Free session on retaining growth mindset in the midst of uncertainty from Bigwidesky and Enterprise University

It’s been a year. Safe to say that, no matter your plans or strategies, those likely went out the window when a global pandemic disrupted our lives.

And, even after a year, the uncertainty continues. Leaders like you have faced waves of change. And the go-to methods for how you can meet business challenges do not feel adequate to meet the challenge.

How can you thoughtfully and confidently make decisions amid uncertainty? How can you realize your vision in a post-COVID world?

Out of this challenge, Enterprise University is presenting a free session, Business Earthquakes: Cultivating a Change-Ready Organization (Thursday, April 29, 2021 (2:00 PM – 3:30 PM CDT). Based on research into strategic foresight, Bigwidesky facilitators will provide business leaders with capacity-building tools and insights on new growth possiblities.

You should attend this session if you:

  • want to get your organization out of survival mode and into growth.
  • must increase your organization’s capacity for change.
  • need to align others behind your vision.

Instructed by:

  • Eliot Frick, founder and CEO, Bigwidesky
  • Jeremy Nulik, futurist, Bigwidesky
  • Kathryn Jamboretz, moderator, Bigwidesky

Have you ever met a person and instantly felt like their aura, their essence, their very soul, was giving you a hug? Just being in their presence makes you happy and next thing you know you’re smiling ear-to-ear just looking at them? If you’ve never experienced that feeling, first of all that’s sad and I’m sorry. Secondly, you need to meet David Chancellor.

Not only is David one of the owners of Climb So iLL, he is heavily involved in the nonprofit organization 1Climb and the nonprofit BETA Fund. But he is more than a successful business owner and entrepreneur. He also has an adorable family, travels the world, rides a motorcycle and balances chairs on his chin. This guy is UNSTOPPABLE! And this passion, this aura is why he is successful and what makes him uniquely human, unapologentically David. This unstoppability has pushed his influence well beyond St. Louis. David’s human-centered passion has taken him nationwide.

The first thing you see when David walks into a room is a wild mane of rad dreadlocks. And then he smiles at you. And your defenses are let down. You will instantly understand why David was named “Beyond the Best” by Streetscape Magazine. Or more so, how he could be friends with Jason Momoa. David truly has the most amazing Instagram Stories, check them out if you want to see some David/Jason Momoa bonding. But it’s not just his looks and his personality that makes him a great leader. He channels his quirks and personality into a number of outlets.

1Climb began with a shared desire to take kids climbing and to take climbing to the kids. They partnered with the Boys and Girls Clubs of America and are changing the lives of kids via building climbing walls in their club facilities and taking their club members to local climbing gyms.

BETA Fund exists to protect outdoor resources in the Midwest for the purposes of recreational rock climbing and hiking. They are committed to fostering an appreciation for the outdoors in current and future generations through environmental advocacy, educational outreach and community service.

We had the fortune of talking with David about what it means to him to be human in realizing entrepreneurial vision and how his experiences are shaping the world. His insights are among the most enjoyable moments we’ve ever had interviewing a business leader.

“The best place to start is passion and people. This cultivates everything we do. By putting the people first and the passion first, the money is a byproduct of that. It just naturally comes.”

Check out the full interview BELOW and be sure to go give David and Climb So iLL some love. We’ve linked David’s Instagram so you can spend hours stalking him, you can thank us later.

If you know of leaders who are doing the work of making their businesses and organizations more human, we would love to feature them as a Cloudbreak, send them to us.

Be Featured

February 4, 2018 wasn’t an average Sunday. It was the Super Bowl and the evening before my first day at Bigwidesky. I was sitting on my couch in my pajamas, wrapped up in a cozy blanket, enjoying the Super Bowl (and by enjoying the Super Bowl, I mean enjoying all the food I was shoving in my face and pretending the calories don’t count) and getting excited to start a new job. It was a wonderful day, until I received the worst phone call of my life, right in the middle of Justin Timberlake’s Half Time Show. Debby, my mom’s best friend, my second mother, was killed in a car accident. I won’t even begin to detail what I was feeling because it could never be summarized, but my heart was completely broken. Shattered. I was a puddle of tears and couldn’t catch my breath.

