like, I’ll sit down with our VP of sales. I learned as much from him in our one-on-ones, as I think, as I’m confident, he then he learns from me because I don’t go in with an attitude and a tone of I’m going to depart upon you all this amazing wisdom. I’m going to have the tone. I’m going to sit down and say, help me understand your week, help me understand your last two weeks and everything from what’s happening at home to what’s happening at work. And really Jim Rembach (29:42): What you’re talking about there is feedback. I mean, that, that, that is a, you know, a feedback practice and activity that is a different behavior than using some of the, you know, uh, accusatory type of statements and the defensive types of statements. It’s, it’s doing feedback better. Uh, and one of my mentors, Dr. Shane Makonnen, you know, talks about feedback, um, that it’s one of the most, uh, vital, yet lowest performing, uh, human development areas. So if we talk about, you know, feedback, what do we need to do in order for feedback to be high-performance? Bill Eckstrom (30:19): Um, that’s a really powerful question. And let me, let me affirm basically what you said. When we look at all the things that great coaches slash leaders do, the, the, the one activity that has the highest correlation to creating discretionary effort from the people on your team is feedback. Next is one-on-ones, but first is feedback. So when we use that term feedback really needs to be looked at in two different ways. Number one, it’s it’s, it needs to be woven into the fabric of who you are and what you do. We’re always providing feedback within our organization. We do the same thing with our clients. We help them understand that every single interaction engagement you see from people on your team is an opportunity for feedback. And right now, within most organizations, feedback is viewed as something that happens only when something is done wrong. Bill Eckstrom (31:18): And that’s what we, first and foremost, we’ve got to get rid of it. Tom Osborne, the retired football coach at university Nebraska would always say one of the most powerful fence, powerful things I do is I try and catch somebody doing something, right. And then I tell them, and we’ve missed that within business. You know, it’s, it’s, I’m going to walk in somebody’s office. So they look up at me if their instinct or visceral instinct is, Oh, Bill’s in here. I did something wrong. That’s bad. Right? So feedback, good, bad, and indifferent. They use it in the world of sport. I could quote you all kinds of sports psychologists. It’s, it’s the first one, the best thing they can do. Right? And then here’s the other part of it in business. When we look at results, uh, leaders who provide objective feedback, at least once a quarter are in the top 20%, at least once a quarter, I’m going to provide you objective feedback, not just oral, not just I’m talking on paper, in writing, whatever that may be. You’re going to get it in, in, in terms of, I say, get it not being in trouble, but get, get that written word Jim Rembach (32:35): Well. And as you’re saying that, I even start thinking about it. Well, let me go to the relationship. There’s two people involved with that. There’s a coach and a coachee. And oftentimes what you’ll find is everybody’s bringing all of their previous experiences who their previous leaders were, their previous cultures. Uh, I mean, all of that into, let’s just say a feedback or one-on-one session, or even a team meeting for that matter. And so part of the responsibility here is also being a better coachee, you know, and being engaged with the feedback process. And so oftentimes you’ll find where you may be doing everything right. You have the right behaviors are asking the right questions. You’re doing the best you possibly can in order to be able to create the relationship and build trust. However, you still have two people, uh, that are part of it. And you have essentially a coachee that’s underdeveloped, doesn’t know how to receive it. And also themselves, they don’t know how to deliver it because there, the feedback should go both ways, right? So what do we need to do in order to prepare coachees, to be better coachees? Bill Eckstrom (33:39): You know, um, it first starts it, uh, I just got to take it back to ourselves. We own that as coach now, does that mean every coachee is coach a bowl, no way it doesn’t, and there’s all kinds of programs and, and, you know, uh, occupational assistance, people that can help for those people. Sometimes they’re just not worth having on your team. It’s just, but it, everything begins with you. Have you created the relationship? Cause here’s what we know. You try and provide objective or even, uh, informal feedback to somebody that you haven’t created a trust based relationship with. You don’t know what their goals are, you know, what their strengths are. You don’t know whether they’re in the state of order or complexity. Um, and now all of a sudden you’re giving feedback. It’s like, who are you? You don’t know anything about me, and yet you’re trying to provide me feedback. So I it’s still begins with the coach. Jim Rembach (34:46): Well, needless to say, uh, for all of us in order to be able to, you know, really fine, uh, primary focus in all this, because you know, we’re talking about creating some positive, you know, disruption, we’re talking about, you know, focus and, and changing behaviors. We need inspiration. And one of the things that we looked for on the show for inspiration are quotes. Do you have a favorite quote that you’d like to share? Bill Eckstrom (35:10): You know, th those evolve for me right now, the one I hang my hat on and that evokes emotion from me every time I hear her, see it is, is very simple. It’s from Victor Frankel, uh, the author of man’s search for meaning, and the quote is between stimulus and response. There is a space in that space is our power to choose our response in our response lies our growth and our freedom that right there. And probably because where I’m at in life as well, Jim, that, that’s just a, it’s a very powerful quote to me. Jim Rembach (35:54): Uh, yes. Uh, it’s one that for, even for myself, you know, uh, I have to try to remember my whole response, try to make gap where I need to make it and try to teach my kids the same thing. Well, however there’s times when we don’t do that. Right. Uh, and even when we started talking about the whole, our past experiences and things like that, they formulate who we are, where we’re going, uh, and the actions we may take or may not. We talk about getting over the hump, you know, so there’s lessons that we’ve learned and people can learn from those stories that we share. Is there a time where you’ve gotten over the hump that you can share? Bill Eckstrom (36:32): Um, it’ll ruin the opening to the Ted talk, but for those who watch it, yes. It, um, I think really, again, here’s