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Scott J. Miller is Executive Vice President of Thought Leadership. Scott has been with the company for 20 years and previously served as Vice President of Business Development and Chief Marketing Officer. His role as EVP caps 12 years on the front line, working with thousands of client facilitators across many markets and countries.
Prior to his appointment, Scott served as the General Manager of the Central Region, based in Chicago. Scott originally joined Covey Leadership Center in 1996 as a Client Partner with the Education Division.
Scott started his professional career with the Disney Development Company, the real-estate development division of The Walt Disney Company in 1992. As a research coordinator, he identified trends and industry best practices in community development, education, healthcare, architectural design and technology. Scott received a B.A. in Organizational Communication from Rollins College in 1996.
SUCCESS STORY PODCAST
Stories worth telling.
On the Success Story podcast, Scott has candid interviews with execs, celebrities, notable figures and politicians. All who have achieved success through both wins and losses, to learn more about their life, their ideas and insights.
He sits down with leaders and mentors and unpacks their story to help pass those lessons onto others through both experiences and tactical strategy for business professionals, entrepreneurs and everyone in between.
Machine Generated Transcript
people, leaders, book, leadership, organization, generalists, covey, Scott, wrote, life, years, culture, podcast, habits, franklin covey, Stephen covey, company, mindset, career, success
Scott Miller, Scott D Clary
Scott D Clary 00:06
Welcome to the success story podcast. I’m your host, Scott Clary. On this podcast I have candid interviews with execs, celebrities, politicians and other notable figures, all who have achieved success through both wins and losses. To learn more about their life, their ideas and their insights, I sit down with leaders and mentors and unpack their story to help pass those lessons on to others through both experiences and tactical strategy for business professionals, entrepreneurs and everyone in between. Without further ado, another episode of the success story podcast. Thanks again for joining me today I’m sitting down with Scott Miller, Executive Vice President of thought leadership at Franklin Covey parent company to Stephen Covey’s original property IP and work so Dr. Stephen Covey wrote the book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. Now, Dr. Stephen Covey is passed, but his legacy lives on through Franklin Covey says want to tee that up so you understand. So Scott at Franklin Covey is the EVP of thought leadership. He runs a podcast a weekly podcast called on leadership with Scott Miller, speaking about different leadership topics interviewing business, Titans, authors and thought leaders. He also writes a weekly leadership column for Ink Magazine, Scott leads strategy development and publication of Franklin Covey’s best selling books and thought leadership, which provide the framework for the company’s world renowned content and solutions is the author of Franklin Covey’s management mess to leadership success. And co author of The Wall Street Journal bestseller. Everyone deserves a great manager. He is a spokesperson for the new edition of the number one of the most influential books of the 20th century, the seven habits of highly effective people which has been redone for its 30th anniversary with insights from Dr. Stephen Covey’s son, Shawn. So, Scott, very excited. I’m super excited to understand your career, you know how you got to working for Franklin Covey, and then also some of the things that we can learn from the book and you know, the original works. And you know, what’s, what’s happening now. So thank you. I want to hear more about your career. I want to hear how you got into a 25 year stint. That’s not really that normal anymore.
Scott Miller 02:23
I’m a dinosaur Scott.
Scott D Clary 02:24
In a good No, but in a good way. Your tenure or tenure. That’s There you go. There you go. There you go. Thank you. So So walk me through your career, and then we can sort of understand what what you’re working on now.
Scott Miller 02:36
Sure. Well, thanks for the invitation to join today. Honored to be here. Let’s see. I’m 52. I live here in Salt Lake City, Utah with my wife, Stephanie and our three sons, who are six, eight and 10. So if you see one of them behind me with their underwear on a sword running around, it won’t be unusual, right? It’s the new COVID Work From Home reality is highly likely one of them will hit me over the head with something I did at the Franklin Covey company for just shy of 24 years. I actually am from Orlando, Florida. Born and raised in Central Florida worked for the Disney company, Walt Disney Company for four years. After a nearly four year stint there, they invited me to leave, which is the nice way Disney says Get out. We don’t want you anymore. So here I am kind of 26 I’m looking for a new career and Franklin Covey comes calling right the firm founded by Stephen Covey, as you mentioned, the author of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. And I moved to Utah, which is if you’ve been to Utah, it’s a lovely state, but a single Catholic boy from Orlando. Moving to Provo, Utah was an amazing cultural shift. It’s kind of like being Jewish. And moving to Vatican City, right maybe good for a couple of weeks, but not 25 years, but it’s been a great ride. 25 years in the company started as a frontline salesperson selling our leadership development solutions, became a sales leader, went to London for a year Chicago for six years as a sales managing director came back and Scott I was the Chief Marketing Officer for eight years. A member of the executive team and then about two years ago stepped away from that role after eight years, and now leading our thought leadership. As you mentioned, I lead what is now the world’s largest leadership podcast in the world, called on leadership with Scott Miller what a few books got a few more books coming out and just trying to learn along the way and share some of the mistakes that I made in my career as a leader. And as you mentioned, I’m privileged to be a spokesperson for now the 30th anniversary of the seven habits book, can you believe this book has sold 40 million copies. And Dr. cubbies son, Sean Covey, who wrote the book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective teams, which is the best selling team leadership book in history, added some new insights and applications. So I’m honored to be here representing Dr. Covey who passed about eight years ago as the result of a head injury from a bicycle accident but the book and he should sell 10,000 copies a week. It’s insane and I’m honored to be associated with his brand.
