Rick Miller Notes Page
Rick Miller has turned around businesses during a dot com bomb and lead organizations that had to deal with real bombs. And all he did was apply the great lessons his dad taught him at the kitchen table, decades earlier.
Rick Miller was born and raised outside of Boston, Massachusetts. Rick is the oldest of 3 boys who were raised primarily by their father, as Rick’s mother was hospitalized for much of his youth.
Professionally, Rick’s Dad served as personnel (human resources) leader in the only non-union manufacturer in Central Massachusetts. Rick has been described by many as a different kind of turnaround specialist. Rick describes that difference as his balanced focus on human capital and financial capital, and Rick credits his father for that strategy.
The common theme throughout Rick’s career has been a focus on building highly productive teams. He actually started that practice in high school and college sports, and continued in his early professional life. Rick started his career in computer sales, where he quickly moved up first into general management, and then onto turnaround management as a specialty. In the first 27 years of his career, Rick applied his craft to companies in different industries ranging from a start-up to a Fortune 10 multi-national (AT&T), earning a reputation as a turnaround expert, a servant-leader, and a go-to Chief.
Rick’s legacy has been built around creating powerful teams that achieve sustainable growth. Rick has proven that sustainable growth is achievable in any organization with appropriate focus on the 6C’s – customers, competitors, costs, capital, communities, AND a culture where employees can achieve sustainable growth too.
Rick currently serves as an Executive Coach and Confidant in a company he founded 11 years ago. He also speaks publicly at colleges and companies on how to build powerful teams that can achieve sustainable growth.
He shares the secrets of his strategy in the recently released book Be Chief: It’s a Choice, Not a Title, named an Amazon #1 new release in both Leadership Training and Business Management categories.
Rick has earned a bachelor’s degree from Bentley University and a MBA from Columbia University. Rick has been married for 36 years, and he and his wife Diane have proudly raised 2 public servants. Their son Jack currently serves as Press Secretary for Congressman Ami Bera in Washington DC. Their daughter Casey teaches in a bilingual 2nd grade class in New London CT.
Rick and Diane live in Morristown NJ.
Tweetable Quotes and Mentions
Listen to @BEINGCHIEF to get over the hump on the @FastLeaderShow – Click to Tweet
“With whatever cards your dealt, play those cards to the best of your ability with a smile on your face.” – Click to Tweet
“Chiefs are people who connect what they do to who they are.” – Click to Tweet
“There’s a huge power in what you feel once you know what you stand for.” – Click to Tweet
“Once you figure out what you stand for, you can take a stand.” – Click to Tweet
“You know yourself more when you’re present.” – Click to Tweet
“You know yourself more when you choose to be accepting.” – Click to Tweet
“You know yourself more when you are generous.” – Click to Tweet
“It is important to know who you are, so that when you make the choice about what to do, they’re consistent with your values.” – Click to Tweet
“7 out of 10 workers are not fully engaged at work. Many times, it’s because what’s being said and what’s being done from a values perspective, isn’t quite matching up.” – Click to Tweet
“It’s the human capital that will enable financial capital success.” – Click to Tweet
“Power comes from when you line up how you think, how you feel, how you speak, write and act.” – Click to Tweet
“Today’s version of power is so much more attainable by everyone.” – Click to Tweet
“Power today is about energy, confidence, clarity, influence and impact.” – Click to Tweet
“When you learn something new and open up to a new truth, don’t be afraid to change your position.” – Click to Tweet
“Anyone that’s told you they’ve figured it all out, run away, they’re dangerous.” – Click to Tweet
“Open up and be open to all input.” – Click to Tweet
“Never confuse titles with power.” – Click to Tweet
“The language of business is numbers.” – Click to Tweet
“Power is never given, it’s only taken.” – Click to Tweet
Hump to Get Over
Rick Miller has turned around businesses during a dot com bomb and lead organizations that had to deal with real bombs. And all he did was apply the great lessons his dad taught him at the kitchen table, decades earlier.
Advice for others
Maintain a healthy impatience because it drives you forward and keeps you centered.
Holding him back from being an even better leader
Going more deeply into meditation.
