What is an Echelon?

An elitist group of thinkers? (Hint: No)

A gathering of purpose-driven “doers”?

A breakaway group of cyclists, hell bent on winning the race?

—or—

A growing community of purpose-driven leaders who make an impact and create their legacy through powerful communication (If this is what you want, you’ve come to the right place!)


Jared Leto - Photo: AFP

What does a Rock Star who’s also an Academy Award winner say?

Jared Leto, lead singer of the alternative rock band 30 Seconds to Mars and winner of the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in 2013, calls his band’s fan club The Echelon. His Echelon of rock-enthusiast philanthropists rallies behind causes that are championed by Leto and other band members. They have sent reconstruction teams to earthquake-ravaged Haiti, partnered with other fan armies to support worthy causes and created foundations to provide lasting funding to innovative projects.

Thumbs up, Jared. We love to work with people who have an impact in the world.

 

What does a marketing agency head / philanthropist / cycling enthusiast say?

Andy Goldsmith, Vice President, Creative Strategy at The American Cancer Society, picked up what’s behind the EchelonCommunicate name right away: Echelon as an Analogy for the Dynamics of Organizations and Competition.

Let’s dive into definitions for a moment

In competitive cycling, the peloton is a collection of competitors who ride together in a group. Every organization in the world is a collection of pelotons, striving to function at top performance, moving toward a clear Destination.

The echelon is a subset of, or breakaway group from, the peloton. It’s made of up individuals of a similar capability or rank. So, elite cycling climbers might form an echelon, having broken away from the peloton, forming a V-shape to deal with the headwinds the group encounters as they climb ever-higher toward the summit in an elite race.

Derivation: French Echelon, literally, rung of a ladder, from Old French eschelon, from eschele ladder, from Late Latin scala. Source: Merriam-Webster.com

In simplest terms, its like the V-shape that geese form when flying. In competitive terms, its more like a military formation… leaders aligning their platoons behind them, as they split and flank the enemy to achieve victory.

Think of today’s cyclists—training together for thousands of hours, armed with wireless communication. They knowwhat commands are likely to come. They move quickly to align to face the challenge around the next bend.

Each is riding his best, as an individual.

All are moving strategically to get into a role, position, and dialogue that lets each one contribute to the group.

Together, they are powered by the collective potential of each and every rider, not just on their own team but by the excellence of every rider in the race. They live out their shared values – respect, sportsmanship, and the burning desire to turn in a personal best performance.

Christiano Ronaldo © Getty Images

Christiano Ronaldo

Yes, having [Mesut Ozil] has made me better. If you have great players around you, your play becomes stronger… We have a really good connection and this is still getting better. I love to play with him, he is fantastic.

Christiano Ronaldo, one of the greatest soccer/football players in history, Kicker, November 2011.

So, why is the name EchelonCommunicate meaningful to us?

At Echelon, we understand how important it is to turn in a “personal best” performance. We also know that your best competitor may also be your friend/colleague – the one who spurs you on to do your best.

Communication, plus the resulting shared understanding, drives the success of the leadership echelon. Hence, EchelonCommunicate.

At EchelonCommunicate, we think of The Echelon as a Community – one that is bound by a healthy sense of collaboration and competition (or “co-opetition”), for sake of bringing out the best in each individual and deliver the best overall team performance. We create a haven – a learning environment – where you can become the best leader you can be.

Albert Einstein had his crew of researchers, writers, and project managers to execute on and share his ideas. Steve Jobs had his ability to step in and out of the details, and was able to change strategic course quickly because he knew how to communicate to align others so they would, and could, support the shifts he felt were necessary.

We invite you to join OUR Echelon. Where you can find the skills, tools, directed practice, authentic feedback, and support you need to step up into the echelon of their choice.