I am SO delighted to be bringing back one of my favorite podcast guests, Scott J. Miller!
Scott is a thought leader, marketing genius, and corporate badass who has a unique ability to lift others up.
(You’ll hear his motivational side first-hand in this episode when he lifts me up!).
There’s so much to say about Scott.
He worked with FranklinCovey for 25 years, where he has served as:
✔️ Chief Marketing Officer
✔️ Executive Vice President of Business Development.
✔️ A Senior Advisor on thought leadership (where he leads the strategy and development of the firm’s speakers bureau, as well as the publication of podcasts, webcasts, and best-selling books).
✔️ AND he is the host of the world’s largest and fastest-growing leadership podcast, On Leadership with Scott Miller.
Scott is also the author of many books, including the #1 bestselling Management Mess to Leadership Success.
AND he’s dedicating the rest of his career to sharing everything he’s learned from his messy career with the world.
Pretty inspiring, right?
On this episode of Maximize Your Career with Stacy Mayer, Scott and I dig into the lessons behind his new book Marketing Mess to Brand Success and how you can start using these tips and tools to get yourself promoted into higher-level leadership positions.
What You'll Learn:
- Why you need to own your own mess (and what this looks like in action)
- What the younger generation is looking for in their leaders
- The #1 skill that will separate you from your competition (that only YOU can develop)
- Why you need to become obsessed with your companies money-making model
- How to become your CEO’s favorite person
Listen to the Full Episode:
Featured on the Show:
- Ep #12: From Management Mess to Leadership Success with Scott Miller
- Listen to Scott’s podcast On Leadership with Scott Miller
- Marketing Mess to Brand Success: 30 Challenges to Transform Your Organization's Brand (and Your Own) by Scott Miller
- Courage and Power from Pain: An Interview with Viola Davis
- Connect with Scott on LinkedIn
- Download Stacy’s 7-Step Promotion Roadmap
- Join the waitlist for my 6-week group coaching intensive, Executive Ahead of Time
Stacy Mayer: Hello, everyone. Welcome to another episode of Maximize Your Career. I'm your host, Stacy Mayer. And super excited to be bringing back my first guest with a return appearance on this podcast.
I first interviewed Scott Miller. I realized that I interviewed him in February of 2020. And you know how the interviews don't come out and get published right away. And actually, I specifically remember this moment. The interview with Scott dropped what I would consider to be that March 15th week of the pandemic when the whole world changed and shifted. And I was telling Scott beforehand that he's actually my bookend to the pandemic as if we're just now coming out of the pandemic.
And Scott's like: 'You know what? We've been coming out for a little while now, these last couple of months, I think Scott's already been on an airplane. I have not. On the other hand, I'm just going to be happy where my kids go back to school.'
Scott Miller: I'm sort of your rebound relationship. But I did not come out. So this is not going to happen. But all those who have and are and will be excellent for you.
Stacy Mayer: Thank you Scott.
I loved, loved, loved having Scott on my podcast in February of last year because he is just absolutely a marketing genius. He is a thought leader and he is so inspiring in and of himself. He has had an absolutely incredible career journey and he is so committed to sharing all of his lessons learned with as many literally, I think as many people who will bite. He is ready to share those lessons with them.
And he just came out with another fantastic book called Marketing Mess to Brand Success. And he's going to tell us all about that book on today's podcast and how you can start using the tips and tools that he has learned throughout his career to apply to your own career so that you can get yourself promoted into higher-level leadership positions.
But let me give Scott a more formal introduction, shall me? Capping a 25 career where he served as chief marketing officer and executive vice president of business development. Scott Jeffrey Miller currently serves as Franklin Covey's senior advisor on thought leadership, leading the strategy and development of the firm's speakers bureau, as well as the publication of podcasts, webcasts, and best-selling books. Miller hosts the Franklin Covey sponsored on Leadership with Scott Miller. This next line is no joke, the world's largest and fastest-growing leadership podcast, if you don't already subscribe, go do it. We're going to link to it in the show notes. Seriously. Buy his book. Yes. Subscribe to his podcast, just everything. Eat up Scott Miller, because they're also good.