Best Leadership Advice
Power is never given, it’s only taken.
Secret to Success
Best tools in business or life
Be Chief: It’s a Choice, Not a Title
Give and Take: Why Helping Others Drives Our Success
Contacting Rick Miller
Resources and Show Mentions
Show Transcript:Click to access edited transcript
216: Rick Miller: All I did was apply the lessons my dad taught me
Intro: Welcome to the Fast Leader podcast, where we explore convenient yet effective shortcuts that will help you get ahead and move forward faster by becoming a better leader. And now here’s your host, customer and employee engagement expert and certified emotional intelligence practitioner, Jim Rembach.
Call center coach develops and unites the next generation of call center leaders. Through our e-learning and community individuals gain knowledge and skills in the six core competencies that is the blueprint that develops high-performing call center leaders. Successful supervisors do not just happen so go to callcentercoach.com to learn more about enrollment and download your copy of the Supervisor Success Path e-book now.
Okay, Fast Leader legion today I’m excited because we have somebody on the show today who really is going to give us some insight on what it means to be the chief. Rick Miller was born and raised just outside of Boston, Massachusetts. He is the oldest of three boys who were raised primarily by their father as Rick’s mother was hospitalized for much of his youth. Professionally, Rick’s dad served as a professional Human Resources leader in the only non-union manufacturer in central Massachusetts. Rick has been described by many as a different kind of turnaround specialist. Rick describes that difference as his balanced focus on human capital and financial capital and Rick credits his father for that strategy. The common theme throughout Rick’s career has been a focus on building highly productive teams. He actually started that practice in high school and college sports and continued in his early professional life. Rick started his career in computer sales where he quickly moved up first into general management and then on to turnaround management as a specialty. In the first 27 years of his career Rick applied his craft to companies and different industries ranging from a start-up to a fortune 10 multinational, AT &T earning a reputation as a turnaround expert, a servant leader, and a go-to chief.
Rick’s legacy has been built around creating powerful teams that achieve sustainable growth. Rick has proven that sustainable growth is achievable in any organization with appropriate focus on the six C’s, customers, costs, capital, communities and a culture where employees can achieve sustainable growth too. Rick currently serves as an executive coach and confidant in a company he founded 11 years ago. He also speaks publicly at colleges and companies on how to build powerful teams that can achieve sustainable growth. He shares the secrets of his strategy in the recently released book, Be Chief: It’s a Choice Not a Title, named an Amazon number one new release in both leadership training and business management. Rick has earned a bachelor’s degree from Bentley University and an MBA from Columbia University. Rick has been married for 36 years and he and his wife Diane have proudly raised two public servants. Their son Jack currently serves as a press secretary for congressman, Ami Bera in Washington D.C. and their daughter Casey teaches in a bilingual second-grade class in New London, Connecticut. Rick and Diane live in Morristown, New Jersey. Rick, are you ready to help us get over the hump?
Rick Miller: I’m ready, willing and able.
Jim Rembach: I appreciate the fact that you’re here. Now I’ve given my Legion a little bit about you but can you tell us what your current passion is so that we can get to know you even better?
Rick Miller: Well, my current passion is all about a service project that really kind of kicked off with the book. In prior years I’ve focused on kids and helping kids, I actually started a non-profit which I ran for about ten years as CEO focused on kids with diabetes, it’s a wonderful success. More recently I’m focused on helping kids with special needs. Thanks for referencing the book, it looks great by the way right back there over your shoulder and just to let everybody know all proceeds of that book go to help kids with special needs. So my focus right now is on kids with special needs their teachers—we’ll talk about that later on, but right now it’s kids and special needs is the is the passion of the day because it’s been of the year, new year new challenges but special needs focus is going to go on for the next couple years.
Jim Rembach: Well, and so for me—I was reading the book and preparing for our interview together, and so for me, for those that aren’t aware, the education that I get by having some of these phenomenal guests on the show is tremendous and sometimes it hits home in a lot of ways. You shared a story about
Melissa being one of your mentors, and if you could just share that a little bit.
