5 Attributes of Outstanding Colleagues

Brand new Facebook page. Join us and Be Outstanding! The Outstanding! book explores what it means for an organization to be outstanding. But what exactly makes a co-worker outstanding? People described as “outstanding” by on-the-job colleagues have many attributes. After we provide 5 below, please add to our list! 1. HUMBLE: Self-deprecating humor, takes no credit…

Great Dads Are Great Teachers

DadJimmy Miller (1921-2002)—who lived all of his 80 years in the rolling hills of Upstate NY—was a teacher.

The Cornell wrestling coach and pastor in our home, the man with the Big Smile people still talk about today, was always “preaching”—in a good way.

Through stories, parables, analogies, and metaphors, he imparted wisdom—constantly.

Little did I know that his teachings would become part of every book written by his youngest.

QBQ!  Coach Jimmy’s metaphor about “being good enough to beat the ref” has helped many understand both the danger —and the “wrongness”—of blaming what we can’t control.

Flipping the Switch  Here he pops up twice. One time by sharing the truth that driving is a NO EXCUSES endeavor—just like life—and another when he went the extra mile for this 17-year-old just days after “Mom” died so unexpectedly at 51.

3 Words To Say When People Share Their Dreams

littering blog pic

Would you dump everything, including the kitchen sink (look at the picture carefully), into the world? Probably not.

Yet, without knowing it, many of us do litter by dumping verbal garbage into the minds of co-workers, friends, and family.

In early 1986, after five years with Cargill Inc., I was recruited by a small, unknown training company to sell video-based management development programs to executives. When I announced I’d be leaving Cargill to office from my house, negative garbage was dumped into my mind:

5 Things You Should Know About Leaders

5-2Since we all love a good list, let’s get right to it! Leaders are …

ACCOUNTABLE

Funny thing about leaders and living accountably—they don’t talk about it, they do it. Just as the truly humble don’t boast about how self-effacing they are, leaders don’t run around proclaiming that they take total ownership for their actions, results, and life. They simply live life sans blame, whining, victim and entitlement thinking, being offended all the time, or making excuses. Now that is leadership!

Have you achieved accountable living?

The One Thing Accountable People Know

That 1 ThingProspecting by phone for many years, I learned that sometimes executives answer their own line. However, upon hearing me ask for a moment of their time, they’d bark, “I’M IN A MEETING!”

I learned to handle that objection, but it baffled me. My unspoken thought was—THEN DON’T ANSWER YOUR PHONE!

Not unlike someone complaining just the other day, “Your text woke me from my nap!”

THEN TURN OFF YOUR PHONE!

These small but real scenarios actually demonstrate the value in learning to ask “The Question Behind the Question” (QBQ) and bringing greater PERSONAL ACCOUNTABILITY into one’s life.

The one thing accountable people know is this:

Do RIGHTS Trump RESPONSIBILITIES?

Cardenas
As the Denver Seminary leaders handed well-earned degrees to countless grads yesterday, with only one grad important to the Millers—son-in-law, Ricardo, who received a Master of Divinity. Congrats, Ricky!—my mind wandered.
 
But after a while, I picked up on a phrase employed repetitively:
 
“We now confer this degree upon you and with it all of the RIGHTS and RESPONSIBILITIES … ”
 
Hearing these words, questions filled my mind: Have we lost the second “R” word? Do RIGHTS trump RESPONSIBILITIES?
 
For the privilege of living in the greatest country in the world, aren’t there some things I am RESPONSIBLE for?
 
You know, stuff like:

Victim Thinking Serves Nobody!

whiny

Ever made statements like these?

  • My kids don’t listen to me. It’s not fair. (Read: Parenting the QBQ Way)
  • The bank sold us a mortgage we couldn’t afford. It’s not fair.
  • I didn’t get the promotion/raise I expected. It’s not fair.
  • Others don’t work as hard as I do. It’s not fair.
  • My boss doesn’t communicate very well. It’s not fair.
  • They cut our benefits. It’s not fair.
  • My staff isn’t motivated. It’s not fair.
  • My co-workers are difficult. It’s not fair.
  • We can’t find people who want to work. It’s not fair.
  • I’m buried in student loans. It’s not fair.
  • The neighbors have a new boat/car/pool. It’s not fair.
  • The referees were awful and we lost the game. It’s not fair.

The truth is, no one is promised “fairness.” Humans make hurtful comments, accidents occur, events take a turn we don’t expect, others are blessed with talents we lack, things happen out of our control.

Sometimes WAY out of our control—like on May 20, 1975 …

Master Money Manager Millennial Molly

MollyDid you hear our Broncos won Super Bowl 50? Well, the next day there was a scramble for championship jerseys here in Denver. Miller daughter Molly—Child #4 of 7—ran to Dick’s Sporting Goods and grabbed one for hubby, Ricardo.

But it was too small. When she returned it, the jerseys were gone.

So just the other day Molly popped onto eBay and found one. She bid, waited—and got it! Whoo hoo! Her real excitement, though, was evident when she said this:

“And, Dad, I made a profit of $9!”

I chuckled. “Profit”—that’s funny.

Most people might say, “And on eBay it was $9 less”—or something like that. But not Master Money Manager Millennial Molly … Cardenas.

Originally the youngest of four till Karen and I adopted three girls below her in age, and the child who NEVER got a joke growing up, we NEVER thought she’d be the one to someday:

Work: Still the Right Thing to Do

Easter 2016We had a plan: All 13 Colorado Millers would head to downtown Denver for a special Easter brunch at The Capital Grille. We even thought ahead, securing reservations weeks ago!

On Thursday night, however, child #6 of our seven—age 18—learned she was scheduled to work at King Soopers Marketplace on Easter afternoon. Employed since June, she has worked there throughout her entire high school senior year.

Bummer, though—because nobody wanted her to miss out. We all felt crummy about it.

But, she worked. While the rest of this crazy clan enjoyed food, fellowship, and fun, she did her job.

That’s life.

Sound harsh?

Personal Accountability: Doing My Job

Do-you-job2I asked our twentysomething daughter, Molly, who has served as captain of soccer and basketball teams, “Molly, in your opinion, what makes an effective team?” I was honestly just curious what she’d say; it wasn’t like I was doing book research! But I loved her answer: “Everyone taking care of their own stuff, Dad. Everybody working hard at doing their job.”

Perfect. So her outstanding thought went into Outstanding! in the “Work!” chapter.

Can you imagine responding to Incorrect Questions (“IQ” vs. “QBQ” tutorial) with Molly’s simple message? A message that is succinctly stated in the photo above, taken by her thirtysomething sister, Kristin, when in New Orleans to speak on QBQ!

These three words may not seem very “politically correct” to you; maybe they even seem harsh, cold, and callous. But let me paint a picture that might help: