- Known For:
Chick-Fil-A's rapid expansion
Justin and David Miller
Georgia State University
About Mark Miller
Miller became a leadership expert through a combination of education, experience, and a commitment to continuous learning and development. He earned a bachelor’s degree in organizational communication from Georgia State University. He has also completed additional leadership training and development programs throughout his career.
Miller has held various leadership positions throughout his career, including vice president of organizational effectiveness and executive vice president of the large restaurant chain Chick-Fil-A. He has also served on the board of directors for several organizations and has been a consultant on organizational development for many years.
- Leadership is not just a position but a choice: Miller believes that anyone can be a leader, regardless of their formal job title or position within an organization. He encourages individuals to take ownership of their leadership development and to be intentional about cultivating leadership skills.
- Leadership is about serving others: Miller advocates for a servant leadership approach, which involves putting the needs of others first and empowering team members to achieve their full potential. He believes that leaders who focus on serving others create a culture of trust, respect, and collaboration.
- Leaders must have a clear vision: Miller emphasizes the importance of having a compelling vision for the future and communicating it effectively. He believes that a clear vision can inspire and motivate team members and provide a framework for effective decision-making.
- Leaders must develop others: In his opinion, one of the most important responsibilities of a leader is to develop the potential of employees. He advocates for a coaching approach to leadership where leaders help team members set goals, identify strengths and weaknesses, and provide ongoing feedback and support.
- Leaders must focus on execution: Miller emphasizes the importance of taking action and delivering results. He believes that leaders must be able to translate their vision into concrete action plans, set clear expectations, and hold themselves and their team members accountable.
Miller has authored and co-authored nine successful books on leadership, including The Secret: What Great Leaders Know and Do, Win The Heart, Culture Rules, and Great Leaders Grow. Two of his most successful books include Chess Not Checkers and The Heart of Leadership. Miller has over 1 million books in print, with his work translated into more than 25 languages.
Chess Not Checkers:
Chess Not Checkers: Elevate Your Leadership Game is a leadership fable featuring Mark Miller as the protagonist of the book. The book follows Miller’s journey as he rises from a mid-level manager to becoming the CEO of his company. Mark’s journey illustrates the importance of leaders adopting a strategic mindset, building a strong team culture, and focusing on execution as a leader.
As the book’s protagonist, Miller is a hardworking and ambitious individual with an impressive track record. However, when he’s given the opportunity to lead a new division, he realizes that he needs to develop a new set of leadership skills to succeed in his new role. Through a series of mentoring sessions with Blake Brown, the former CEO of the company, Mark learns four key strategies for successful leadership: Bet on Leadership, Act as One, Win the Heart, and Excel at Execution.
As the story progresses, Mark implements these strategies and transforms his division into a high-performing team. His success catches the attention of the company’s board of directors, and he is eventually promoted to CEO.
The four strategies that Miller learns for successful leadership are:
- Bet on Leadership: Miller argues that effective leaders are able to identify and develop other leaders within their organization. They’re also willing to take risks and invest in their team members.
- Act as One: He emphasizes the importance of building a strong team culture where team members are aligned around a common purpose.
- Win the Heart: Miller believes that leaders must be able to connect with their team members on a personal level and that they must be able to inspire and motivate their team members to achieve their full potential.
- Excel at Execution: He argues that effective leaders must be able to translate their vision into concrete action plans that can be measured and analyzed.
The Heart of Leadership:
The Heart of Leadership: Becoming a Leader People Want to Follow is a practical guide for aspiring and experienced leaders who want to improve their leadership skills and company culture. In this book, Miller argues that effective leadership is rooted in character and that leaders who cultivate positive personality traits are more likely to be successful in their roles. He identifies seven key skills and traits that he believes are essential for creating a culture of leadership:
- Humility: Humble and self-aware people are better able to connect with their team members and build trust.
- Integrity: He emphasizes the importance of leaders who are honest, ethical, and trustworthy, and who hold themselves accountable for their actions.
- Vision: Miller argues that leaders must have a clear vision for the future that can be explained easily.