Rick Miller: Sure, I’d be happy to. I share in the book the story of a wonderful six year old girl who is actually one of my greatest teachers. She was a six year old girl, when I first met her she was in a wheelchair she had cerebral palsy. I met her in a rehabilitation hospital where I had volunteered to work with a physical therapist to work in this hundred-degree heated pool to help kids that had muscles that were just very tight. Now this is what Melissa looked like when I first met her in the pool. Her hands were clenched and they up by her shoulders and she actually had one dream. Her dream was to fully extend her arms to grab a little nerf basketball and drop it in a net and scored two points, that’s all Melissa wanted to do.
So when I met Melissa though, I should back up just a little bit, when I first saw her though she was in the wheelchair off to the side waiting for her turn to get into the pool, we had been working with another youngster at that point. But what struck me right away when I first met her years ago was that when she was wheeled in everybody on the staff who had known Melissa prior to be volunteering came over to say hello. She was a magnet for people. They came over said hello went by. And then she sat very serenely looking at us in the pool waiting her turn, she had a calmness about her that struck me. Yet when she got in the pool she was one of the hardest-working people I’ve ever met with. She was focused she was at the tasks you could see her intensity at the same time she was very generous with her smile. She was always very grateful whenever we were done with our session she will say thank you to the physical therapist and thank you to me. We worked together for six months for her to take and fully—that first day by the way we got her right arm extended about five inches. One hour of work and a
100 degree heated pool. So when I think about people that I admire I think about people who are Chiefs people who are powerful, we’ll talk about power in a bit, I think about power are people who are accepting of their situation, who are hardworking, who can be gracious, who can be generous, who can give to others, and I view those people as role models. So if that’s the criteria I think about someone like Melissa and she had an impact on me. I’m talking about her decades later, in fact, the book is dedicated—the money is going to special-needs kids because of Melissa.
I think if the lessons that she taught about how to—with whatever cards you’re dealt play those cards to the best of your ability with a smile on your face. I get goosebumps when I think about her to this day and I get teary-eyed.
Jim Rembach: I told you that’s why for me it just hit home and I shared with you my wife was in a car accident when she was eight years old and she’s in a wheelchair but yet this woman is a CPA, she is the mother of three children that she carried they were all delivered via C-Section when you start looking at the triumph—she doesn’t like me to tell her story she’s very stoic she’s like, I’m just me. Talking about teary-eyed that gets to me too. I think for me I often have to stop and self-reflect just like you were doing with Melissa and talk about that impact, talk about that affect, talk about all of those things. In the book in the beginning you talk about some questions that are important for us to be able to ask of ourselves, such as, how can living my values bring out the best in me and those around me? How can I develop insight and learn more about myself? How can I use creativity to increase my positive impact? And how can I use discipline to manage better? And how can I support others to increase their positive impact? I think you hit all of that when you were talking about Melissa. However, when you start thinking about levels of importance and the things that really are differentiators they all can’t do that. While they’re all important, which one kind of stands out as one that’s like, this is the unique component that I find in a lot of Chiefs.
Rick Miller: Well, we can boil all five of those down by list of five, actually, in two different words but to kind of bring them together. Chiefs are people who connect what they do to who they are. Your wife, Melissa, gifted people, we meet every day they connect what they do to who they are. I generally would say that it’s important to understand who you are because you’re different than me are people we know are all different so at the core of this it’s who are you? That would go to two particular elements. I spend a lot of time in the book talking about insight and values, let’s talk about those two if we could.
Values was actually the first question and values are so important because I regularly talk to people and I say, what are your values? And they will give me a long list, sometimes it’ll be a short ones more often it’s a long one and I will stop and I’ll say, what’s your core for? They’ll look at me and I said, yeah, what’s your north south east and west? What are those that you hold most dear? And many people will stop. The people that I work with I’ll do the same thing and I’ll ask this question. There’s a huge benefit in terms of the power that you will feel once you know what you stand for. Because once you figure out what you stand for, you can take a stand. And when you take a stand you are powerful. So, that’s very much who we are at our core. By the way, very much related to insight and insight is synonym for self-understanding. We talk a lot about in the book and generally about how do you build self-understanding. Everybody says, know yourself. I would say, okay, how do I do that? And I believe this five areas that you can invest in to know yourself better. I think you know yourself more when you’re present when you choose to be present. I think you know yourself more when you choose to be accepting, talked about Melissa was very accepting of her situation. You know yourself more when you are generous when you are grateful and when you choose at certain times to be still to listen to the voice inside you.
To answer your question directly it is important for you to know who you are so that when you make these choices about what to do they’re consistent with your voice inside your values. But first you have to take a little bit of time to figure those out.
Jim Rembach: Yeah, I think that time component is really interesting and I think there’s also an exploration component that has to be involved with it. Maybe that’s where this whole fear factor comes in play for a lot of people is that fear stop them from doing that exploration in order for people to find these things out. Do you find that to be a case?
Rick Miller: Yeah. I don’t know often that it is fear for many people, I just think it’s the question they haven’t asked themselves. If somebody asked you, what do you stand for? Because maybe you haven’t thought about it many people come up—will I stand with family and ethic, you’ll come up with a set of words. There’s an exercise that I use, I’ll put 50 great words on a piece of paper and I’ll hand it to somebody and I’ll say, are any of these words that you disagree with? They’re all great words, they’re great attributes. No, I don’t disagree with any of them. I said, which of the four do you stand for most? Many of them stop and think. And I said, here’s the benefit, here’s the benefit. I said, go to the ten people who know you best and ask them to each give you four attributes of what they think you stand for. You could do the math, they could come up to with 40 different words in some scenario, 10 different people give you four different words 40 different answers. I said, that’s not a bad thing. But if you want to stand for something, if you want people to know—when I think of Jim, I think of family, I think of faith, I think of trustworthy, whatever those attributes you are wouldn’t it be wonderful if you ask those 10 people and rather than give you 40 different answers maybe they gave you a 10. Maybe some said, kindness—well those are kissing cousins you’re still going in the same direction with those. My point is, it’s a choice. Again, the whole book is titled, Be Chief: It’s a Choice not a Title. The choices we make about taking the time, and I don’t think it’s out of fear so much Jim, I think it’s more about to take the time and do the work to say, you know what? I can’t stand for 50 things, I can’t be viewed as
forty—but if I get it down to four then maybe people will bleed over 5 6 7. But am I more powerful in the way I talk? In the way I speak? In the way I act? In the way I think? If I’m constantly reinforcing what is most dear to me. Now, my core for is different than yours or anybody else’s but the exercise of doing it the people that I work with normally come back and say thank you. I wouldn’t have taken this time and I have a confidence now in where I go and how I go there is based on me not a well-intentioned spouse not a relative not a good friend not the media who’s always tripping at me, this is what you should be doing. How do I develop my own confidence? I think it starts with values.
Jim Rembach: As you were talking I did start thinking though that it does require some vulnerability to be able to go and ask those people those questions because you might be afraid of what—you know they’re coming back with even though they’re all positive words. For me I would have to actually go through that exercise and I think I’m going to ask you for those 50 words so that I can actually do that because I do want to know what people think are my—I would like to get it down to that core four. I have a rough idea and some intuition because I think as you go through life you kind of start centering around certain ones, however, it would be nice to see what others perceive and then that is an important piece of feedback in order to be able to get so that you can do exactly what you were just saying, now I can take a stand.
Rick Miller: I think people feel more confident when they do and it’s about your confidence in a world where you’re trying to maintain an equilibrium when everything around you is constantly shifting and changing. Having that insight and having those value set I use that as the core of a topic that I call the compass. How do I use a tool to keep me towards my due north, which is what a compass does, when everything around me is shifting? Everything around me is shaking. I get new information all the time. Things I try to hold true too is constantly getting all this feedback, how to stay and use it in boating analogy? How do I keep my ship pointed in the direction that I want to keep when the waves are coming in from all angles and it’s up but it’s down and all around? How do I stay centered an element of being still? Stillness by the way you can achieve by walking in nature, by listening to music, or by classic meditation, however you stay centered particularly these days really, really important.
