Scott Miller, author and EVP at Franklin Covey, shares tips on, leadership, relationships, efficiency, vs, effectiveness, and how to straight talk to your employees as well as family and friends.
Scott serves as the executive vice president of thought leadership at Franklin Covey, is the host of multiple podcasts including Franklin Covey’s on leadership and, Great Life Great Career Podcast. He’s also Wall Street Journal’s bestselling author of “Everyone Deserves a Great Manager, the Six Critical Practices for Leading a Team”
What has the book ” 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” taught you about, Leadership?
I have had the privilege of being in the Franklin Covey company which of course was co-founded by Dr. Stephen R. Covey who wrote the book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” that, leadership, book has sold 40 million copies.
I wrote “Management Mess to, Leadership, success” because quite frankly my life’s been a mess. Not because you are an executive or an author or parent means you are a success automatically. I wrote the book because I wanted to share with readers that owning your mess is really the first step to becoming a success.
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Recognizing the difference between having an, effectiveness, mindset and an, efficient, mindset. One of the biggest messes that I’ve had to conquer was recognizing when am I in an, effectiveness, mindset and when I should be in an efficient, mindset; because they’re not the same factors.
I’m a very, efficient, person, I get up at 4:00 am in the morning, I write my column, I write a couple chapters on the books that I’m writing. On a Saturday morning I would get up at five o’clock, go to Home Depot and buy flowers and have them planted by six o’clock. Be at the car wash by 7 am, be at tennis by nine. I mean I live a very productive and, efficient, life. That’s helped me in a lot of areas of my life; but it hasn’t helped me in my relationships, because as Dr. Covey said
With people, slow is fast, and fast is slow.
We cannot be, efficient, in our relationships.
So one of the biggest areas of growth for me was with people. I had to learn to slow down. When someone comes into my office, I take off my glasses, close my laptop and turn off my phone. I have to really understand when and where can I be, efficient, and when and where should I practice, effectiveness. If you want to develop more trustworthy, long-lasting, mutually beneficial, relationships, be more cognizant of when you’re being, efficient, and fast and when you’re being, effective, and slow.
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I think it’s good advice to, leaders, to be a little more, self-aware, and introspective. Is your need to be, efficient, in some areas of your life negatively impacting other areas in your life?
Use Communication to become, Self-Aware.
It is all about, communication, because when you are being, efficient, you’re probably not being, effective, because it all depends on your audience.
Self-awareness, I use this term a lot. Everybody could benefit from being more, self-aware.
- Ask yourself – what’s it like to be your friend?
- What’s it like to be your husband?
- What’s it like to be your neighbor
I’d encourage all of your readers, if you really want to improve your relationships, if you want to improve your influence expand your credibility and become more trustworthy or likable, go ask the people in your life what’s it like to be in a meeting with you.
- What is it like to be on a carpool with you
- What’s it like to go on vacation with you
- What’s it like to be at dinner with you
- What’s it like to be married to you.
When someone gives you that feedback, don’t refute it don’t brush it away.
Don’t blame anybody else, just listen.
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What, communication skills, are important to, leadership, success
Let’s talk about, leadership, and then this broaden it to a straight talk between peers. Talking straight is really a sign of respect to everyone in your life. We’ve all met people who say they call it as they see it, that is actually quite selfish. Talking straight is when you are able to base what you’re saying in fact. When you talk straight with someone, you don’t postulate, you don’t pontificate, you don’t technically tell the truth, but you kind of leave the wrong impression. No you just you say straight up what is true.
As a life coach, I would use something called the, sandwich technique, which means that you package that talk with something positive like a sandwich.
I would not advocate the, sandwich feedback method. I think it’s generally disingenuous. I think the better technique is to first declare your intent, because the moment there is suspicion about your intent, everything you do becomes tainted. So be very clear on what your intent is. Say what is uncomfortable straight, no chaser without any bogus compliments and no hidden agenda.
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How to become a, Leader, people will follow
The first step to becoming a great, leader is to check their own paradigms, our own belief systems. We all have deeply entrenched, deeply enculturated paradigms that were built into us by our grandparents, our parents, our aunties, our first grade teachers, our neighbors, our relatives and it is how we see the world. How we see ourselves and everyone should be emotionally nimble, or emotionally flexible enough to challenge your belief systems.
Here’s a great example:
I am 51 years old, I’m Caucasian. I live in Salt Lake City, but I lived in the 70s in Central Florida, Orlando Florida. I am from an upper middle-class white family, one of two children. My mother was a full-time stay-at-home mom, my father had a fairly traditional corporate job. It was a stable family in the seventies and I was raised to believe that, doctors, police officers, and Catholic priests were always right and always told the truth!
Can you imagine for a moment that had I been eight year-old young boy and an altar server and that a Catholic priest who was perhaps a pedophile told me to do some inappropriate things?
I think the first step in becoming a, leader, of your own self, your own life is to challenge your own paradigms. You don’t see every situation, every argument, every interaction, every meeting, every conflict, every win, every lost accurately; you always have a little bit of a judgment on it.
We don’t see the world as it is, we see the world as we are.
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How does “carrying your own weather” help with, Leadership, Success.
Proactive, leaders, carry their own weather, reactive people give over there weather. They metaphorically give their power to other people. Proactive people choose their response to any situation, any crisis, any reaction based on values, not based on other people.
Here’s a great example of, carrying your own weather.
My son and I were in Miami and we came upon this intersection in a downtown shopping district where there had just been an accident. There was no injuries, very small accident. There was this young woman, I’m gonna say in her 20s who was having this outrageous, hysterical, verbal meltdown. I mean she was out of control. This person was not, carrying her own weather, she was giving up control of her emotions to that situation. Being out of control was serving her no benefit. The point of that story was people who are proactive, they’re calm, they’re rational, they don’t let other things influence their own responses.
Leaders who “carry their own weather” move from mess to success. They put space between stimulus and response. When someone says something to them that pisses them off, they don’t immediately lash out to them.
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What sets your book apart from other, leadership, and management books
I wrote this book was with very clear intention, I’ve been privileged to have my entire career dedicated in the, leadership, development industry. I worked for years with the Disney Company and now almost 25 years with the Franklin Covey company and learned a few things; but I have always struggled with a lot of these management and, leadership, practices. Like you I host a podcast and interview guests every week, I read close to 70 books a year and I wanted to write a different kind of, leadership, book because most, leadership, books are written by fortune 500 CEOs or academic professors and they’re kind of hard to relate to. I wanted to write a really real raw and relatable book where regardless of what role I was in, anybody in their career and their personal life could relate to a lot of my own struggles.
So the book is kind of uproariously funny, it’s very raw and blush. I shared a lot of my own messes in the book not because I was trying to be funny gratuitously, I just wanted to validate everybody that, leadership, is hard whether you are a formal or informal leader. It didn’t come naturally to me and so the challenge is based on Franklin Covey’s research, that if you can get your arms around these 30 principles, you will transform your influence in your relationships and your career. It’s kind of aligned with a month, 30 practices in 30 days. You can take one every day get your groove on.
I was privileged to co-author a second book called “Everyone Deserves a Great Manager, the Six Critical practices for leading a team,” that’s also on Amazon.
Connect with Scott Miller at Franklin Covey on LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram.
I want invite you guys to join my private Facebook group called, life coach, there you can get daily tips and strategies to live in your best life now not only from me but from all the members of the group. Also please subscribe to the podcast and leave an iTunes review.