- Service: He advocates for a servant leadership approach, which involves boosting up all team members to reach their potential.
- Impact: Effective leaders must be able to make a positive impact on their team members, their organization, and their community.
- Influence: Leaders who are able to influence others in a positive way build strong relationships which further supports their missions.
- Courage: Miller argues that leaders must be willing to take risks, make tough decisions, and confront difficult challenges. They ultimately need confidence and “a boundless belief in their personal ability to affect positive change.”
Blog, Speaking, and Other Leadership Resources
On his website, Mark Miller Leadership, Miller has a blog where he shares his insights and perspectives on business practices and company culture. The blog, as well as his social media accounts (including Instagram) covers a wide range of topics related to leadership, personal growth, organizational culture, employee engagement, and team development.
Some of the topics that Miller has written about on his blog and spoken about on podcasts and elsewhere include:
- The importance of setting clear expectations for team members.
- Strategies for developing a culture of leadership within an organization.
- The role of trust in effective leadership.
- The value of coaching and mentorship.
- How to lead change within an organization.
- The benefits of diversity and inclusion in the workplace.
- Tips for building a high-performing team through collaboration.
- The role of emotional intelligence and communication skills in leadership.
Additionally, Miller is a frequent speaker and consultant on topics related to leadership development and organizational culture. He has worked with and spoken to a wide range of companies and organizations across different industries, including the Servant Leadership Institute.
Miller has worked with Chick-fil-A since the 1970s and helped grow the brand considerably. He has served as Vice President of High-Performance Leadership for Chick-fil-A for over a decade and helped expand the company from 75 restaurants to over 2,300 locations with annual sales approaching $10 billion.
He is also passionate about giving back to his community and has been involved with several nonprofit organizations over the years. He has been married to his wife Donna for over 35 years and has two sons.
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- About | Author Mark Miller. https://www.markmillerleadership.com/about
- Mark Miller. https://www.markmillerleadership.com/category/books
- Mark Miller. LinkedIn. https://www.linkedin.com/in/highperformanceleaders/
- Apple Podcasts. (2019, October 13). How to Steward Your Own Potential with Mark Miller. https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/how-to-steward-your-own-potential-with-mark-miller/id435836905?i=1000453404863
- Mark Miller Leadership. (2023, January 19). Mark Miller – How to Identify a Future Leader [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w89vp7StjUE
- Gray, B. Mark Miller’s 5 Traits of a Strong Leader. www.linkedin.com. https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/mark-millers-5-traits-strong-leader-bj-gray/
- Mark Miller. https://www.markmillerleadership.com/post/great-leaders-serve
- Great Leaders Serve. Oreily. https://www.oreilly.com/library/view/servant-leadership-in/9781523093984/xhtml/ch05.html
- The High Performance Series. (2020, March 10). PenguinRandomhouse.com. https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/series/1HP/the-high-performance-series
- Mark Miller: books, biography, latest update. Amazon.com. https://www.amazon.com/stores/author/B0057LJOYA/about
- Michaellepien. (2015, April 6). Chess Not Checkers | Mark Miller. Literary Nachos. https://literarynachos.wordpress.com/2015/04/06/chess-not-checkers-mark-miller/
- The Heart of Leadership by Mark Miller: 9781609949600 | PenguinRandomHouse.com: Books. (2013, October 7). PenguinRandomhouse.com. https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/575219/the-heart-of-leadership-by-mark-miller/
- Fleming, M. (2022, October 18). Chick-fil-A VP Mark Miller on Leading in Times of Crisis. Business Transformation Consultants | Prophet. https://prophet.com/2020/04/leading-in-times-of-crisis-an-interview-with-chick-fil-a-vice-president-mark-miller/
- Own The Room by LifeHikes. (2019, August 16). Mark Miller | Corporate Sales Training | Sales Coaching. Own the Room by LifeHikes. https://owntheroom.com/teams/mark-miller/
- Mark Miller — Servant Leadership Institute- Articles. (2017, September 12). Servant Leadership Institute. https://www.servantleadershipinstitute.com/articles/tag/Mark+Miller
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