Jim Rembach: Well, in addition I started even thinking about when I’ve been within certain organizations and things just didn’t feel right and didn’t seem right to me and I felt like an oddball it’s really going back because of I didn’t share the same values with the organization that I was with and unfortunately I didn’t know that I needed to really put my efforts and then leaving that organization. Many times I would stay and be irritated and I would be the one who was trying to change things when maybe that wasn’t really where I should’ve been putting my effort.
Rick Miller: Such a great point. I have certainly and I tell the story in the book there are certainly at least one organization that I left when it became clear that my values and the values that were at least being practiced. It’s not the values that show up on a piece of paper on the wall or in your wallet insert all organizations, if you boil them down I’ve done work with startups to multinationals in a lot of different industries, a lot of organizations will put their values out there—on the website or whatever else—and many of them look the same. It’s teamwork, respect for the individual, it’s innovation, it’s focus on the customer, you and I can probably come up with 10 and of those 10 everyone’s got five. The question isn’t whether they’re on the card or on the website the question is are they in practice in the organization? And I think for those of us who are values-based if you find ourselves in a situation where they’re not practiced that’s when we have to make a decision about how much we’re going to invest in those organizations. And oh by the way, that’s one of the key business topics in the book, is the lack of engagement. Right now in the United States seven out of ten workers are not fully engaged at work they feel powerless. And many times it’s because what’s being said and what’s being done from a values perspective isn’t quite matching up and people are feeling that and they’re bringing their B-game to the office not their A-game.
And when organizations can do things to have employees bring their A-game that’s the result whether it’s a startup or a multinational you can get organizations to achieve. That’s probably why I’m called an unconventional turnaround specialist because that is my job I generally walk into places where things are really bad or these people perceive they’re really bad so why would we ever go on the outside to bring in this guy. Those are the lessons, frankly, that my dad taught me back at the kitchen table growing up in central Massachusetts because it is a balance of financial capital you certainly have to look at those numbers but it’s the people it’s the human capital that will enable financial capital success. I’m going around a little bit I apologize maybe I had two cups of coffee this morning I’m pretty pumped up to be with you so I apologize.
Jim Rembach: I’m glad you’re pumped up. One of the things that’s kind of stood out to me too is you mentioned something about, I think the phrase you use is for those of us that are values-based, well if we’re not values based what are we?
Rick Miller: I think it’s on a spectrum, okay, it’s not people who are values-based are good people who are not values-based are bad, I’m not going there, I’m talking about the people who for example don’t use their values actively to make choices consciously. I believe that those people who have—many who I’ve worked with have gone through and picked their core four and are constantly reminded in my speaking consistently with those values in my writing consistently with my values and my acting consistently with those values because that’s where power comes from when you line up. How you think, how you feel, how you speak, write and act. If the framework is those values then you are clearly not only values-based but values-action oriented. There’s a lot of other people who just don’t think a lot about their values. The other generally kind of bumping along. They’re not bad people but the focus, which I always translate to power true definition of power, no we’ve not talked about it yet but it’s so important. When I say the word power many people go in their minds to yesterday’s definition of power which was authority, control that came from positions like chief executive officer, chief financial officer, the term chief in fact is interesting to people only because of the power associated with it. If I’m
a chief then I must have power. That’s one kind of power but today’s version of power is so much more attainable by everyone. Because a power today is about energy. Power today is about confidence it’s about clarity it’s about influence it’s about impact so any of those five you can have if you’re on the front line of a company or you’re not even part of a company you’re just who you are. But what choices could you make to increase your energy your confidence and your clarity? You meet people who are clear who are energetic and confident, do they have an impact on you? They do on me, that’s Melissa. She had an impact on me because of just her confidence and what she was trying to do. Do those people make a big impact? They sure do. And those are the people I love to learn from and surround myself with because it is a student-teacher thing I think I’m there to share with them. Like I did when I walked into the heated pool at the rehab facility I thought I was there to help and to teach when in fact I was the student but that happens all the time.
Jim Rembach: As you were talking I started thinking about how much inspiration we actually get from those people and even when you’re explaining and I started thinking about authentic those people are authentic they say they are who they say they are and they behave in that way and there’s consistency and therefore I can trust them I mean all those core foundational building blocks on how you actually create a culture that’s successful. But when I start talking about these things I automatically start thinking also about quotes in in my head and we love them on the show we’d love to hear the favorites from the guests that are on this show because oftentimes they inspire us. Is there one or two that you can share?
