“The Different Impact of Good and Bad Leadership” – Research from the Barna Group

The Different Impact of Good and Bad Leadership – Barna Group.

Interesting research from a trusted source … Sadly, almost half the workforce says they have a bad boss … the real question is how to change this situation.  

We have many issues and challenges facing us in the modern workplace.  Our own bosses should not be among the challenges, but among the assets we can count on.


Guest Post: “Must Wins” by Mark Miller

promo_04Today’s guest post is from Mark Miller, co-author of “The Secret:  What Great Leaders Know and Do”.  This post was originally published on Monday, June 9, 2014 at www.greatleadersserve.org

I’ll have more to say myself about this great anniversary edition, but for now, here’s Mark with some solid leadership thinking …



Have you started working on your 2015 plans for your organization? If not, it’s probably time. Where should you begin? One approach is to determine what’s most critical for your organization to accomplish in the coming years.

I attended a meeting recently in which someone shared the “Must Wins” for their department. After listening for a few minutes, I realized, he was describing what I’ve historically called organizational priorities. His language is far better than mine. To describe something as a “Must Win” gives it importance and urgency.

Here’s a working definition of a “Must Win…”

A statement of strategic intent critical to the health and future success of your organization; substantive enough to require 12 – 60 months of focused attention and deserving of disproportionate time, energy and financial support.

A “Must Win” is not a tactic or a program, nor is it a goal – although there should be metrics established to monitor your progress. It is about closing gaps or seizing opportunities to fundamentally strengthen your organization.

Here are some examples:

1. We must improve our retention among hourly team members.

2. We must meet our quality requirements more consistently.

3. We must establish a successful west coast presence.

4. We must create products and services to reach new customers.

5. We must find new ways to reduce costs across all divisions.

6. We must increase repeat business from our existing customer base.

7. We must develop the business acumen of our people.

8. We must create a leadership culture.

How do you determine what your “Must Wins” should be? That will require a blend of research, hard work, heated debates and a good measure of leadership intuition.

Here are a few questions that may help…

· If a new leadership team took over our organization today, what are the first three things they would do?

· If this new leadership team were creating their 3-year plan, what would they deem most critical?

· If you could eliminate one competitive threat over the next 36 months, what would we choose?

· What could you do to create significant competitive advantage?

· Where are we falling behind our competitors?

· If you were not worried about the difficulty involved, what is the one strategic priority you would certainly embrace?

· What is the most significant gap you need to address over the next 36 months in your organization?

· What should you do if we want to fundamentally strengthen your organization for the next decade?

· If you could only have one strategic initiative for the next 5 years, what would you choose? (You’re certainly not limited to one, but the thought you might be, should force some thoughtful conversations.)

These, and other questions like them, should always be on our mind. Not only are leaders the architects of the future, we set the strategic direction for our organizations. A successful organization cannot do everything – “Must Wins” help us know what we must do.

The future begins today!

clip_image002Mark Miller, Vice President of Organizational Effectiveness for Chick-fil-A, believes that leadership is not something that’s exclusive; within the grasp of an elite few, but beyond the reach of everyone else.  In the tenth anniversary edition of The Secret, Miller reminds readers of a seemingly contradictory concept: to lead is to serve. With more than 600,000 books in print, Mark has been surprised by the response and delighted to serve leaders through his writing.

The 10th anniversary edition of The Secret will be released September 2, 2014.

“Make Way” …

This phrase rings in my ears from decades ago … and it is not a pleasant memory.

As a young Army officer, I remember being very uncomfortable when a group of us officers and “noncoms” would enter a mess hall during a basic training cycle.  Someone would loudly announce our presence by yelling “Make Way“.  Recruits, often showing the rigor of becoming soldiers in a compressed and arduous process, would flatten themselves against the wall, as we lordly creatures would make our way to the front of the line.

This did not feel like leadership to me.  This felt like entitlement.

Others would explain to me that our time was valuable, since we were leading the training effort and things like this allow us to continue to do so in a military and effective way.

Reality … we just didn’t want to wait in line.  Leadership fail …

As I continued in my reserve officer military career, I chose to follow other advice, the original source of which has been lost.  The only specific statement I remember is “Leaders eat last“, which has been mentioned by many others over the years as good leadership behavior.   It just felt right to take care of the needs of the people in my unit and then satisfy my own needs.

While I claim no great distinction or accomplishments for my military service, I believe that I had a positive relationship with those I served and I know that they were exemplary in responding to my direction and supporting our missions.  We respected each other and I believe my willingness to not indulge in special privileges due to my rank or title contributed to our positive interactions.

Serving others means clearly understanding and behaving with the idea that leadership is not an attribute for special treatment, but involves helping others accomplish their tasks and grow in their abilities.  The Harvard Business Review has a good post which highlights another spin on this idea of leading by serving, exemplified by George Washington, one of our country’s early leaders.  In part, Washington led not through accepting or insisting on special privileges, but by simply sharing the discomforts of those you lead.  Click the link below to read more:

Great Leadership Isn’t About You – John Michel – Harvard Business Review


The Secret 10th Anniversary EditionThe leadership point in all this …. your primary role is to serve others.

I will be talking more about leadership as service to others next month, as I participate in the launch of “The Secret:  What Great Leaders Know and Do” (Tenth Anniversary edition) by Ken Blanchard and Mark Miller. This is an easy and enjoyable read, which contains real-life examples of how to put others first and win.  We do not have to endure Valley Forge in order to put others first.

If you just can’t wait, click The Secret Sample Chapter for a taste of what is coming.    


Looking forward to the coming launch in the Heartland ….


Demoted in Two Weeks via Leadership Freak

Few enjoy the termination or demotion of another person, but this is one of the most important leadership functions we do.

Demoted in Two Weeks.

Leadership Freak provides clear and useful advice on how to do it humanely and effectively.  Click the link above to read.