Win Every Day

Do you wonder what you can do to produce great results? What practices help you to win as a leader and create high performance teams and organizations? You likely have put these questions on the back burners of your mind right now. The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted everything and grabbed the attention of most everyone. However, this could be exactly the right time for you to apply winning principles to adapt and thrive in this current emphasis of social distancing and remote working.

win every day

Mark Miller explores answers to our questions in Win Every Day. Execution, he states is the “hallmark of all high performance organizations.” This is especially true right now as normative practices are forced to change while leaders remain committed to their mission. Personally, I am still trying to adapt to changes and keep healthy boundaries between work and home life.

Blake, the fictional leader of a company in Mark’s book states what has been said by me and perhaps many of us:

“Our current level of performance is not congruent with who we are, who we want to become as people – as human beings.”

Our desire is to improve, but breaking through status quo is not easy. “Improvement is impossible if you do what you’ve always done. Progress always requires change.”

Our past performance does not have to hold us back because “your past does not determine your future.”

Mark Miller inspires with hope. The future can be better. Yet, becoming better without new ways of doing things is not likely. His book outlines several key habits of execution that can be a great encouragement to our work today:

Pursue Mastery

Do the right thing at the right time, every time. This is not the expectation, rather the strategic goal. You can’t drift to greatness – you must be intentional. Mastery is a lifelong pursuit of doing what is right. Ask yourself, “What right things am I pursuing in light of today’s changes?”

Own the Numbers

If you are serious about execution, measure! When we measure, there is personal accountability. Own what you can affect or impact. You can’t own numbers you do not know or numbers where you cannot see how your work contributes to them. If you own the numbers, you hold yourself and one another accountable. Ask yourself, “What do I own and measure with my team now that many are working remotely?”

Help Others Win

Make this part of your job description – to help others win and succeed. Encourage. Lead. Challenge. Care. Love. Plan. Train. Listen. Celebrate. All these actions require connection to others. We cannot win every day without each other. Ask yourself, “What does helping others win look like when leading from a distance?

Two final thoughts from Mark:

  1. Leaders must decide they want to excel at execution. A good place to start is with yourself.
  2. Communicate tirelessly. (This is even more true today as we all face social distancing.)

What adjustments do you need to make as a leader to win today and every day? What principles from Mark’s book inspires you?

Other posts you might enjoy:

mark millerMark Miller is the Vice President of High Performance Leadership for Chic-fil-A, and has worked in leadership development there for over 40 years. His experience, research and conversations with thousands of leader provide data for a solid synthesis of principles that create remarkable organizations.

Check out his other books in this series:

Chess, Not Checkers describes four moves of High Performance Organizations  that are explained in full in Mark’s other books:

  1. Bet on Leadership – building a leadership culture is discussed in Leaders Made Here
  2. Act as One on attracting and keeping the best people is the topic of Talent Magnet
  3. Win the Heart, about CARE and engagement, is addressed in Win the Heart
  4. Excel at Execution is discussed in his latest book Win Every Day
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Service is Defined by the One Being Served

Service is always defined by the one being served – not by the one serving. I am part of a conference team this summer helping the staff in our organization have a truly great experience. Our task is to serve them by creating moments of love and care. I like to help others, and even serve at times, but I can tend to do it on my own terms.

cross cultural servanthood imageI decided to refresh my memory about serving from a book I read during my Masters in Global Leadership – Cross Culture Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility by Duane Elmer.  No matter where you are on your faith journey, servant leadership and humility are topics that are being discussed in many companies and leadership circles.

You certainly don’t need to travel to the other side of the globe to experience culture. Culture and diversity are all around us. Every day we cross cultures – people we meet and neighbors come with different values, backgrounds, personalities, family of origin if not from a different country. Every relationship is like a cross cultural experience.

You will find Elmer’s steps to serving valuable for any relationship in your life!

Serving : You can’t serve someone you do not understand.