Rick Miller: One of the ones that I use a lot is Ralph Waldo Emerson’s famous quote from self-reliance which is, a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds. And so many times when you hear that quote by the way they will forget the word foolish but the true quote is a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds translate that says, be a lifelong learner there are things that you don’t know certainly you go after something with full intensity but when you learn something new when you open up to a new truth and you become deeper and broader in a particular area don’t be afraid to change your position. If you’re concerned about, well what will somebody else think? If you learn something says, you know what? I was wrong or I need to adjust from going north to northeast or north northwest because I’ve learned something new don’t be foolishly consistent no one has figured it all out. Anyone that’s told you that they have figured it all out run away they’re dangerous. We are all learning every day. So I love that because of the light heartedness and a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds. I don’t like to think of myself as small-minded so it’s a reminder, open up and be open to all input.
Jim Rembach: I really like that. That actually reminded me of one of the quotes that I like which is, when you know all learning stops.
Rick Miller: Well said.
Jim Rembach: When you start thinking about all of these issues that you’ve run into these humps that you’ve had to get over and all of those they’ve had to have defined where you are today and really solidify those values so you could take that stand. Is there a time though when you’ve gotten over the hump that you can share with us?
Rick Miller: Oh, boy, there’s plenty of humps I thought you were going to go in a different direction. Let me answer the question that I want to answer not the one you just asked. My core four, just so you know are truth, service, equality and connection those are my core four. I’ll go to your question but I want to get those out there not because I think they are the right answers there my right answers yours could be totally different but the fact that I know those so clearly and I live, eat, sleep, and dream them they are my core four. And everything I do that’s the filter that goes in my speech, how I write, how I act. So when I hit those humps and as I say as a turnaround individual life I’ve run into some humps. I’ll give you two ends of the spectrum, in one case I was hired during the go-go days of the Internet boom to take a company public. I was going to be the gray hair to come in and work with a wonderful group of primarily 22 year olds who were destined to take a company and I’ll be billionaires. When I walked in just before it burst, around 2000, the board that brought me in said, hey this is the right move. So I had my first employee discussion and the first hand went up by a wonderful 21 year old who said, can you tell me how many months it will be until we’re all millionaires? Okay, Nasdaq crashed about a month later and over the next 18 months the market lost 68 percent of its value. During that time the people who were questioning why the old guy was here weren’t questioning that anymore. We were able to build, and this is a wonderful millennial team that learned how to serve customers who learned how to pull together, in this particular case despite the market going in the opposite we went from a dot-com to a dot bomb. It was crazy customers wouldn’t return our calls everybody was very quiet people were very scared we went on a road show and we raised 85 million dollars because we convinced Wall Street that we were worth betting on this wonderful group of 21 and 22 year olds we brought us some other diverse ages and things like that. But we raised—we took our IPO and we went public in the middle of the crash. We operated for two years we got products out we serve customers and then we sold the business but when most of our customers are going out of business, we’re going to tell the story in the
book how when the bombs are bursting around you, figuratively not literally we talk about literally in a minute, how do you pull together a group of people who have no experience with tough times to serve customers to pull together and actually drive results? Because all of a sudden we had shareowners. Those are the stories they tell on the book about how people come together. By the way, all I did was apply the great lessons that my dad taught me at the kitchen table decades earlier, simple lessons that can be reinforced and that was clearly on one end of the spectrum.
Other I would say that a big challenge was that when I actually did work in a war zone. I was the president of a unit that earned the right to provide a public safety wireless network that was deployed throughout all of Baghdad and 70% of Iraq. In 2005, that allowed people to put up purple thumbs because it was the first time in the country’s history that they voted, first time. So my team was the team that was on the ground for years, now I was in and out a couple different times, and I tell the story in the book about never confused titles with power. Because when I arrived at Baghdad Airport in February of 2005 I had the title yet there was a security detail, and I tell the story in the book, the security detail of people without titles who were responsible to get me successfully to the Green Zone, the most dangerous road in the world by the way was between Baghdad Airport and the Green Zone in Iraq in the mid-2000’s, but they were the Chiefs they were the people who really had the responsibility and the authority and the control for someone who had a title and all I did was please just tell me what to do. Title meant nothing the power was with people who were on the front lines. I’d say that probably qualifies as a situation where it was a bit of a speed bump. Thankfully we got through safely and I was well cared for but the lessons of dealing with startups to multinationals the talent all around you the opportunity to help people be more powerful and learn from them as they learn from you it’s everywhere.
