Bill Eckstrom Transcript

Clint Betts

Bill, thank you so much for coming on and joining us today so that we can learn from you. You have such a wealth of knowledge and I want to talk about the institute that you run and various things. But the number one question I was thinking of this morning to ask you is, “what is leadership?” It's kind of hard to define.

Bill Eckstrom

It's interesting that you ask that, because even in our book we talk about the difference between leadership and coaching. I will answer your question directly, and I'm trying to think of the technical definition that we've come up with.

But I like the term coach better than leader because I can be in a follower role and have great leadership traits or behaviors. When it comes to coaching, one of the differences being, coaches have to have a person or a team of people that are accountable for achieving an objective. And the coach's responsibility, and I'll just kind of put it generically, is to help people get to a place they could not have gotten to or achieved without that coach in their life.

From a technical standpoint, it requires, and our research would show, it involves relationship, order, and the ability to create complex environments. Said a little differently, relationships. Everybody understands order, think of that as people that develop systems and processes and tools that drive predictable outcomes.

And complexity is kind of a fancy way of either describing it as change or challenge, all three are C words. But it's getting people into a state of discomfort, in a healthy way, because growth only occurs when in that state. And often that's an overlooked trait in people, whether they're in the business world or the world of sports or the world of education. So, long answer to a short question, Clint.

Clint Betts

No, I think it's the perfect answer because it's a difficult answer for, I think anyone, and I think everybody has different definitions of the term leadership, what it means to be a leader, who is a good leader, those types of things. And I like this idea that you've put forward, where leaders are actually coaches, they're trying to get the most out of employees or whoever it is that they may be leading. You said something really interesting there. You said the goal is to try to get someone into a state of discomfort. How do you do that in 2023?

Bill Eckstrom

Oh, wow. Oh, this is fun. Well, first of all, let me take a step back and it's why your first question was so important, because if you can't define it, you can't measure it, you can't quantify it. And that's why I think it's so critical to really understand what it means to lead, or what it means to coach. Because if you can define it, then you should be able to measure it.

So, one of those measurable characteristics, the question you asked here is about challenge or creating discomfort. I don't think it's any more difficult in 2023, I think what we've discovered is there has to be a process to it.

Without creating a trust-based connection, without creating a psychologically safe environment, I haven't earned the right to push you. I haven't earned the right to challenge you. I haven't earned the right to make you uncomfortable because chances are, Iprobably don't even know what does that or doesn't do that.

So, that's why it's so important to have those as the foundations, connections in psychologically safe environments. When that's in place, people want to be challenged. Our research, whether you're students in a classroom, an athlete in a gym, or somebody who's on a team at work, they want to be challenged.

People don't want to be bored, people want to be pushed. They just want it done in a healthy way. And when I say healthy, for example, fear can create discomfort, but it's not healthy.

Clint Betts

Yeah, that's an interesting point. Fear can create discomfort, but it's not healthy. I wonder, as you think about leadership and what you teach at Ecsell Institute, what is a typical coaching session with you like? What are the main principles you're trying to teach someone? Basically, get out of your comfort zone and get uncomfortable, or how would it work?

Bill Eckstrom

It’s like going into a doctor. It's funny, people, when they decide they really want to make an investment in leadership development or coaching, however they want to term it, it's kind of like going to a doctor and saying, "Hey, I have a headache. How much is it going to cost me? Or how do I fix it?" And the response, it'll be somewhere between an aspirin and brain surgery.

But the first thing that one has to have happen, is there has to be a diagnosis. And that's the way we work too. And the only way to accurately assess leadership effectiveness or coaching effectiveness is to go to the people who are being coached or who are being led, and through their eyes, you want to assess how they interpret that dynamic between coach and coachee, or employed boss, employee, however you want to term it.