Scott D Clary 05:02
That’s, that’s an incredible organization to work for. And I guess, when I first when I, you know, when we first connected, I was just very curious to understand how you go into a position in a leadership organization, the pressure must be extremely high, because the standard and the bar has already been set. And to be said, Yeah, environment.
Scott Miller 05:26
That’s an understatement, right? I mean, what aspect you’ve got the concept of the cobblers kids have no shoes, right? And do you really live your own content? And the other side is this extraordinarily high culture of high trust and high performance and high execution around strategy and goals? I think we do a superb job of attempting to live our content. Hey, we’re a collection of humans, right? So we do things that are wrong. We gossip. Occasionally we drop the ball occasion. But really, we’re a disciplined organization. When it comes to our commitment to live what we teach, yes, we fail. But I think with our chairman and CEO, Bob Whitman, who’s led us for over 20 years, we have a very high standard for ourselves. We have a pre forgiveness culture, we’re going to make mistakes. But I think we set each other up for high accountability. At the same time, we recognize that we’re going to make mistakes given our standard. It’s a great place to work. I’ve been very privileged, that people ask me all the time, why don’t you leave 25 years don’t ever get a job? Well, I won’t get a job. Again. You know, I’ll probably go right and speak and an interview. But the reason I stay as our chairman, Bob Whitman, he loves me. And he loves our employees, he loves my wife, he loves my boys, and he loves my future. And so as long as your leader loves you, and you feel that most people tend to stay.
Scott D Clary 06:44
That’s probably one of the most, just as such a simple point. But I think the highs over into so many different different use cases, or just examples of why companies don’t work or it can’t maintain or retain that talent. But we can get there and get into that. I want to go into that. Yeah. So I want to, I want to just understand, walk me through the story of the book. So when when, when the book was first written, yeah. How did that manifest? And how did that lead into the organization? That is today? Yeah. What’s the story behind that?
Scott Miller 07:16
So gosh, you know, about 40 years ago, Dr. Stephen R. Covey was a professor here in Utah had received his doctorate or a master’s in MBA from Harvard, received a doctorate here from BYU, and was really studying literature around success. So he spent a decade performing what was kind of a 200 year, success literature review back before the internet, right, what really made successful people, over time, influential. And he came to discover these two concepts called the character ethic. And the personality ethic invented this kind of concept is that there’s a certain level of leader that really focused on what he called the character ethic, who they were, their values, their mission, their purpose, whose lives were governed by principles. And then there was the personality ethic. And he didn’t dismiss this. But he said, this more kind of came into the 70s 80s, and even 90s, around kind of what kind of car you drove and how you spoke and how you’re dressed. And he didn’t dismiss these things. But he said too often, leaders in the latter part of our generation, became too focused on this personality asset. So in the course of this 200 year literature review, he decided to write this book called The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People had multiple names, had many habits. Finally, he settled on that. And he did not invent these habits, right and kind of uncovered them, he discovered them. He named them numbered them, sequence them. They’re all quite rudimentary, which is probably why they’re so profound. He sequence them in a very smart order. And the book exploded. Now, he, I think, hit the right time, he had a great name, he paid the price to research this and write these amazing stories around his own successes and struggles. He was a religious man. So he had studied, you know, multiple religions and principles that, you know, all of the spiritual leaders had taught for 1000s of years. And he also had a good public relations team and a good branding team, quite frankly. And the book has stood the test of time that turned into this leadership development company. About 24 years ago, his small boutique company, the covey Leadership Center, merged with the Franklin quest company that was a public company in Salt Lake City, kind of the arch rival of Steven Covey. And they merged to become the powerhouse the Franklin Covey company. Actually there was no Franklin a lot of people think there was a guy named Franklin Well, Franklin was Ben Franklin, the famous discover if you will and inventor and thought that too. Yeah, Franklin. Franklin Quest was your time management company based on a lot of the teachings of Benjamin Franklin, you know, an American hero. And so they merged and now become really the world powerhouse. on leadership development, productivity, time management, strategy execution and building a high trust culture. As I mentioned, Dr. Covey wrote, Gosh, 20 plus books, numerous bestsellers, and passed away eight years ago in his 80th year, but his legacy is, you know, phenomenal. The book sells, as I mentioned, still about 10,000 copies a week actually sold 20,000 copies two weeks ago. And now they’re put you at number one on every list for 30, you know, years. So it’s a great read. It’s a thick book, but it will transform your life as it has, you know, literally countless millions over a decade.