Scott Miller: Be careful there.
Stacy Mayer: Reaching more than six million people weekly, six million people, plus the listeners of today's podcast. Thank you so much, Scott, for being here.
Scott Miller: It's now seven million. Plus yours.
Stacy Mayer: Seven million. It's already up. You have to update your bio. Oh, after they listen to my podcast?
Scott Miller: Actually, ours is probably closer to eight million now. So with your podcast it's like 12 million.
Stacy Mayer: Thanks, Scott. See, I told you. he was extremely motivational. He is always lifting other people up. I love it. Scott, thank you again so much for being here.
So the title of this book is Marketing Mess to Brand Success. It seems like you've got this whole mess thing going on. And I know a little bit more about this because I follow you, but maybe not all of our listeners know about your best. Can you tell us about this brand and the work that you're doing in terms of owning your own messes and how you're helping other leaders as a result?
Scott Miller: Stacy, first, thank you for your platform today, thanks for sharing your spotlight on me. I appreciate your abundance and your positivity is contagious. I was so looking forward to joining your podcast. I was on several others, but this was my kind of piece de resistance today. So thank you for, again, the opportunity.
My career spanned 30 years. It's been from literally the front line to the C-Suite. Started, you know, as a front line salesperson and culminated as the chief marketing officer for a global public company, the Franklin Covey Company, where I worked for 25 years. Stepped away during the pandemic, did a courageous disruption of my career, and stepped away. It's been a wonderful journey of entrepreneurialism.
About three years ago, I began writing what became Management Mess to Leadership Success. It was a wildly successful leadership book that, quite frankly, was the book I needed to read. It was a book that did not exist in the leadership space. It's not a gratuitous confession of all of my messes. I had to save some back for the future book, but it was a look at my own career as a leader inside of a world-renowned leadership company and where I talk quite vulnerably about how difficult leadership is. And quite frankly, it's messy for lots of us.
And the premise of the books is that, I believe as a leader when you own your mess, you make it safe for others to own theirs. There's a lot in that statement, right? There is this idea that Stacy, I don't have your education. I can't speak like you. I can't host like you. I can't create like you. I can't become you. I can't really learn or replicate your successes. But what I can do, if you're vulnerable enough, is tell me about your mistakes and your problems and your challenges. I can avoid those. I can avoid your messes. So if as a leader, if you're willing to own your mess, teach through it. Man, I can have an amazing journey by just avoiding the things you did wrong. And that's really the premise of the books that I write. Plus I've got a few hundred messes from which to draw on.
Stacy Mayer: That's what I wanted to know about. So as a leader, especially when you're in a chief marketing officer position, it seems like you have a certain persona to adhere to. So it's like there's this expectation that, you know what you're doing, right? So were you always comfortable sharing your messes or is this something that you had to learn?
Scott Miller: Well, I think it's probably an evolution of my maturity. It also probably speaks to the culture of my employer and my relationship with my boss, who was the CEO. But I think, I'll tell you, I think one of the reasons why I more than doubled the average tenure of a CMO at a public company wasn't because I was a genius CMO. It wasn't because I was an expert at Google Analytics or SEO or things like that. I think because I own my mess. I would walk into the executive team meeting and I would say: 'Well, that didn't work. We spent eighty thousand dollars on that. And here are the results. And this didn't work. And I did this wrong, my team did this wrong.' And because I was going to come in and not sugarcoat it, I would say: 'Well, let me tell you. This thing worked really well as we've learned from that.' So the CEO could always count on me to own my mess, to tell them...no spinning, no posturing, no cooking up tangential data. Well, if you look at it this way, then it's really a success. This will pay off big four years from now.
I think that the board of directors and the C-Suite really appreciated that I would come in and say the good and the bad. I'd be the first person to own my mess, quite frankly. While other executives were perhaps too often obfuscating and manipulating and posturing and positioning, I didn't do that. If Scott said it worked, it worked. If Scott said it didn't work, it didn't work. You could trust me to tell the truth on my own team's messes and successes.
Stacy Mayer: Do you think that actually got you to the C-Suite as well?