Then when that's understood, there are six primary themes we measure, and they're in those three primary categories. So, within relationships, we quantify a coach's ability to create trust connections with the people on their team. We objectively quantify their ability to create psychologically safe environments that comprises trust. In the order theme, we look at their ability to communicate and their ability to have structure or disciplines within their team.

And then lastly, in that complexity theme, we quantify their ability to develop the skillsets of the people on their teams and challenge them. So, when we have that information and it's different on every single leader, then the real work begins, and the real work has to be around, we do individual coaching, but most of our work revolves around team coaching.

So, leadership teams within organizations is how we do our work. Which that's challenging in and of itself because people within those teams are different tenures, they have different skills.

So, we have to be able to work with the teams, but then we have to be able to present really unique learning paths for each individual because everybody learns at a different pace. Everybody grows at a different pace, and everybody's skills are different. So, that's typically how we do it. And then it's just a rinse and repeat, because if you don't come back and do it again, you never know whether you're growing.

And as you know, Clint, in leadership and coaching, there is no destination. There's no point at which a leader says, "Hey, you know what? I'm great. I'm done. I don't need to learn anymore. I'm good where I am." Doesn't exist.

Clint Betts

Yeah, it's the journey you've got to embrace. I mean, you hear the great athletes over the years talk about Michael Jordan and Kobe. They say, "Man, it's just the journey. It's not really like the end goal is to be the greatest ever of all time. It's the journey of how do you get there?" Right?

Bill Eckstrom

Sure.

Clint Betts

And I think that's really interesting to think about from a business perspective, from a leader perspective, about the journey and embracing that journey and understanding that it never ends and you're constantly learning. It's sobering, I think when you first realize, "Hey, this is never going to end. I'm never going to become a master of this." But it's also kind of beautiful. It kind of takes some pressure off.

Bill Eckstrom

And the way you just worded that, I'm going to steal, if it's okay with you—

Clint Betts

Of course.

Bill Eckstrom

... that you said it's beautiful. And It is. But I got to tell you, Clint, it's tough when you're in a leadership role and you get feedback, and you learn that only 60% of the people on your team think that you have a connection with them, or that only 50% believe you've created a psychologically safe environment. Those are hard things to learn, and those are hard about yourself. But to use your word, it's a beautiful thing to understand because then I know what to do. I know where to focus. If I want to grow as a leader, I know what to do next, and without data, I don't have that ability.

Clint Betts

Yeah, that's really interesting. I want to go deep on each one of these topics. So, relationship, and you said within that is, create trust. That's interesting, trust is something that it feels like we've lost in a lot of ways in society. Maybe it started around 2015, 2014, I don't know what it is, but it seems like within our institutions, within our leaders, generally, we're losing a lot of trust. So, how does someone go about gaining trust?

Bill Eckstrom

Not to be combative on that, but our data doesn't show the workplace has lost trust.

Clint Betts

Oh, interesting. Yeah, yeah.

Bill Eckstrom

Except post-COVID.

Clint Betts

Okay.

Bill Eckstrom

I believe what we've seen post-COVID is a lot of leaders not doing activities that create trust, that create a connection. Things like one-on-one meetings. Post-COVID, one-on-one meetings that leaders hold with the people on their teams fell by 54%.

So, we didn't see it going down. We saw in probably a lot of the organizations with whom we work, once they realized the importance of it, once they can see its impact on the bottom line, they tend to act on it. So, there's a couple, if I remember the question, it was around how they create it.

Let me start off by saying we can't teach people how to care, Clint.

Clint Betts

Right.

Bill Eckstrom

But we can teach them to show that they care. And again, whether it's in business, sports, or education, we're working in all of those markets now, are you doing one-on-one meetings with people? Are you asking about their life outside of work? Do you take the time to really get to know somebody? Do you know the name of their kids, their dog, their pets, whatever that may be? Do you know what their goals are professionally and personally?

Because the number two motivator in the workplace is that my manager knows my professional goals and helps me work towards accomplishing them. And if you don't know what those are, how can you help them achieve it? So, there's a series of, in very intentional goal-setting, individual goal- setting, there's a series of very intentional activities that leaders and coaches need to execute to create that trust and create those connections.