an example of growth through discomfort, and you mentioned it, um, when you were introducing me in 2008, I was fired from my job. I’d never been fired at anything before, you know, Santa getting kicked out of school in the seventh grade. Um, I, yeah, I was terminated for my role, just what I was told. It was a reorganization, but I went from, you know, flying high to crashing and burning, um, within minutes. And the fascinating part of that is while it created chaos, you know, in the short run, the chaos turned into, uh, complexity, the complexity turned into major growth. Um, as a result of that, I started my own company as a result of that. I was able to do a Ted talk as a result of that. I mean, everything from that point on, in my life changed. And while I thought right away, it had changed for the worst. It didn’t, it changed for the better. Um, I mean, to the, to the point where Jim, I can quite literally say you and I wouldn’t be on this podcast right now, had I not been fired back in 2008, unpredictable outcomes. Jim Rembach (38:06): Well, that’s, I, yeah. And it’s at the time when you’re immersed in it, it doesn’t seem that way. Um, you know, the wisdom that comes later, you know, will help you to find, you know, peace and resolve and also take a better path. Right. So when I start looking at the book, when I started talking to you, I started thinking about, you know, talk about even your volunteer work, um, you know, there’s goals that you, that I know you have and that you set. Is there a one goal that you can share with us? Bill Eckstrom (38:32): Uh, th th that’s yet to happen? Um, I CA I can’t, you know, it’s interesting about a year and a half ago, I said, I don’t think I’ll ever get out of this business until we, uh, start an athletic arm. Cause we had all, all we had done is working in the business sector and, uh, just by even planning out our own, we were pulled into athletics. Um, so that, that’s one of those recent ones right now. We recently pulled into education. So while in business, you know, we’re measuring the impact leaders and coaches have on the performance of teams and we measure and quantify it and help them understand what to do and how to do it better. We brought that to athletics, you know, and said, people said, Hey, measure, the impact coaches are having on student athletes. That’s what we were doing. Bill Eckstrom (39:30): And then recently education a superintendent, very forward-looking superintendent approached us and said, I want it for my teachers. I want to know. And I don’t want my teachers to know the impact they’re having on students in the classroom. And if we can help them help, help them have more positive impact on students, we can change the world. So that’s our newest venture right now is we’re, we’re, we’re working in that and where that leads on or no, but I tell you what, nothing is more profound. Don’t get me wrong. I love working in business. Uh, I love the way business leaders think and the way they move and act. But man working with students, I don’t know if there’s just something way more organic about that gym. It just feels real good. And the Jim Rembach (40:21): Last lead Allegion wishes you the very best. Now, before we move on, let’s get a quick word from our sponsor. And even better place to work is an easy solution that gives you a continuous diagnostic on employee engagement, along with integrated activities that will improve employee engagement and leadership skills in everyone. Using this award-winning solution is guaranteed to create motivated, productive, and loyal employees who have great work relationships with our colleagues and your customers to learn more about an even better place to work visit [inaudible] dot com forward slash better. All right, here we go. Fastly Allegion. It’s time home. Oh, now. Okay. Bill. The Humpday hold on is the part of our show where you give us good insights fast. I just want to ask you several questions and your job is to give us robust yet. Rapid responses are going to help us with onward and upward, faster bill, extra mile. Are you ready to hold down? Okay, baby. Let’s Bill Eckstrom (41:08): Go. I don’t know where this is going, but let’s have some fun. Jim Rembach (41:10): All right. So what is holding you back from being an even better leader today? My mind. And what is the best leadership advice you have ever received? Bill Eckstrom (41:21): Um, meditate. Okay. Jim Rembach (41:24): And what is one of your secrets that you believe contributes to your success? Bill Eckstrom (41:30): My ability to identify and acquire amazing talent. Jim Rembach (41:35): And what do you feel is one of your best tools that helps you lead in business or life? Bill Eckstrom (41:43): Uh, best tool, uh, my family. Jim Rembach (41:46): And what would be one book you’d recommend to our Legion? It could be from any genre. Of course, we’re going to put a link to the coaching effect on your show notes pages. Bill Eckstrom (41:54): Well, man’s search for meaning by Viktor Frankl. Jim Rembach (41:58): Okay. Fascinator Legion. You can find links to that. And other bonus information from today’s show by going to fast leader.net/bill. Ekstrom an extra minute. E C K S T R O M. Okay. Bill. This is my last Humpday. Hold on question. Imagine you’ve been given the opportunity to take the knowledge and skills that you have now back to the age of 25, which can’t take it all. You can only take one. So what skill or piece of knowledge would you take back with you and why Bill Eckstrom (42:30): Com what I would take back with me is I would become more comfortable with discomfort. The why behind that is pretty simple growth only occurs in this state of discomfort. So learning to how learning to accept discomfort when needed and inappropriate and recognize and acknowledge it for what it is would would have created that much more growth in my life from an early age Jim Rembach (42:57): Bill. I had fun with you today. How can the fast leader Legion get into it? Bill Eckstrom (43:02): Uh, thank you for that opportunity, Jim, uh, our company is Xcel Institute, which is spelled E C S E L L Excel institute.com. There’s a bill ekstrom.com as well. A site I am on LinkedIn. I am on Twitter, I’m on Instagram. I don’t do Facebook. I’m on those three. Um, and I always respond. If someone wants to reach out to me directly, you know, following the Tuft doc, I’ve had hundreds and hundreds of people reach out to me personally and ask me questions or want to engage. And I have with every single one with the exception of one creepy person. But, um, so if somebody wants to reach out and answer your question or engage, I will do it all. But the creepy people. Yeah, I won’t go into details. Jim Rembach (43:53): Thank you for sharing your knowledge and wisdom. The fast leader, Legion honors you, and thanks to you for helping us get over the hump.
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