Scott D Clary 10:37
Well, I think it’s probably one of the most referenced leadership books still, like when I asked at the end of every interview I do, I asked leaders, you know, what is a piece of literature they’d recommend? And this has been this has been recommended often. So it’s not it’s not like an unknown book. This is something that’s been around and has been referenced and has been used for leadership practice, quite literally, since it was written. And I think that I’m curious when it was first written. Was there the same emphasis on on this type of organization that would would help with you know, leadership consulting? Or was this something that was sort of disrupting or blue ocean when it was first written when the when the team was first created? Was there the type of leadership I guess, thought leadership, and consulting that there is today? Do you see a lot of it now, but I don’t know if it was back then.
Scott Miller 11:25
Yeah.I think he was an early pioneer. I think he was a Johnny Appleseed, right? Coming on the heels of, you know, Drucker and other work, I think, I think there was in the late 80s and explosion with Ken Blanchard, you know, Gallup came along shortly thereafter. You had a lot of work from a lot of different people in that space. Marcus Buckingham came later, obviously, so I think Dr. Covey was on a fourth forefront of personal effectiveness. I think he was one of the first people to put a stake in the ground, and really define what leadership looked like in organizations and to teach behavior change, mindset change inside of organizations aren’t really his clients, right? We’re Procter and Gamble. And Toyota, Disney, no big clients were Dr. Covey was passionate around changing the landscape of how leaders behaved inside organizations. And a lot of that then transferred over into communities, churches, families, your personal life, but he was a pioneer that way. And it still today, you know, I think the content is one of our most adopted contents, we got into organizations because I think a lot of people have been taught in their graduate programs or their PhDs, process systems strategies, where they haven’t necessarily been taught is how do you treat people? How do you behave in a trustworthy way? How do you make sure you are to quote Dr. Covey, a model, not a critic, a light, not a judge, because we know leaders are the linchpins of cultures in organization, Stephen Covey was evangelizing culture long before it was talked about in boardrooms, as valuable as your EBIT, da right, or supply chain or whatever it was. So he was before his time, and will continue for generations to come.
Scott D Clary 13:15
I think that’s probably a better way of phrasing it. It was it was an awkward question, asking if there was leadership consultants when he first put this together. But I like the fact that you mentioned he was before his time in terms of focusing on culture within organizations, because that that really drives it all.
Scott Miller 13:32
If everything, right, I mean, I think it was it was a kind of a cliche, buzzword, you know, I don’t know, five years ago. And now engagement and culture, recruitment, retention behaviors of leaders is trust me on the discussion of every risk committee, and every boardroom in the world right now. Are our leaders behaving in alignment with our mission and our values? And are they creating opportunity? Or are they creating risk for our organization?
Scott D Clary 14:01
And do you see do you see more organizations? Because I’ve worked in large organizations before? And even though it seems to be something that leaders want to focus on, when it trickles down to frontline individuals? Yeah, you still default to some of those? Probably not so good practices? Yeah. So do you sign I think,
Scott Miller 14:22
yeah, I think it’s, I think it’s an obsession in organizations right now. It has to be I mean, I heard yesterday where the CHRO of Adidas after I think a 25 year career steps down, because and perhaps she was misquoted. Perhaps she was tired. She’d mentioned that, you know, this idea around diversity and Black Lives Matter was kind of a passing phase. I’ve misquoted her. And I hate that, that the hate that that’s what’s going to be remembered from the totality of her career. I don’t know her, but I’ll pre forgive her on perhaps her statements. But I think companies are obsessed with culture and leadership right now and let me tell you why. To your point around first level frontline leaders, Harvard Business Review published Scott, a research study a few years ago that said, the average age that someone receives their first promotion into a minimum position is age 30. Yet the average age, they receive their first formal leadership development training, aged 42. And that’s over 12 years, they’re well intended people that were usually highly productive individual producers, right. They’re promoted into a leadership role, with really no awareness or training of what it now takes to be a leader of people. And they’re wrecking havoc across cultures, not because they’re sociopaths are bad people, they’re just bad leaders, because they haven’t been trained. So I think there is a sea change. I’m not trying to evangelize our products at all, run fire, because organizations are seeing the liability, the litigation, the lack of speed that comes from not investing in your frontline leaders, which by the way, now, the vast majority of people in organizations report to frontline leaders, right, with the with the digitization of information. And with salesforce.com and Adobe other tools, you don’t need nine layers or 12 layers of people anymore, you need like three layers. So now you’ve got, you know, 10s of 1000s of people reporting to first level leaders who a week ago, where’s the individual producer, now they’re promoted, you don’t have the skills, people are going to quit those leaders. We know this HR, you know, adage, people don’t quit their jobs, they quit bad leaders in crept cultures. So I think organizations around the world are recognizing if we don’t invest in our leadership, from the top to the frontline, people are going to flee our company. And we’re going to be having turnover that is unacceptable. It’s I think it’s, it isn’t a nice to have, it is an imperative to make sure that your leaders are recruiting and retaining the best possible talent. I think the average tenure now is like less than three years of a new associate.
Scott D Clary 16:58
depends I mean, this unit, but it’s it’s very does,
Scott Miller 17:01
it does it’s in it’s not it’s not going longer, it’s going shorter in most cases.