Clint Betts

That is super, super interesting. If you don't know what their goals are, how are you going to help them achieve them? That was the big takeaway from that for me was, yeah, if you don't know what your team's goals are and the people that you're working with, that's impossible. You're just guessing at that point.

Bill Eckstrom

Right. And so many people's goals, both professionally and personally, are inextricably linked. Maybe on paper you can separate them, but they're tied together. And so, people say, "Well, I don't crawl into their personal lives." Well, you'd better start because if you don't, those people are going to leave. I'll go hire them from you. I made a career in one of my early jobs when I was in a sales leadership role robbing people from other companies who had no relationship with their boss.

Clint Betts

That makes it easy to pick them off, for sure. I wonder, and maybe this follows into what you're saying, is in order to create trust, you also say, "Hey, will you try to create a psychologically safe space?" Is that kind of the same thing? Or how are those two different?

Bill Eckstrom

Well, first of all, trust, I think again though, I think they're inextricably linked, but they are separate and measurably, they're separate. So, do I feel safe being my authentic self? Do I feel safe sharing my thoughts, my attitudes, my opinions? Do I feel safe asking questions? Do I feel safe making decisions within boundaries, but making decisions where I'm not going to be impugned if it doesn't work out exactly right? So, that's a simplistic way to measure or to understand how psychologically safe one feels. And those two together really define that relationship theme that we measure. It is quite literally foundational to the growth and performance of every team. And this is interesting too. You asked the question, my mind starts to wander.

Clint Betts

No, yeah, yeah.

Bill Eckstrom

If you ask any executive in business, and that's probably not true because... but 99 out of 100, so 99%. And if you ask them a question, "Does the performance of your teams within your organization reflect how well those teams are coached or led?" 99 out of 100 executives will say, "Absolutely, Bill. They do. As a matter of fact, we used to research it. We quit asking the question because the answer never changed." So, they all believe their teams reflect how they're led, but how many of those people have quantified their leadership? Which is an interesting thought, isn't it?

Clint Betts

Yeah, that is interesting.

Bill Eckstrom

Everybody looks at outcomes. Are they hitting objectives? Are they hitting goals? Which are great. Outcomes, you should measure, you should look at outcomes. But what's the input? What's the root cause that creates the outcome? And the biggest root cause that we see in business is the behaviors of leaders. And nobody is really quantifying and helping them evolve in a real way.

Clint Betts

Yeah, I want to keep going through your different pillars here, but I want to back up just a bit on you personally and allow you to talk about your career, how you got started and what led you to build Ecsell Institute?

Bill Eckstrom

Well, if you listen to my TED Talk, you'll know why it got started. It's called, Why Comfort Will Ruin Your Life. I started off sharing the story of, I was an executive working in a publicly traded company and they did a reorg and I was not in, and this is the first time in my life I had probably ever been not in, in terms of advancement and continuing to grow.

And that was a game changer for me. Retrospectively, I can see why I wasn't in, I probably at times wasn't a really good employee. I don't like being told what to do. I like to be given a goal and then get out of my way so I can go get it. And sometimes that doesn't work well, depending on the political environment within an organization.

But it was that getting fired where I told myself not long after when I was being recruited by another organization, another large organization, I came home one evening and I said to my wife, "I'm not going to do that. We're going to roll the dice and we're going to gamble on me, because I will never get fired again because I'm never going to work for anyone else again."

So, I don't think there's a single defining moment in our lives, but that certainly was a defining moment in my life at that point.

Clint Betts

Is that when you started Ecsell Institute?

Bill Eckstrom

Yeah. I was fired in January of 2008. In July of 2008, the Articles of Incorporation were signed.

