Rick Miller is an unconventional turnaround specialist, sought-after speaker, servant leader, and expert in driving sustainable growth. For over 30 years, he served as a successful senior executive in roles including President and/or CEO in Fortune 10, Fortune 30, nonprofit, and startup companies, including AT&T Global Services and Lucent Technologies. Throughout his career, he has been recruited from the outside to turn around poor performance in difficult times. His new book, Be Chief: It’s A Choice, Not A Title, helps leaders at all levels achieve their true potential. To learn more, visit BeingChief.com.

Podcast Highlights

  • Who is Rick Miller?

Rick was basically raised by his father due to some really unfortunate health circumstances with his mother. Rick’s dad was a personnel guy and he focused on people. Rick’s father helped create an environment in his workplace that despite the industry being heavily unionized, there was never even a union vote in 27 years. In a lot of ways, Rick wanted to grow up to be like his dad.

  • Leadership and Power

Titles or not, everyone has power in their situation.

An element of control and authority comes with a title. Power used to be about centralized decision making at the top of the leadership pyramid, but that’s not the only way it can be done. If power is defined as energy and clarity, everyone can make a choice to have more influence.

When people say corporate, they usually think the old style factories. In many ways, the hierarchy was similar to a military leadership structure. The difference now is that speed of execution is paramount and the workers on the front line have more decision-making ability than ever.

The challenge of power is that it is never given, it’s always taken. The cost to businesses of people who are not engaged with their job is incredible. If people are waiting for permission to step into their greatness, it’s never going to happen.

If you asked the five people that know you best what they think you stand for, you’re might get a lot of different answers. Take all those answers and figure out what the few vital things are that you want to stand for. Self-understanding is the key to power when you take a stand you develop confidence and you take power.

  • Leadership Responsibilities

Just because you have a title, that doesn’t mean you get a pass on clarity and confidence and energy. If you’ve got a team, what can you be doing to allow your team to be their best? Are you recognizing the contributions of your team?

You have to select your team members carefully. If you bring on a team member that isn’t aligned with your organization’s values, it can be debilitating to everyone involved.

Communication is the joint construction of meaning. It’s an active process and has to go both ways.

  • The Interview Process

The only time Rick has gotten in trouble when hiring people is when he rushed the process. It’s important for you to get a feel for how a person will fit into the organization and the people on the team. Give them an opportunity to show all the different sides of themselves.

You want the whole person, not just their game face when they are in the office. Work life balance is the wrong goal. Balance only occurs when your life is still, and it’s almost never still. Work like integration is what you should be working for.

Reference: Be Chief: It’s A Choice, Not A Title, Rick Miller

  • Rick’s Takeaway

First, go online and take the assessment to find out what kind of power you currently have and the simple choices you could make to be more powerful. Second, read the book Daring Greatly by Brene Brown. Vulnerability is the key to any great conquest and you will be vulnerable when taking a step you’ve never taken. Assess where you are internally and get some help.




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