Scott D Clary 17:05
And let’s also remember that before COVID happened, we were at the lowest unemployment. Oh, my God, companies didn’t have the luxury,
Scott Miller 17:15
Yeah.Three and a half percent in the US, right, and it’ll come back there. And then I think of the next, you know, a couple of years or so. So be hard, but we’ll do that hard work.
Scott D Clary 17:24
So where do you work? So say, say you do want to, you know, upskill yourself as a professional, or you want to start your own venture. And now you’re seeing more and more companies focus on leadership, but it’s not taught in you know, your university or college program? Do you read a book where what’s the resource you go to actually get you know, that those base skills that you need to be effective?
Scott Miller 17:46
I’d say three or four things I think I have lots of messes, right? What a book called management mess. But the things that I’m actually successful about, I’ll use as a bit of a model. You know, I came to become an executive officer in the leadership development company. So I got some credit on this particular topic. That’s about six sigma or lean manufacturing and nothing bro. On this. I got some street cred. One is an insatiable curiosity, right? It is reading. It is just I’m a voracious reader, like yourself. I probably read two books a week I subscribed to 40 magazines. I still reprint newspapers. I know I’m a dinosaur. But I’m a voracious and curiosity curious reader. That’s the first thing right is constantly be challenging your mindset, your paradigm, your belief system. Second, I think is being self aware. Nobody’s self aware. There’s degrees of it, right? None of us are as aware as we think we are. Look around your organization, look around the people in your life, professionally and personally. And ask people, what’s it like to work with me? What’s it like to be in a meeting with me? What’s it like to launch a product with me? Go home to your partner, spouse and say, What’s it like to be married? To me? The more you are seeking feedback and information on what’s it like to be around you, the more self aware you’ll be, the less you’ll have blind spots? Because we all have blind spots, right? Where do we don’t, our breath doesn’t smell as good as we think it does. We’re not as funny or as punctual or as gracious. Our jokes don’t land you get the point, right. We’re not as talented or as encompassing or welcoming. Make it safe for people to tell you the truth about what it’s like to work for and with you. Here’s the third thing I’d say. And I want to I want to phrase this carefully cuz sometimes people misunderstand it. think the one thing that I did that’s been most impactful in my career next to reading is friending up my entire life I have friended up from a being a teenager. My friends were always a decade older when all my college buddies were out, you know, at the frat house. I was down at the mayor’s office, you know, behind her desk learning from her or him I’ve always sprinted out people who are smarter, older, more successful, more cultured, more well traveled, had more bankruptcies had earned and lost more fortunes. And it was fundamental to my life. I’m 52. Now, most of my friends are in their 60s and 70s. My wife is actually 12 years younger than I am. It’s always wonders when she met me. Why are his friends so old? Why are we going to Greece with people who are 50 and 60, we’re in our 30s. That’s how I was so successful is because these people took me under their wing. And I learned to avoid so many messes. Did not avoid a few messes. But I avoided a lot because I was always friending up.
Scott D Clary 20:39
That’s very good advice. I think that that’s something that we default to the default in the wrong direction. When we when we find out that I mean, due to our peer group, right, we default to a peer group, we default to people that have, I guess, less taxing, like mentally taxing, you know, pastimes and hobbies, because it just seems easier. It seems like a friendship, like a release. And I feel like that’s not the right equation for success.
Scott Miller 21:05
It has not been for me, the opposite has been true, I look back at my impact. And it’s because of the older, wiser, more mature person who’s put their arm around me. And taking me into a conference at Scott, you can’t say that. Scott, you got to stop doing that. The best advice I ever got was from the then president of Franklin Covey, Bill Bennett, he came to my office in Chicago, I’ve been just promoted to be the youngest instructor in the firm. And he said, Scott, you’re sitting at a gas station, and you’re holding a match. And he sat me down and talked about some specific behaviors that I was engaging in. And mainly it was around keeping confidences, and not holding things that were confidential, confidential. A problem a lot of my life, less so now as I’m an officer in the firm. But it’s conversations like that. The CEO once took me aside and said to me, Scott, you make too many declarative statements. And that’s all he said. And he walked away, my boss, the CEO, and I’ll never forget where I was standing, what day it was a time it was. But sometimes it’s those you know, more effective people than you typically they’re older than you that have a great investment in you and kind of kind of see where you’re headed, even when you can’t see where you’re headed. And to help you, of course, correct.
Scott D Clary 22:26
Now, this is this is a huge question. But I think that you are qualified to answer this in the age of COVID, and remote work and work from home, and I’m sure this is all you’ve probably covered on your own podcasts. Yeah. What are the traits? How do you actively How do you keep engaged? How do you replicate that in office culture?