Clint Betts

Ah, that's great. And what was the idea... Actually, we have a question here, which I think goes along with this perfectly, from the great Josh Aikens. He says, "Why do you focus on teams instead of individuals? Is it just economy of scale, individuals can't pay enough to make it worth it?"

Bill Eckstrom

Really good question, Josh. We do focus on individuals, but individuals are what make up a team. So, we have to get feedback. We have to be able to quantify. Everybody should have a voice in helping their leaders understand what's going to get the most out of them. So, we do have to hyper-individualize it, but then we have to make the coach of that team or the leader of that team understand that you own the output of that team, if that makes sense.

Everything that comes out, everything that team produces, whether they hit a goal, they miss a goal, you have to own it. We used to hear a lot, "Well, they're a great coach, they just don't have good talent."

Well, who's in charge of the talent? You can't blame that. I've never known a great coach that wasn't a great motivator, wasn't a great planner, wasn't a great strategist, a great identifier and acquirer of talent. So, we don't focus just on teams.

We use teams to measure outcome, but we have to start with the individual.

Clint Betts

And what had you branch out into other industries? I assume you probably started in sales and business with Ecsell Institute.

Bill Eckstrom

That's exactly right, Clint. Well done. Yeah, we started in sales because that was my background. And they're so easy to measure. You can always quantify changes to numbers because everybody in sales tracks the numbers.

And in our book, The Coaching Effect, we talk about that in there, and we talk about how we began in sales and we were able to then correlate and find relationships between activities and behaviors that leaders and coaches are doing that produce better results or worse results.

And then, that went from sales to just naturally transitioned to where people in marketing would say, "Well, hey, if it works for sales, why wouldn't it work here in operations and IT?"

Then we started being approached by those leaders, who were also wanting to quantify their impact. And that went across all disciplines in business. We worked in pharma, agriculture, manufacturing, high tech, retail, on and on and on. And then it went into sports, people in sports saying, "Okay, well if you can do this in business, you should be able to quantify it in athletics."

So, now we have a sports division and then we have an education division. So, we can quantify the impact a coach has on athletes, and we can quantify the impact teachers have on students in a classroom, so on and so forth.

Clint Betts

How is the sports one working out? Because that's another one, like you said, that's measurable. You can tell in wins and losses improvement, statistics, that type, nothing's measured more than sports. But how do you get that out of a coach? How do you change a coach's mindset so that they're getting better performance out of their players? That's interesting.

Bill Eckstrom

Okay, boy, how long do we have, Clint? So, here's what's interesting. In the world of sports, we work only with student athletes. So, collegiate level down to middle school level, and everywhere in between. And what was most important, we did focus groups, and so we did our research before we got into the market, we were asked to get into it, but then we still had to do our due diligence.

Guess what was most important? When we sat down with high school athletic directors and coaches, guess what was most important to them?

Believe it or not, it wasn't winning.

Clint Betts

Oh, interesting.

Bill Eckstrom

It was making sure their coaches provided the best experience possible for their student athletes. That was it. Winning was down the list further. All they wanted to talk about was providing a positive experience. They wanted to talk about making sure they put good citizens out there. They wanted to talk about the percentage of their students that matriculated into college. They wanted to talk about how they just had good citizens in their community, and leaders, and developing those people.

Even coaches didn't want to talk that much about winning. I mean, it's not that they said nothing, but they said, "Yeah, of course winning's important to us."

But one of the things that we see a lot of coaches, especially what we consider really good coaches, is that if they do all the other things right, if they provide the best, most positive experience, if they create the strongest relationships, we measure the same things in business that we do in sports.

If they do the same things, create the connections, provide psychologically safe environments, have great communication, have really solid, healthy disciplines and practice, that they develop their skills and they create a challenging, uncomfortable environment, the result of that is wins. So, if you focus again, what's the root cause, not the outcome?

And so, it's those things that coaches and athletic directors thought was way more important than winning, and winning was just the result of those other things.