Jim Rembach: Going through the book I just kept finding myself jumping from these stories from one to another there’s a huge breadth and depth of them. But ultimately it culminates at the end when you start talking about helping folks find their compass and you talk about establishing your power compass baseline. And then you actually have 25 questions and answers to these questions are really going to help you describe yourself. If you could talk a little bit more about that and I think you even said somebody being online.
Rick Miller: It is. So I mentioned earlier I would love people to consider buying the book the book is fantastic for you or anybody you care about and all proceeds go to help special-needs kids. That said, if you want to measure your power, because I think in business what we learn is if it’s important you measure it, as a matter of fact I say regularly. The language of business is numbers. The language of business is numbers so if all this stuff about power and energy and clarity and confidence and influence and impact is important shouldn’t I have a number for each of it? The answer is you can. You can go online anytime with your smartphone. Grab your smartphone will take three to five minutes
and you can actually get a score, actually numeric score, for how powerful you are. I call that tool a power compass. The baseline power compass is you asked about the first time you take this tool you in fact will have a baseline it will be a starting point. You’ll look at the score, frankly you’ll look at the score and you may have a number of reactions, some people look at the score and say, well what should it be? This is a score but how am I compared to somebody else? Is my score higher or lower than Jim’s? Higher or lower than Sarah’s? Wrong question. The real question is when you take these 25 questions how do you feel about your answers? They’re very short. But when you answer a question, by the way you don’t have to pass this test in so you don’t have to cheat you have to be honest, when you answer these questions honestly you’ll kind of come away with your gut telling you something. Your gut will say, yeah I’m good. I look at the energy area and the five questions they’re being asked about how I really build real energy, yeah I like my choices. My advocacies don’t change a thing. But if you answer the question honestly, you go, that’s the truth not real happy or proud of it and it probably is impacting my energy. It gives a choice to go back and look at a small change, a small change, you might make with one of your choices that can increase your confidence, your energy, your clarity, your impact or your influence. So that’s all described in the book, how we apply, and I use two quick words which I think are really important.
There’s a lot of places you can go to get leadership information that is on the supply side. Do these twelve things here’s your eight-point checklist. There’s a wonderful group of writers and researchers academicians who can give you a lot on the supply side of leadership. I think what’s different about this book is it’s not about the supply it’s about the apply. I am NOT an academic, I’m a business guy. I take, and I’ve read a lot, by the way I reference probably 20 or 25 of some of the greatest writing it’s referenced in the book, so I talk about, Good to Great, I mentioned other authors and people who’ve made impact. But my job is how to help a reader take the stuff that’s been supplied and in a simple way apply it. In a startup to a multinational you’re an entrepreneur you got one person in your company and it’s you, how do I actually make this stuff work on the front lines whether you have bombs bursting around you or not? Or market crashes or not? So that’s the focus of the power compass it’s really to be very simple. Redefine your thought it leverages a lot of other deep research that others have done but people don’t have the time to go into the deep research. They wonder, what can I use right now? So I’m a very pragmatic person. I’m a simple business person. The power compass, you can get it online, you go to beingchief.com, which is the name of my company, beingchief.com or you can go to bechief.com which is the book page, either way. You can get a link to take the power compass for free and get your own starter set of, okay, what choices am I making? And could I make slightly different choices that will make me more powerful? And the other thing just real quickly is that there’s a piece in the book that is just so powerful. I’ve come across some research which supports what you and I already know Jim, we already know that when we’re surrounded by positive people we tend to be more positive. In the book we talk about two particular research studies, the work done by Fowler and Christakis which talks about the happiness effect which has been well reported on but there’s a particular piece of research done by Versadi, who did it when she was at Yale she’s now at Wharton, we talked about the positive emotions spreading at work a real research that she did that shows that when you bring someone positive into a work environment they affect everyone else. In the book we talked a lot about this term viral engagement which means sometimes you kind of look up sometimes bosses can have a big impact on how you show up but we don’t really study as much as we could what impact does it have if my peer on either side of me is showing up with a positive disposition? Or is coming in every morning and unloading every negative thought he or she ever had? How does that impact the workforce? So these are things that get a little unconventional but it gets to turn around. When I come into an organization I do look at all the numbers I dot the i’s and cross the t’s and balance sheets and P & L, but we also spend lots of time looking at the people aspect. Where our team’s effective and where are they not? What small changes could we make to make teams happier, more productive and more engaged in bringing their A-game?
