A clear motive
Marshfield native and motivational speaker Kyle Willkom set to talk with local high school students
By Adam Hocking
MARSHFIELD — Many 26-year-olds come back to Marshfield to visit friends and family, but Kyle Willkom is returning home on a business trip. That business is motivational speaking with a target audience of high school students.
Willkom, who was born and raised in Marshfield and graduated from Marshfield High School in 2008, will speak at several area schools from March 11-15. He strives to bring a message that he hopes will “help high school students become the best version of themselves.”
To deliver that message, Willkom recently founded his own company, Action Packed Leadership, at the start of 2016.
“This is what I’m extremely passionate about is bringing life skills and leadership to young people, so that’s the direction I needed to move,” Willkom said.
He said that being just a few years older than the students he speaks to is a positive, allowing him to better connect with and understand those he seeks to help. Willkom credited his involvement in sports and student organizations in his youth with helping him develop his leadership philosophy. He also spent a year in the ROTC while at Marquette University.
Willkom spoke in 45 states around the country when he worked with a company called FOCUS Training, and much of that speaking tour revolved around the publication of his first book, “Wake Up Call: Five Essential Lessons They Won’t Teach You in School.”
Despite the fact that he has traveled the country and published a book in his early 20s, Willkom said he still has more to learn.
“Nobody in this world is going to have everything figured out, and I knew that I was a storyteller, and I knew that I am passionate about these leadership principles, and so I felt at the time (of composing my first book) that I could tell a story in a way that teaches these lessons in a more engaging way,” Willkom said. “I think I found early on what I was passionate about and mixed it well with something that I felt I was talented in.”
Willkom’s second book, “The Thinking Dilemma,” was released this month. He described the book as a “call to action,” asking people to block out distractions and to make time for “reflecting on the meaningful things in their life.”
“It gives you certain quick-hitting tips and tricks,” Willkom said. He later added, “It just is charging you to seek purpose in some of your endeavors and to remove the distractions that are consistently getting in your way.”
Willkom emphasizes finding the answer to, “How is the best way to live, and how is the best way to be?”
“If you’re thinking about how you should be living and how you should be acting, well, then a lot of things will span out from those core questions if you can answer them very honestly and seriously,” Willkom said.
Willkom will also be hosting a “leadership boot camp” for high school students at Hotel Marshfield from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. on Saturday, April 2. Go to bit.ly/1Qc7evV to register.
For more information about Kyle Willkom, visit kylewillkom.com.
Kyle Willkom’s local speaking tour
March 11: Pittsville High School from 9:30-10:30 a.m.
March 11: Columbus Middle School in the afternoon
March 12: Book signing at Book World from 1-4 p.m.
March 14: Auburndale High School from 8:30-10:30 a.m.
March 14: Stratford High School from 1:30-3:30 p.m.
March 14: Teen Character Banquet in Marshfield TBD
March 15: Granton High School from 9:30-11:30 a.m.
March 15: Marshfield High School in the afternoon