Clint Betts

I see you have Walter Isaacson's Steve Jobs book behind you, and I wonder, that's a leader who had a very interesting style, very hard-nosed, he's known as having a short temper, short fuse. And I think a lot of people, when that book came out felt ike, "Well, this is how I have to be as a leader." But it's not authentic, right?

Because that's authentic to Steve Jobs, berating people in a meeting. If that's not authentically you, and you probably shouldn't do that anyways. But if that's not authentically you, like it was for Steve Jobs, how do you mimic it or pretend like it is, right? And so, I wonder if you think about what great leaders do you point to, and maybe Steve is one of them, who really exemplify great leadership?

Bill Eckstrom

Most of the people you wouldn't even know, because they're people working within organizations or athletic teams that nobody's heard of. When I think of a gentleman in Iowa that owns a medical equipment supplier, or I don't want to use the word franchise, but distributorship, he is one of the more profoundly impactful people I've met, but nobody's going to know about him except the people that work for him.

And those people would sit in a foxhole with this guy. The retired chief commercial officer of a pharma company, where she worked her way up through sales and then sales leadership roles, and then became president of a pharma company, and then chief commercial officer of an even larger pharma company, and the divisional president. Nobody knows about her except the people that work there.

The Steve Jobs' of the world get to be where they are through some pretty radical behaviors, and they have some pretty radical, extreme talents that are the result of, or driven by these radical behaviors. Steve's stuff worked, but you know what? So, did Bobby Knight's at Indiana, for a while.

Clint Betts

Yeah, that's true.

Bill Eckstrom

There's always going to be outliers to our work, or any work, or any research. There's always outliers. And I consider Steve Jobs one of those outliers. Steve was, from what I can understand, he was his authentic self. And then, there might be markets, there could be timing, there could be a lot of other things and other players.

You look at Phil Knight, whom I have a ton of respect for, and Phil did it uniquely. He wasn't a Steve Jobs, but he was very vulnerable in his book and talks about the lack of relationships sometimes, and the lack of help that he provided people on his team. And while some of that is good and healthy, at other times it's not.

So, there's different ways people can go about it when you have really, really extreme talents. But the day in, day out leader, the ones really, when you go back and say, "Hey, I wouldn't be where I'm at today, Clint, without this person in my life. I wouldn't be where I am without that person's guidance and tutoring and mentorship." Whatever you want to call it. Usually, we only have one or two of those, and those are the people that we probably hear the least about.

Clint Betts

Yeah, I think that's true. The best leaders that I've ever met are unknowns, who have been incredible or had a huge impact on my life. That's actually really fascinating to think about. What made you write a book, The Coaching Effect? And by the way, I recommend everybody go pick it up and read it. It's really quite the book. What did you do it? How long did it take? What was the motivation there? Do you have to have a book if you're a coach?

Bill Eckstrom

No, you don't have to have a book. Actually, it was some very wise, influential people with whom we were working that said, "You know what? Bill and Sarah," Sarah's president of our companies, they said, "You guys need to write a book. You have so much information, you have so much data."

Everything we do is based on research. And they said, "You have so much of it, you got to share it with the world. Don't hide it. Don't sit on it. You got to share it. People need to hear it."

So, that was the driver of the book. And there's really some interesting stories as to how it was created. I'll try to shorten a couple of them because I think it's worth it.

One of them is tied into the book and why it's created, but we promote what we call having career development discussions. As a matter of fact, our research shows that's one of those activities that really high-performing leaders need to do.

And so, I was having a conversation with Sarah, and she wasn't president of our company at the time, but about her dreams, her future. We were just in one of those, "Let's talk, forget everything we've done, let's just talk about you and dreams." And we started to dream together and she said, "One thing I really want to do is, I'd really like to either author or co-author a book sometime."

She came from parents who were educators, and those things were important to her. So, I kind of took note of that. And about a year later, it was during the holidays, I started to do my due diligence into writing a book. So, I had people say, "You should do it." And now Sarah said it was one of her objectives.