Jim Rembach: Well, Rick, thanks for sharing that with us and the Fast Leader legion wishes you the very best. Now before we move on let’s get a quick word from our sponsor:
An even better place to work is an easy-to-use solution that gives you a continuous diagnostic on employee engagement along with integrated activities that will improve employee engagement and leadership skills in everyone. Using this award winning solutions guaranteed to create motivated, productive and loyal employees who have great work relationships with their colleagues and your customers. To learn more about an even better place to work visit beyondmorale.com/better.
Okay, Fast Leader legion, it’s time for the Hump day Hoedown. Okay Rick, the Hump day Hoedown is a part of our show where you give us good insights fast. So I’m going to ask you several questions and your job is to give us a robust yet rapid responses that are going to help us move onward and upward faster. Rick Miller, are you ready to hoedown?
Rick Miller: I’m ready to hoe down.
Jim Rembach: Alright. What do you think is holding you back from being an even better leader today?
Rick Miller: One of the areas that I’m looking at is going more deeply into meditation. I’m considering going to a five-day silent retreat and meditate daily. But I think if I go deeper into me and delve it even stronger compass that way I think that’s the next step for me.
Jim Rembach: What is the best leadership advice you have ever received?
Rick Miller: Remember that power is never given it’s only taken.
Jim Rembach: What is one of your secrets that you believe contributes to your success?
Rick Miller: Persistence.
Jim Rembach: What do you feel is one of your best tools that helps you lead in business or life?
Rick Miller: My network.
Jim Rembach: What would be one book that you’d recommend to our listeners, they could be from any genre, of course we’re going to put a link to–be chief—on your show notes page as well.
Rick Miller: I’m a big fan of Adam Grant and his book, Give and Take because there’s a misnomer out there takers get ahead. He’s done the research another wonderful Wharton professor and good friend, Give and take by Adam Grant.
Jim Rembach: Okay, Fast Leader Legion, you can find links to that and other bonus information from today’s show by going to fastleader.net/RickMiller. Okay, Rick, this is my last hump day hoedown question: Imagine you were given the opportunity to go back to the age of 25. And you’ve been given the opportunity to take the knowledge and skills that you have now back with you but you can’t take everything back you can just use one. So what skill or piece of knowledge would you take back with you and why?
Rick Miller: I think what I would bring back is to actually maintain a healthy impatience. I think that there’s an opportunity to learn and everything else and you have to always balance to be patient because sometimes we’re not or to be kind of frenetic. I love the term healthy and patient because it drives me forward and keeps me centered. I would practice healthy impatience.
Jim Rembach: Rick, it was an honor to spend time with you today, can you please share it the fast leader legion how they can connect with you?
Rick Miller: Sure. Easiest way is the website, let’s go to the book 1, bechief.com there you can download a free chapter you can take the test you can read about the nonprofit the wonderful special-needs facility that’s going to get all the money from this thing and you’ll get started on your own version on your own way of being more powerful.
Jim Rembach: Rick Miller, thank you for sharing your knowledge and wisdom the Fast Leader legion honors you and thanks you for helping us get over the hump.
Thank you for joining me on the Fast Leader show today. For recaps, links from every show, special offers and access to download and subscribe, if you haven’t already, head on over the fastleader.net so we can help you move onward and upward faster.
END OF AUDIO