16 year old baby Erica and Debby

What do I do? Do I call into work and say I won’t be there for my first day? No, that makes me look weak and flaky. Do I tell people what happened? No, that’s not a good first impression. Do I pretend like nothing happened and just carry on with my week? Well, that’s what I decided to do. If I pretended like everything was fine, I could make it through the day. I’m not saying that’s the RIGHT thing to do, but it was the path I decided to take.

I learned very quickly that you can’t hide things from your family. And when you work at a place like Bigwidesky, these people become your family very quickly.

I made it through my first day, met everyone on the Bigwidesky team, started working on some projects and was doing fine. Debby kept popping up in my mind, of course, but I would push those thoughts back down and smile. I was packing up my bag to head home for the day when Eliot walked into my office, gave me a hug and said, “I love you. I’m so sorry about your friend. What can we do? What do you need?”

In that moment I not only knew I was loved, but I could feel it. Eliot wasn’t just saying the words because it’s what he was supposed to say. He wasn’t suggesting that I go home and take time off because he thought it was best for me. He was showing me that he cared, and he wanted me to do what was right for ME.

The remainder of that week I was shown so much love and compassion from the entire Bigwidesky team. I was asked to tell stories about Debby, what I loved about her, what she meant to me. I never heard, “my condolences.” It never felt automated or forced. I knew these humans, these wonderful, kind and perfectly weird people, cared for me.

That’s what it means to “be human”. It doesn’t mean be nice, or be humane. Human beings are multidimensional, deep, hard to navigate creatures. There’s no road map that will tell you exactly how to interact with every person. You can’t automate interactions with them. You can try, but it doesn’t feel good or authentic. Showing someone, especially people you work so closely with, that you are taking an interest in their well being, goes much farther. You never know what a person might be going through or experiencing.

Through my first week at Bigwidesky, I saw that being human meant being curious. Being human means taking the time and effort to get to know people, ask them questions and take an interest in their lives. It seems simple, but it also seems very missing from a lot of supposedly human interaction.

I’ll never get over losing Debby, there’s a hole in my heart that will never be filled. But the compassion and love I experienced from Bigwidesky my first week has helped me to heal. I lost my second mom, but I’ve gained a new family, and a new understanding of what it means to be human.

Automation is a wonderful thing, and depending on the time and place, can be a lifesaver. But there’s often times where it feels too robotic, and not at all personal. If anything, it could feel like an insult.

For example, let’s look at LinkedIn. If your LinkedIn is anything like mine, you get notifications for birthdays, new jobs, anniversaries, etc.. And let’s say you would like to wish someone congratulations on the new life changing event. LinkedIn so kindly sends a message to your connection saying, “Congratulations on the new job!”

Now, in theory that’s lovely. It is a nice way to save time and send a little message to a connection. But think about being on the other end of that message. If I received it, I would know that someone just clicked the button. Do they really care? Did they even realize they sent a message?

All it takes is 30 seconds. In an additional 30 seconds, you could add a heart felt message that gives the impression, “I care about you. You mean something to me. You are important, on my mind, and I want to wish you well.” As the recipient of message with that intention, you’ll feel the love. You’ll feel the human behind the message and have a much bigger impact.

I’m in no way knocking automation, without it I certainly would not remember to pay my house bills or remember to reset my clock for daylight savings (if it weren’t for my iPhone changing the time, I’d be a mess). But it’s important to embrace automation and remember to infuse it with a little human touch.

Before you go forward with your digital marketing campaign, think about the person on the receiving end of that message. What would they want to hear? How do they want you to speak to them? It’s easy to think, “this is my message I want to give the audience,” but it might not be what they want to hear or in a format that is easy for them to digest. So before executing that campaign and letting it run free, think about what outcomes you want to have and how to make it human. Because after all, no one likes a robot.*

*That’s not true, robots can be super cool and awesome and I would totally be okay having a robot at home to do my chores. But when it comes to marketing, what your customer wants is to know they have a real person on their side. Save the robots for building your Ikea furniture.