So, I started talking to authors, or people that had written books, and really after multiple conversations, they had kind of steered me towards this one publishing company. And then of course, you read all the things, you better have 10 of them because you're going to get turned down.

So, I thought, "Well, I may as well get started." And I didn't tell Sarah. So, I took some of our work and we had written a lot of things together. I took some of our work and I forwarded it off, without letting her know, and got a word back from the publisher saying, "Hey, we get about 200 submissions a month and we kind of weed it down to 10, and then we weed it down to two or three to really work with these specific people." They said, "But you made our top 10 list and now it's going to go to editorial review. We'll get back to you."

And so, I thought, "Do I tell Sarah?" And I thought, "Nah, we're not going to make it." So, I sat on it, and then about a month or two months later, I got an email from him saying, "Hey, you're in."

Clint Betts

Oh, wow.

Bill Eckstrom

So, I'll never forget, we were at a meeting and I got that email that I thought, "Oh my gosh." So, I just handed her my computer. I said, "Here, read this." She's like, "What? Are you kidding me?" So, that's how we got our publishing done.

And then, what was really interesting, we signed that contract, and then I got accepted to do a TED Talk shortly thereafter. And the TED Talk had a much more finite ending. And so, I was sitting on both these things like, you can't do both at the same time and probably do them well.

So, the book went on hold for just a little bit. Publisher was great with it. They're wonderful people. And then I went, did the TED Talk, got that done, which is really good because what happened as a result of the TED Talk, because the talk went viral, and it really changed how our book was written because of the success of that first TED Talk.

Clint Betts

Oh, that's interesting. From the feedback and overall, the way it was received, it kind of made its way into the book.

Bill Eckstrom

In the TED Talk I introduced to the world this research we had done and what we call the Growth Rings, and it just took off. I mean, I was getting reached out from people all over the world about these Growth Rings.

So, Sarah and I are thinking, "Okay, we got to be able to help people understand how those tie into our coaching and leadership work." So, we dedicated the entire first chapter to the Growth Rings, which we weren't going to do before.

Clint Betts

That's very cool. And what's it been like, once you published it? How do you market these things? Do you go on a tour? I'm super fascinated with people who write these super successful books like you.

Bill Eckstrom

Thank you. It's a flattering question. I almost get embarrassed and I get emotional talking about this. It's so humbling. I come from a family who, I have two brothers, both of whom are gifted writers, and between you and me and now whoever listens to this podcast, Clint, I failed 7th grade English.I despised writing, I hated writing. And what I think I've since come to learn is, I didn't despise writing, I despised how teachers forced me to write. My brothers are still gifted and better writers than I am, still today.

But anyway, when the book came out, we didn't do a tour, but we did a big marketing tour. So, we didn't travel. We did a local thing and had a book party and a signing party. And so, we did that and then we hired people to market the book and help us make it bigger, better.

But there's a few things I've done in my life, which I still think are there. I was written up or had something published, I can't remember, I think in Forbes. And then my TED Talk, I was mentioned in Inc. Magazine, I was acknowledged in Inc. Magazine. And my dad would, in his care facility, when he was in the assisted living center, he'd walk around with the magazine and tell people about it, but he never really talked about the book.

It's like, "Dad," I said, "I wrote a book with Sarah. I mean, we got this book." And all he wanted to talk about, "My son was in Forbes or Inc.," or whatever it was.

Clint Betts

Well, now you can tell your family you're on CEO.com. I don't know how they'd carry this thing around to show everybody.

Bill Eckstrom

They're going to listen to it now.

Clint Betts

Yeah. Tell me more about the Ecsell Institute and the growth of the firm, and the overall model, and where you see leadership in the age of AI, for example. That's the hot topic of the day, of the month, of the year, probably for the next five years, is how AI is kind of changing everything. How does Ecsell Institute fit into all of that?

