097: Becoming a Leader People Want to Follow | with Mark Miller from Chick-fil-A

by Joe Sherwood on October 2, 2014

Heart of leadershipAre you a leader people want to follow? You can be—but first, you must understand what sets great leaders apart from all the rest.

Certainly, leaders need people skills, execution skills, a deep knowledge of industry trends, the ability to articulate a vision, and more. They must be competent—but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. What’s below the waterline? What’s inside the best leaders that makes them different?

Mark Miller is Vice President for Organizational Effectiveness at Chick-fil-A. Ten years ago, he and his team set out to develop a clear process for identifying potential leaders. First, they identified the skills that set apart great leaders; this became the topic of the internationally best-selling book The Secret: What Great Leaders Know and Do, which Mark co-wrote with Ken Blanchard and has just been released in a new 10th anniversary edition. After studying the skills, they identified five character traits that are unique to exceptional leaders. That became the subject of another book, The Heart of Leadership: Becoming a Leader People Want to Follow. What they discovered may surprise you.

In this episode, Jesse and Mark discuss five unique character traits exhibited by exceptional leaders and how to cultivate them.

Mark Miller started his Chick-fil-A career working as an hourly team member back in 1977. In 1978, he joined the corporate staff working in the warehouse and mailroom. Since then, he has provided leadership for Corporate Communications, Field Operations, Quality and Customer Satisfaction, Training and Development. Today he serves as the Vice President for Organizational Effectiveness.

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  • bill holston

    Great podcast Jesse. I listened to it this a.m. on my morning walk. I’m still pondering the whole thinking of others first. Keep up the good work.

    • Thanks, Bill! I find that “think others first” is an ongoing daily challenge, not just at work but in every area of life. But it’s really powerful, not just in formal leadership moments but in every communication.

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