Book Review | SMART Leadership

SMART Leadership by Mark Miller was recommended to me by a friend who knows I desire to steward my leadership intentionally and in a way that will have eternal value. I really enjoyed his work in Talent Magnet which I reviewed HERE and The Heart of Leadership that I reviewed HERE. Miller has been a leader with Chick-Fil-A for many years and simply has a heart for being an effective leader. If God has put you in a position of leadership, it’s important to remember that you are going to be held accountable for the decisions you made on behalf of those you lead. I try to keep that thought in the forefront of my mind on a daily basis.

This book is a great read for people in any type of leadership. I know that I’ll be sharing it with lots of friends. Here are some thing that I highlighted while reading…

  • Your choices determine your impact. p. 2
  • “If I were to let my life be taken over by what is urgent, I might very well never get around to what is essential.” Henri Nouwen p. 8
  • What is limiting your impact? What is impeding your success? What is thwarting your plans? What is hindering your progress? p. 15
  • What are the top three obstacles or impediments keeping you from leading from the high ground? p. 20
  • “Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose a response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” Viktor Frankl p. 21
  • Smart Choice #1: Confront Reality to stay grounded in truth and lead from a position of strength. p. 29
  • Smart Choice #2: Grow Capacity to meet the demands of the moment and the challenges of the future. p. 30
  • Smart Choice #3: Fuel Capacity to maintain relevance and vitality in a changing world. p. 31
  • Smart Choice #4: Create Change today to ensure a better tomorrow. p. 31
  • “Genchi Gembutsu” Japanese for “Go see for yourself.” p. 45
  • Leadership always begins with a picture of the future. p. 59
  • I believe that most leaders have a natural bias. They are either more results-oriented or more relationship-oriented. This is not a good or bad thing, but the trick is to value both. If you don’t, you will sub-optimize your contribution and the performance of whatever and whoever you are attempting to lead. p. 61
  • If someone followed you around for a day or two or looked at your calendar, what would they say about your commitment to lifelong learning? p. 62
  • If you needed to make a long-term strategic decision that would impact your organization for years to come, who are the five to seven people from your organization you would want around the table? p. 76
  • Community has four primary characteristics:
    • People know each other deeply.
    • People serve each other unconditionally.
    • People celebrate and mourn authentically.
    • People genuinely love one another. p. 83
  • A vision for team meetings…Imagine a time and place each month in which you are challenged, equipped, celebrated; problems are solved, and encouragement is available in generous supply. You are held accountable to bring your best, your vision is expanded, you build lifelong relationships of genuine care and concern, and collectively, you make a huge impact on the world. Anyone interested in being a part of something like that? p. 85
  • Growing leaders grow organizations. p. 90
  • Margin is simply the practice of allocating enough time to reflect, assess, think, create, and plan. We must create sufficient capacity for this critical work. Our leadership depends on it. Without margin in our life, we run the very real risk of unwittingly sacrificing the future on the altar of today. p. 95
  • Busy is about our calendars; hurry is about our hearts. p. 102
  • “Public victory is always preceded by private victory.” – Stephen Covey, p. 106
  • Heads-up work is always done best when you are above the daily fray. p. 109
  • “I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.” -Albert Einstein, p. 136
  • Design thinking places the user at the center of the process. What does the user need? What does the user want? What problem is the user trying to solve? To answer these questions, and others like them, proponents of design thinking use a number of tools and techniques. p. 145
  • The knowledge acquired through an aggressive reading plan could be a primary fuel source for your curiosity and your success. p. 147
  • Just as you can fuel a fire, my challenge is not merely to keep curiosity burning but to turn it into a raging inferno. p. 151
  • Regardless of how much knowledge, information, and experience you have with a topic or subject, a few well-placed and thoughtful questions will reveal more information. p. 158
  • “Wisdom is the reward you get for a lifetime of listening when you would have rather talked.” – Mark Twain, p. 172
  • How much time do you intentionally spend with people who see the world differently than you do? p. 175
  • Remember Your Purpose
    • Why do you want to cultivate a growth mindset?
    • How is your fixed mindset limiting your life and career?
    • What would you pursue if you had no fear of failure?
    • What would you attempt if your success was ensured?
    • If income were of no concern, what would you do and why?
    • What do you think you were born to do?
    • What do your unique talents, experiences, and passions prepare you to do for the world?
    • What do you want to be remembered for? p. 195

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