Scott Miller 22:48
Two things first, leaders have to have the right mindset, right? This is your paradigm, your belief system, all of us have deeply enculturated belief systems that come from our parents, our kindergarten teachers, our sixth grade principal, whoever it is, right, our first boss, and none of us have complete or whole or accurate paradigms, about ourselves, but our company, our culture, our industry, the work ethic of people now who are working virtually right, we have assumptions, we have warped paradigms, belief systems. So a leaders mindset is someone who’s willing to challenge what they think is true. I’m asked all the time from people. Well, I’m frustrated, because I’m not quite sure my people are working from home. And I say that thought has never crossed my mind once I lead a team, a small team of about nine people. In four months, I got other issues, are they working is not one of them. Because if they’re not working, that was my fault a year ago, because I had not set the culture. I did not set the standard that modeled whether you’re in front of me or not in front of me, what it is you’re supposed to do is not set clear expectations. So first, I think is the mindset. Your job as a leader is to get work done with and through other people. That’s profound. It’s so simple. If you believe your job is to get work done within through other people. Everything changes the questions you ask how vulnerable you are, how much you coach and mentor, and slow down and build capabilities. It comes to the next point, if you believe your job is to get worked on within through other people. How you treat your virtual team is are you checking in, rather checking on? And again, that’s rudimentary, but when that becomes your mindset, I’m checking in how are you doing? What can I do for you? What are your struggles? What are your fears? I’m scared also. I’m nervous. Also, I’m struggling with distraction. Also, my three boys are interrupting my productivity. Also, I’m working 14 hours a day also So I haven’t taken a vacation day in four months. Also, right? When you can relate to your people by checking in versus checking on, they will feel that they will see it, they will hear it. I think zoom, Skype, meetings, rooms, whatever your platform is, is vital for this face to face connection. I think they should see you in your environment, you should see them in their environment and make it safe for them to tell you their truth. Right? What is it they’re struggling with? And how can you help to cut the red tape? How can you empathize with them? How can you show empathy? These are small things, not epiphanies. But I think they’re culture changing in the new reality, which is massive distraction. For to know life balance, fear gripping everyone, am I going to be seen as being productive or to be seen as being a vital necessary part of the team? Right? Am I learning anything? Do I have any boundaries? I don’t know about you. 12 hours is the new norm, not healthy, it’s not healthy, we’re gonna burn out. And leaders have got to set the standard, right, as I mentioned before, be a light not a judge be a model, not a critic. I hope that’s helpful.
Scott D Clary 26:11
I think it is, I think it’s very helpful. I think it’s what leaders should aspire to act like, I just find that a lot of leaders have trouble letting go placing that confidence just and I don’t know how the leader even trains his or herself to to let go and to allow people to feel that psychological security. And that’s something that I’m really because that it’s all starts it always starts from the leader and how they and how their own mindset and how they perceive themselves in their own effectiveness. And if they can,
Scott Miller 26:46
go ahead, yeah, sorry. No, no, please, Scott finish.
Scott D Clary 26:47
No, that was that was really where my thought was going. Yeah. How do you how do you change your mindset as a leader? How do you trust as a leader, I
Scott Miller 26:53
think first as you look inside, right, I mean, it’s an inside out approach. And again, this may sound like pablum. But it’s not. It’s 30 years of research and success stories and failure stories. Great leaders are vulnerable leaders. Great leaders don’t try to be the smartest person in the room. The best leadership book I’ve ever read is she isn’t ours. It’s called multipliers from Liz Wiseman. This is a profound leadership book, Franklin Covey has acquired the rights to a new course on it. But Liz Wiseman was a leader at Oracle for 20 years, a decade ago, she wrote a book called multipliers. And the premise of the book is that every day as leaders, we are accidentally diminishing people to natural kind of tendency. And our job is to move out of these nine diminishing profiles, to become a multiplier, a multiplier of intelligence, a multiplier of creativity, a multiplier of contribution. And when you stop believing that you are as the leader, the smartest person in the room, when you stop being the genius, but rather the genius maker of others, you transform your culture virtually or in person doesn’t matter. So I think, as a leader, if you are vulnerable, and you share your own fears, your mistakes, your concerns, and you balance that with humility, and clarity, like, for instance, the nine people who work in report to me, they are Uber clear on what I expect out of them. deadlines, contribution, quality level, there is no ambiguity. No, one of my talents, and one of my weaknesses is you don’t need you don’t need help predicting what I’m thinking. I will tell you what it is, I’m thinking I am I am very clear, I am extraordinary clear on expectations and outcomes. Now my challenge Scott, is I sometimes do it too courageously, right? I say it too harshly, I have to work on my diplomacy, my consideration, because you can be very clear, and do it in ways that are respectful. So one of my challenges as a leader is make sure that when I am super clear, I’m not saying in a way that is diminishing, or offensive, or too firm or Stern, because I have a funny personality. But I also have a bit of a stern personality. And I don’t know always what it’s like to work with me. So I try to create a culture where people can say, Scott, actually, that was a bit harsh. Or Scott, that was offensive. When they say to me, I don’t I don’t get defensive. I say thanks for saying that. I didn’t realize that. I’m sorry.