Understanding: You can’t understand others until you have listened and learned about, with and from them.

Learning: You can’t learn important information from someone until they trust you.

Trust: To build trust, others must know you accept and value them; being vulnerable about your own growth and needs helps others do the same with you.

Acceptance: Before you can communicate acceptance, people must experience your openness – your ability to welcome them into your presence and feel safe.

Openness: Requires you are willing to step out of your comfort zone to initiate and sustain relationships with others who are different from you.

These six steps do not have be take long – getting to serve can often happen in a matter of a minute.

Which one of Elmer’s steps to serving do you want to employ today in order to become a better servant leader?

If you found this post to be helpful, you might also enjoy:

  1. 10 Ways That People Are Different  Learn how to appreciate and celebrate differences in others.
  2. The Servant-Leader  Six beliefs that servant leaders hold.
  3. Seven Ways to be a Better Giver  Discover some others ways to serve and give.
  4. 4 Early Warning Signs of a Narcissistic Leader  To what degree do are you self protective and self-focused in your relationships?
  5. What I Am Learning About Collaboration  How listening, understanding and being genuinely interested in others can make you a better person and leader.
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Now That’s a Great Question – Free Book!

What do you think makes a great question? Do you know how to multiply others ideas rather than diminish them?  How do you develop leaders and not just followers?

My friend, Bob Tiede (@bobtiede) is celebrating seven years of blogging at Leading With Questions. He has found that a key factor in effective leadership involves listening and asking good questions.

To help celebrate Bob’s blog, we are offering you a free gift. Instead of asking you for something, Bob is giving us a gift! Grab your FREE copy of his new book, Now That’s A Great Question, today at


Are you ready to start asking great questions?

Which of these other posts on leadership might you enjoy next?

  1. The Servant-Leader: What do you think are some key practices of a servant-leader?
  2. Why is asking better than telling?
  3. Is speaking more effective than listening?
Posted in Lead Courageously, Learn Continuously | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Win the Heart

It is a leader’s job to engage the people on his or her team and organization. This is one of the best books I’ve read lately on how to do just that. Very motivational and inspirational. I could not put it down and read it in a couple hours. It was just what I needed. If you only have a few minutes, read Maturitas Cafe blog on the book, but go buy the book and read it.

maturitas cafe

Do you love your job? Are you excited about the work you get to do?

In my work, we talk a lot about engagement, not the pre-marriage kind of engagement, but rather the whole-hearted, full-energy, dedicated-to-our-work kind of engagement. We offer personal and professional assessments to individuals and development training to our team leaders in the hope that we can help build that type of commitment for the work we do. I’ve just read a new book that is a great resource for those of us who desire to see full-out engagement in our co-workers and wanted to share it with you.

We CARE about our people,
and we want our people to CARE about their work.

Mark Miller, author of the new book, “Win the Heart“, understands true engagement is a matter of the heart. He explains that engagement matters because people matter. He believes…

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want to be a good coach?

I just finished reading The COACH Model by Keith Webb in preparation for a three day coaching workshop training. Terry wrote a great summary of the book on her blog.

maturitas cafe

Keith Webb's "The Coach Model"

Coaching values the coachee’s past experience, honors their knowledge and
decision-making skills, and fosters their ownership of chosen action steps. 

Keith Webb’s, The Coach Model, offers an excellent process that helps me to focus on coaching rather than talking, and enables me to help the person I’m coaching discover solutions for themselves.. You’ll notice that Webb’s five process steps spell COACH so that it easy for to remember. Here is a quick summary of how it works:

CONNECT — How are you?

A good coach begins the conversation catching up on anything that has been going on since their last time together. This “small talk” helps to build relationship trust and ensures there is no major distraction going on that might sabotage the discussion that day.  An especially difficult situation may require rescheduling the appointment or simply acknowledging the trial may lessen the pressure enough to continue with the…

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