Winter 2018

38 REAL-LEADERS.COM / WINTER 2018 READING LIST BeChief: It’s a Choice, Not a Title By Rick Miller Conventional wisdom has long defined “Chiefs” as rulers of people – those at the top of the organizational chart who hold the most power. We’ve always viewed Chiefs as “special,” selectively chosen to lead others. But conventional wisdom got it wrong,and that needs to change. The book obliterates the notion that only Chiefs with titles hold real power,a notion,according to the author,that’s been holding us back from achieving our true potential. Rick Miller gives us tips,tools,and case studies to do just that and reveals the choices essential to achieving individual and organizational transformation and growth. RETHINKING POWER Conventional Wisdom About Chiefs is All Wrong. Conventional wisdom says that Chiefs are special. Chiefs are chosen, Chiefs have titles. And only those at the top have the power to truly be Chief. Fresh out of business school, I aspired to be among those at the top. I would work hard to move up the ladders in the hope that I could eventually earn a job as a Chief Executive Officer. For years, I trusted that wisdom. It guided me into and through bigger and bigger roles where I was responsible for generating results for companies in many difficult situations, developing plans for success that focused on a clear vision and winning strategy to meet customers needs. Those plans often required raising capital, controlling costs, beating competition, and building positive community relationships in order to succeed. But as I worked my way up through these assignments and had the privilege of working with many individuals who possessed a power that had nothing to do with their title or position, my views shifted. In addition to these traditional areas of focus, I realized that the real key to sustaining success is to build an organization where a very high percentage of group members are fully engaged and feel the power of being Chief. I’ll distinguish my use of the word power from its usual interpretation where power is equated to position, title, control, or authority. The power of being Chief is not at all conventional. It’s a power that comes from within rather than being imposed upon from outside or above. It’s a steady, sustainable power rather than a huge burst that fizzles out before long. It’s a quiet, insightful power that we tap into to guide our decisions, choices, and future rather than an outside influence that veers us off our course. It’s a power that will feel right, rather than a power that you question. It’s a power that fully engages you and everyone around you. As any management executive can attest, unleashing that kind of power is easier said than done. Today, reports indicate that seven in 10 workers are not giving 100% on the job. Many feel apathetic and powerless. Researchers estimate the cost of this lost productivity at almost $500 billion annually. As an individual, you may be surrounded by disengaged team members, and you may even face that same challenge yourself. By understanding the simple choices outlined in this book, you can solve both problems. Rick Miller Rick Miller is an unconventional turnaround specialist, a servant leader, and a go-to Chief. He is also an experienced and trusted confidant, an author, a sought-after speaker, and an expert at driving sustainable growth. For over 30 years, Rick served as a successful business executive in roles including President and/or CEO in a Fortune 10, a Fortune 30, a startup, and a non-profit. In each case, he was recruited from the outside to turn around poor performance in difficult times. “ This book made me embrace who I am, which I sometimes find very uncomfortable. My footing isn’t always sure because of my own struggles and obstacles in life. But there’s always someone or something that comes into your life to give you wings. Rick Miller gave me wings and the stories in this book demonstrated this – with everyone he came into contact with. He earned trust where there was distrust, and that’s huge. ” – Sheryl English “ This isn’t a book just to read – it’s a Know, Act and DO book. Rick’s motivation is to empower each of us to Be Chiefs – starting right now. This book couldn’t come at a better time, as many of us face uncertainty about our lives, nation, and our world. ” – Claire Sommer “ Read this one carefully – it’s a book to think about, not finish. Rick has an inimitable way of getting truth across. ” – Srikumar Rao, author of Happiness at Work “ For the new leader or veteran leader, Rick provides thoughtful insights and true stories about rebooting your approach to the challenge right in front of you. ” – Gail McGovern, President and CEO, American Red Cross