Scott D Clary 29:32
That’s an incredible culture to foster because that the feel the safety of being able to communicate that with like that superior is something that I don’t think, you know, thinking back to my, my career when I’ve worked in different organizations, I don’t think I’ve ever felt that before. And that’s something that I think we should more you’re mentioning, you know, this is where the future of leadership is going. This is how you that’s how you be effective both inside or remotely. This is what leaders have to focus on. Now.
Scott Miller 30:00
To that point, I’m gonna I’m gonna just add to that point, I used to think that humility was a weakness, that it was your shy retiree humility is actually born out of confidence. Confident leaders, can be humble leaders, arrogant leaders are incapable of demonstrating humility. That’s why when you get on your phone or you get a Skype or zoom with your team, it meant it meant you’re in your shorts. It meant that, you know, it took a shower four minutes ago, it meant that you two are having trouble focusing, you’re not lowering the standard, you’re building trust, you’re building relationships, you right, I’m gonna bust my butt today, but like you, I took a shower probably an hour later than I would have, you know, five months ago, right? My team’s gonna get my all they’re all out of me. People, people cleave to leaders that they can relate to gone is this sort of chasm, this, you know, unreliability of the leader is here, and I’m down here and no, no, that’s all gone. Leaders are just people that were promoted a little bit in advance of you. And they’re being held to enormous account and they’re trying their best to keep you engaged. But that’s the huge fallacy, right? As leaders don’t create engagement. leaders create the conditions for others to choose their own level of engagement, high or low, subtle but prophetic.
Scott D Clary 31:25
Well, it’s just it’s just changing the the onus from the leader trying to instill motivation to understanding the motivation is in internally motivated and that leaders just enabling real well, that’s not you. You said well, don’t don’t don’t give me any your your master class and leadership, sir,
Scott Miller 31:42
you let me I interrupted you. That was rude. I apologize. So thank you for letting me go on that tirade.
Scott D Clary 31:46
No, it’s not a tirade, this is this is incredible stuff. And you know, sometimes when I find myself doing these podcasts to be quite honest, I’m learning from you, and I’m listening to you. And then I’m like, Oh, I have to ask a question after this. Because the stuff you’re saying, I, for me, it’s just very interesting, because I think that it’s so so profound, and so important, and hearing it come from somebody that works for a leadership organization. I’m just, I’m grateful that you’re sort of speaking out all these things seriously. It’s very, it’s very good. And I hope a lot of people listen to this, and can internalize it as they grow through their own careers and whatnot, because this is the way that leadership has to be. And this is, again, this is gonna be there’s significant KPI, you know, revenue, shareholder advantages to this. So it’s not just that high level, you know, esoteric, nice human being. Takeaway, there’s like there’s significant, there’s significant tangible benefits to leading an organization like this. But
Scott Miller 32:44
can I kind of share one thought on that, too? Yeah. My biggest takeaway I, the biggest takeaway from Stephen Covey, was actually in the title of his book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. It’s often misquoted as the seven habits of highly efficient people, he was very deliberate. Because there is a difference between having an efficient mindset and an effectiveness mindset. And one of my biggest struggles, Scott, as a leader I’d love to have your leaders your listeners identify with or just repudiate is that I’m a very efficient person, it’s actually served me very well in life, right? I like to get things done, check things off on the kind of guy that gets up at three in the morning and writes my ink column, or if my books prep from, from four and five, I’m a dad from six to eight. I’m an officer from eight to six, and I’m always on a treadmill. It’s actually been a key contributor to my success in life, this efficiency mindset. The problem is, people like me, leaders like me, that have this productive efficiency mindset. We try to use that same efficiency in our relationships. And it causes havoc inside organizations, you cannot be efficient with people. You can be efficient mowing the lawn efficient, washing the car, efficient managing your social media, and typing out a memo or an email. You have to be effective with people. I think that’s why the book has been such a famous leadership book, is because people like me, that built their whole brand on efficiency, doing it fast and smart. They try to move that competency into their relationships, and they implode with their partners, their friends, their spouse, their employees, their boss, and so there’s a time to be efficient. And there’s a time to be effective. And I hope that your listeners and viewers think about that today. For those of you who see some of yourselves in me. Probably very few of you be thinking about this quote from Stephen Covey. He said with people, fastest, slow and slow, is fast. And that can fundamentally transform some of those relationships in your life that might be suffering because You try to speed through them, like you post on Facebook was a huge lesson for me, it might be like a no brainer for some, but it’s something I struggle with every day, kind of bringing my sense of productivity and efficiency in place, when it comes times in meetings, one on ones, and conversations where I’m actually trying to build trust with someone, but I’m trying to do it too fast.
Scott D Clary 35:24
I don’t think that’s common sense or common knowledge or common practice. I think that that’s something that we all have to work on. I know, as you’re saying that it rings very true for me, because I try and develop processes for everything. I think the way that we structure our days, it sounds like very similar. I’m very robotic and logical in the way that I structured my day. But the second I try and carry that efficiency over to, to my to my partner to my girlfriend, it doesn’t, doesn’t work, you know, you think that everyone’s gonna fit inside this little box and you want your life to run, just sell but it’s not. That’s not the case with people. Right? Right. It doesn’t work like that. Um, I did want to ask, you know, a little bit about I think it’s I think it’s topical to speak about what you’re doing with the book now. So what what is going on with the book, what is Shawn doing? What is the new messaging in the book or just maybe not new messaging, but expanding on original messaging?
