THE GROWTH RINGS
An environment of little to no control where growth is halted by high turmoil.
An unpredictable environment where the outcomes are unknown.
A comfortable environment that leads to a predictable outcome.
A low performing, or negative growth environment.
BASED ON OUR RESEARCH,
we know that the best leaders keep their team members in a continuous cycle of order and complexity. And leaders who struggle create an environment of chaos or stagnation. This is what we call the Growth Rings—a life-altering approach to personal and professional development, developed by Ecsell Institute founder Bill Eckstrom.
The rings illustrate how dangerous it can be to remain in a state of comfort and how being in discomfort is the only way to sustain growth. You’ll be amazed at the world-changing outcomes discomfort can have on your life and the lives of others.
The Growth Rings are a conceptual way to think about the role comfort, challenge and stretching to our potential plays in our everyday lives. Whether you are a business leader, manager, team member, colleague, teacher, student, coach, spouse or parent, it is essential to understand where you, as well as your peers and team members, are currently located within the four Growth Rings environments. These environments include Stagnation, Order, Complexity, and Chaos and they impact how much, or how little, we ultimately grow.
Learn which ring you and your team members are in:Take the growth rings survey
THE 6 LEADERSHIP THEMES
Within the Growth Rings, we’ve identified six themes that, when executed correctly, create the most effective leaders. Our Coaching Effect Survey allows us to quantify how well a leader is performing within these six themes and where there is room for improvement. From there, we offer the tools and skills necessary to make those improvements.
Our research at Ecsell Institute has repeatedly revealed that, when a team member feels comfortable voicing opinions and asking questions free of judgment, it leads to fearless performance. And when team members are fearless, they have an easier time reaching the elite level leaders crave. Even more telling? When we survey teams and get a view of the leader from the eyes of the individual team members, we discover that psychological safety is the area where leaders have the most room to grow.
People thrive on trust. They need to trust that their leaders genuinely care about them and will be there for them so they can confidently chase their goals without hesitation and fear. Creating fun relationships, getting to know people outside of the office, sport or classroom, ensuring each person feels like they are an essential member of the team – these are ways a great leader makes team members feel relevant and needed, and that leads to trust and a better overall experience.
After spending thousands of hours observing elite leaders, coaches and teachers, we have seen a persistent theme: They're organized and consistent, with clear expectations. In addition, the best leaders create a framework for their teams that encourage individual goal setting, stability and accountability. In other words, they have structure, which creates a tighter-knit culture and relieves the sense of anxiety in an uncertain setting. When people feel safe, there is less stress and more room for growth.
This theme is rooted in a leader’s capacity to advance the competency and technique of their team members to help them perform to the best of their ability. One of the best ways to keep growing is to never stop asking questions. A leader’s ability to demonstrate the "why" in skill work is crucial. And most team members want to know the "why." When the leader answers those "why" questions, the team's growth is put on a fast track.
Results in a state of "order" will wane and eventually decline. And the only way to offset this inevitable slide is with a challenge. Leaders have the ability to shape an elite mindset by encouraging people to go outside their comfort zones. Challenges cause discomfort, which leads to growth. As a result, this skill becomes a key responsibility of the leaders – the ones who are in the best position to make the most profound impact on someone’s overall experience.
Communication is the glue that holds all the themes together. Communication is where true leadership shines, and it is one of the most crucial elements to what we do at Ecsell. It's how we measure a leader’s capacity to effectively share information, strategies and expectations with their team members. It also tells us how well they listen and how well they use technology as a communication tool.
will ruin your life
Watch Bill’s TEDx Talk where he discusses how the Growth Rings work and why they’re important for a team’s growth. It’ll be the best 12 minutes of your day.