Bill Eckstrom

It's a good question. So, we're fitting in in several different ways. Number one, through diversification, by taking our work into the world of sports and the world of education, to understand the human dynamic of the coach, student athlete relationship, the human dynamic of the teacher, student relationship, the human dynamic of principals and superintendents to teachers.

So, it's reaching way beyond the business world. In terms of AI, I have not done a ton of due diligence into that. But we view science, Clint, as the inability to disprove. So, we're constantly trying to disprove our work. And our work has evolved because we're constantly looking to disprove it. We find things that, hey, they're just not as permanent as they used to be. When we correlate things to performance or growth, we find that some of the things we used to measure no longer have a really strong statistical significance to performance.

So, things do evolve and we're constantly evolving with it. But one thing that's never changed is the relationship factor, the human dynamic. That's never changed.

As a matter of fact, it seems to be coming, and I ought to get together with our research team when we're done. But it seems to be becoming more important, especially post-COVID. People are understanding, especially those that had it and it was taken away during COVID, and now it doesn't have to be face-to- face. As a matter of fact, our research shows that the most effective leaders post-COVID are those that are on a hybrid schedule. Two or three days, office, two or three days, home.

Clint Betts

Interesting.

Bill Eckstrom

Second place are those that are fully remote and last place, in-office leaders, in terms of effectiveness. So, this, what we're doing, Clint, can work. What doesn't work is eliminating this at all.

So, there's always going to be that spot. And I think the way people are being raised and the parents today, it's not going to get any easier, meaning that relationship dynamic is going to become, I believe, take on a greater role every year. Because here's the deal. If you're not going to treat me this way, and you and I are probably the same, we had parents that just sucked it up and did it.

Clint Betts

That's right.

Bill Eckstrom

Because they had to make sure food got on the table that night. My kids don't worry about food being put on the table. And it’s wrong, it's not right. It just is.

Clint Betts

I have a question for you, Bill. And by the way, we need to have you back on because I think your life story, your energy, your humility, the leaders you've coached is just unbelievable. Your experiences are super fascinating. But I'd like to end with this question with everybody who comes on, and then I'm excited to hear your answer which is, we believe life is as much about chances given, as chances taken. We take chances on ourselves, we take chances throughout our lives, but we also have the opportunity to give a chance, which is pretty beautiful. And I wonder who gave you a chance that sticks out?

Bill Eckstrom

Actually, I wrote about him in our book, and I was just at a function a month or so ago celebrating him. His name was Bill, ironically. In the book, we call him Mitch, because the publisher said, "He can't have your same name. People will get confused." So, I used the name Mitch, but Mitch took a chance on me.

He thought I had the leadership strengths, and he put me in that role and coached me, coached me hard, coached me in a very loving yet challenging way. And a lot of our work at the Ecsell Institute, Ecsell Sports, Ecsell Education, and in the book are a result of him.

And then others, but in terms of who took a chance on me, Bill did. But here's one thing I want to add to whoever's listening to this. Will you allow yourself, will you put yourself in a position where someone can take a chance on you?

Because I think it's just as much our responsibility to get comfortable and to be able to step out there ourselves so people can take a chance on us. And that's probably where I see the biggest hesitation. People will take a chance, but are you willing to allow them to take that chance?

And that's where I think people really need to look in the mirror today and say, "Hey, am I going to put myself out there? Am I..."

Parents, let them fail. Let kids fail. Let yourself fail, but allow somebody to take that chance, because then you might be lucky and get someone like I did, who helped propel me into what I'm able to do today.

Clint Betts

That's fascinating. I love that, this idea that you have to be open to someone giving you a chance and then taking that chance yourself, which kind of brings it all full circle, which is pretty beautiful, Bill.

I highly recommend everybody go read The Coaching Effect. Check out the Ecsell Institute online. I'm sure we'll have you back on again, my friend. Thank you so much for coming on.

Bill Eckstrom

Clint, thank you. It's been a treat.

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