Scott Miller 36:16
Yeah. Thank you for asking that. So the book just relaunched in its 30th anniversary about eight weeks ago, not quite eight weeks ago. And we didn’t change a single word that Dr. Covey wrote, not a word. I mentioned that Sean Covey, who is the president of our global education division in the firm, he added new insights after each of the seven habits and beginning at the end of the at the beginning the end. And so what Shawn did was say, okay, habit one be proactive. Dr. Covey, his dad wrote that section, and then he added about 1000 words on, here’s how I saw a school principal, be proactive. Here’s how I saw a receptionist or a parent. And so he uses rod examples at the end of each of the seven habits on how this principle is still as relevant today as it was 30 years ago, when his dad wrote the book, a lot of tangible stories, a lot of some some stories on his own life. Shawn lost a daughter to depression and suicide about maybe eight years ago, and he shared some tender, heartfelt stories about his own children. He shared a story about his dad, his mom, and also just, you know, in good business, international examples of leaders who begin with the end in mind, leaders who put first things first, leaders who seek first to understand then to be understood, here’s how Shawn has seen it happen in their business and their platforms. That was his contribution. And I think it’s going to take the book into a new relevancy for the next 20 years, people who missed out on Dr. Cuddy, right. There’s there’s about a 10 year decade that people were either Dr. Cubby had passed or was aging was in the public eye, that didn’t have a chance to appreciate his profound wisdom in his research. Again, not too bad, we didn’t invent any of this. He just did a discipline job of uncovering sequencing, naming it, and then speaking about it, writing about it non stop for 30 years. And it’s built a seminal book with an Endless Legacy.
Scott D Clary 38:15
That’s also I think, that’s also important to note that the ideas that shape leadership and business, like nobody, nobody is, is reinventing the wheel in the projects that we do. But now, again, it’s always like common sense isn’t common, right? We need these types of playbooks and blueprints to be effective, because knowledge is lost so quickly, unfortunately. And I think that we have to keep going back to people that have that’s why you read leadership books from from leaders that were not just around 50 years ago, but 1000 years ago, right? Because those practices can still be drawn out. But it’s just that naivety and just like that ignorance of how things have been done effectively before that leads to bad leadership,
Scott Miller 38:58
and perhaps writing about it or speaking about in a way that’s relevant to a new generation right with sometimes I think things could be too easily dismissed. Some of the classics writing I think Peter Drucker and Clayton Christensen and Jim Collins, if they don’t keep their brands running and relevant, then, you know, 10 years ago, no one will know who Peter Drucker is. Because quite frankly, I’m telling you, although he’s one of the greatest minds of our generation, there is no organization to keep his writings relevant, right? I’m not sure that 18 year olds know who Peter Drucker is. I fear that 10 years from now, no one will know who Clayton Christensen is one of the greatest minds of our generation. He passed about six months ago, a friend of mine on our board of directors, Harvard business professor right wrote Innovators Dilemma innovators solution, and I don’t think that his organization will be enduring like Dr. Covey built an organization to keep his timeless principles that he wrote about relevant for kindergarten students and relevant for high school students and first time leaders and followers. remembers all these principles are relevant to every year of your life, what we’ve done well, I think is to keep writing about them in ways that are current with new generations.
Scott D Clary 40:11
I think that’s I think that’s smart. And I think that’s what you have to do. Because it’s not going to be, unfortunately, that wisdom doesn’t transcend time the way it really should. So you have to have somebody that’s going to bring it to the people that you want to who should who should be consuming it like bright young minds, but consuming it in a way that they consume information. Now, it’s about marketing, it’s about brand, it’s about positioning, it’s about tapping into the resources and yellows that people consume knowledge. Now, you have so many different ways that people are, you know, conditioned to consume information than they were 10 years ago, 20 years ago, 40 years ago. So you have to sort of tie it into that as well. But that’s more of a right. It’s like a brand and a marketing and just understanding again, like the times and what we’re, you know, how people learn and assume and whatnot. One, one thing I wanted to tee up, I have just two rapid fire questions to bring out some insights from yourself. But before we go there, was there anything that was in regards to the book or any of the messaging in the book, some leadership traits, anything that we didn’t touch on that you wanted to? You wanted to go into?
Scott Miller 41:13
You know, other than than this, I would say, probably not. I think a lot of people, of course, have read the seven habits, right people have on their shelf. But I think it’s one of those books that you come back to it’s kind of like, you know, I don’t see a lot of movies. But I see Austin Powers multiple times. I loved Austin power. I know, it’s kind of crazy. But I was obsessed with Mike Myers. I loved awesome powers. I’ve seen it way too many times. But I think this book is kind of like, the similar movie for me. revisit it, I don’t need you to buy a new book. We don’t we don’t need your $9 right, or your $15 Although we’ll take it graciously and with great appreciation, but it’s kind of book gotta repurchase it. Because what Sean Covey added to the book in terms of new insights, I think can help you supercharge your own effective habits for your roles as parents, neighbor, son in law, partner, spouse, leader, colleague, friend, it just really gets your own life centered around what your purpose and mission are. It’s probably the book of its generation around helping reorient you to what you said, right? Common knowledge isn’t common practice, after Covey was fond of saying to know, but not to do is not to know. And we know these principles inherently. But I think reading them and revisiting them probably every year or so can continue to keep you grounded on your true purpose and make sure that you’re living in accordance with you know, to be true, but you’re tempted to sort of separate from because there’s so many demands or some distractions in life.
Scott D Clary 42:43
Very good, very well set. Okay, so So rapidfire, I asked these to everyone. So first question would be, what is one life lesson that you would tell your younger self
Scott Miller 42:53
Shepherd, your credit score better, is from early in life, resist all of those things that are outwardly focused, right? For the lady hooking a purse you bought, for the guys, what kind of shoes sneakers you have, the Mercedes or BMW, you really can’t afford, is be very thoughtful about your long term reputation, your your credit reputation, and also your personal reputation, right? Your reputation is really just a collection of all the decisions you make in life. And next to your soul. If you’re a spiritual or religious person, it probably is your most valuable asset. So manage your credit score well, and manage your reputation. Well. Additionally,
Scott D Clary 43:35
very good advice. And the last question would be, what would be one resource outside of this book you’ve actually met? Yeah, but another another one that you would save?
Scott Miller 43:46
Yeah. Okay.Next up multipliers by Liz Wiseman, which I think is a phenomenal book, David Epstein wrote a book called range about nine months ago. This book talks about the difference between people whose careers are those of specialists, and those who are generalists. And for me, it was a prophetic learning around I’m a generalist, right at a cocktail party. Am I an author, my speaker, my podcast hosts, my I’m a sales person. I’m a leader. I’m a sales manager. What am I versus I’m an anesthesiologist. I’m a commercial airline pilot. I’m a dental hygienist. And that I think a lot of specialists later in life might have wished they were generalists. And a lot of generalists wish they were specialists but he gets licensed to how generalists are probably going to be the future of innovation and creativity, generalists. It isn’t just one or the other, but to me, I found it to be a prophetic understanding of owning and appreciating being a generalist. And I think in our 20s and 30s. A lot of generalists are insecure when we look at the podiatrist or the patent attorney, right or the person who’s got a specific chemical engineering degree like my brother has And then I think later in life, I really come into appreciate, oh my gosh, I’m so glad I was a generalist. Because now I can be on your podcast because my knowledge base is so broad, and I hope somewhat useful because of the generalist, insecure path I took in my 20s and my 30s. And I think that generalist path that David writes about in his book range comes into itself in your 40s, and your 50s. And your 60s, I think most C level people, perhaps other than a CFO, came there to a generalist path.
Scott D Clary 45:33
Very interesting. That’s an interesting perspective. But I think that it’s manifesting itself in the amount of side hustles. And career transitions are going through in their in their 20s and 30s. Right, yeah.
Scott Miller 45:43
Yeah, I think most most CEOs in the 70s 80s came up to engineering came up to product development came up to sales. And I think if you’re looking at the entrepreneurs that are just crushing it, is they weren’t specialists. They were generalists. They learned to do this, and do this and do this. And they learned about that it had this insatiable curiosity, and they can sell and they can market and get developed. And now together that built this unprecedented range of skills that David Epstein writes about, read this book. And it will fundamentally change which path you choose to go down, and maybe how you even as a specialist, choose to better appreciate generalists, and vice versa.
Scott D Clary 46:23
Very good. Good recommendation. Thank you. Where do people yeah, I’ve never I’ve never had that recommendation before. So I appreciate it. I’m going to go download it now. And and I’ll get I’ll get an audible going. What, what’s the best place to go? Go learn more about, you know, the 30th anniversary launch of Seven Habits go? What’s your social website, all that stuff?
Scott Miller 46:47
Yeah, it’s all easy to find right visit Franklin covey.com. We have you know, it’s easy to find the seven habits you can buy the book anywhere. We’d love to partner with organizations on a build their cultures and their leadership skills. You can find me on LinkedIn, my wife says is hard not to find me. That isn’t a compliment. But you can find me on Twitter, Facebook, I’d love to have you connect on Instagram. And if you Google on leadership with Scott Miller, that’s the name of the podcast I host you can subscribe to that as well.
Scott D Clary 47:14
That’s all for today. Thanks again for joining me on another episode of the success story podcast. You can download or stream this podcast wherever podcasts are available, including iTunes, Spotify, Google, Stitcher, I heart, radio, and many others. You can also watch this podcast on YouTube. If you haven’t already. Please subscribe and share this podcast with your friends, family, coworkers and peers. Please leave us a rating on iTunes takes about 30 seconds as it allows other people to find our podcast and lets our amazing guests reach even more people with their message. And remember any rating is fine as long as it contains five stars. I’m Scott Clary from the success story podcast signing off