Scott Miller: What a great question, I think that was part of it, I think if you were to ask the CEO why he promoted me to become an officer in the firm. I think he would say, I trusted Scott, I trusted him to deliver. Scott would take off his functional hat or whatever hat I needed him to. He thought more about the organization. I went into most projects more concerned with what is right than being right. Now, not always. Not always. But I was always focused on the company's success as a whole. And if they were successful, that I would be successful. And those who needed to know would know that I manage my brand well. But when you are more concerned with what is right than being right, you'll make wise decisions for the organization that more times than not will work well for your own brand. And the smart people who are watching will attach you to those.
Stacy Mayer: Oh, I love this. So now we're talking about our brand, which reminds me of a leadership brand. So I was thinking about how you really at some point you actively made a decision that Scott Miller is a person who embraces his mess. And then you literally turned it into the sentence and the title of a couple of books and soon to be more books as well. And really committed to that in the public's eye as well. So not just internally in your conversations with the CEO. So how did that transition happen where you really became a thought leader and really owned that you are a person who really owns his messes and that's what you teach
Scott Miller: Stacy, I want to pay you a compliment and I want you to own it. Your questions are piercingly insightful. It's an extraordinary question. The question you're asking me at essence is when I developed the courage to talk publicly about my messes, and not just publicly in front of my team, but in front of millions of people who are listening to my podcast and reading my books and following my blogs. To quote my wife, this is going to sound funny, but serious. She said: 'You realize you'll never work again. Your books, your speeches, your podcasts, your interviews. These have to be a business for you because you'll never get hired again.' And in fact, it is probably true. I'll be hired not as a CEO, but I'll be hired to give speeches. And I thought it was a thoughtful strategy. Because when you hang a light on your troubles, when you shine a light on your messes, there will be people who will weaponize those against you. And haters who already hated you. You've now given them a whole barrage of ammunition. So you've got to be not just thick-skinned. You've got to have transparent skin. Translucent skin, to quote Viola Davis. Where stuff comes in and stuff comes out. And recognize that your mission now, your purpose, is to teach others.
And so I'm 52 years old. I've had a 30-year career. The next 20 years of my career will be about teaching, giving back, not gratuitously confessing all my mess. My wife knows those, so no one can blackmail me. She knows them. So no one can blackmail me. But I think this was a gift I could give back to say I have had an extraordinary career. Two steps forward, three steps back. I've been fired. I've been hired, I've been on probation. I've been here and there. I've been promoted to the highest level of an organization. And if I can responsibly talk about: 'I did this, I should have done that. I said this. I should have said that. I was thinking this way, but perhaps you should think this way.' That's a massive gift I can give to millions of people. And I'm OK if Glassdoor, someone takes me down. Don't go to Glassdoor, go to Amazon, buy my books. Right? Yeah, I think it's a gift I can give people. I think it is a leadership competency. I think vulnerability and being able to talk about your messes and teach through them is one of the greatest gifts you can give your people. And if you do it responsibly, judiciously, it doesn't lower your stature. It increases your stature.
Stacy Mayer: Absolutely. The thing that I'm really picking up on and I want you guys to hear this, is that I talk a lot about: don't just share all the problems, but also share the solutions. When you're communicating up and when you're talking to your boss. And go back and listen to Scott. Every single thing that he talked about, he always talked about what's the solution? Look, you know, we screwed up here. What are we going to do differently? He was focused on the solution to get out of it. And I think that's the difference. Yeah.
Scott Miller: Stacy and I have had the honor of interviewing thousands of people. I've had the privilege of hiring hundreds, and I've had the responsibility of having to terminate dozens. A job applicant interview, whether it's a promotion or an external-internal hire, and for me, the interview is over what I ask the question: 'So tell me, to the people who don't like you, why do they not like you?' Or if I say: 'Tell me about your biggest weakness. Tell me about the biggest project you've completely screwed up.' If someone says: 'Gosh, I can't think of someone who doesn't like me.' Or they say: 'You know what? Yeah, I've got a really good track record.' The interview is over. Done. I'll ask them two more like courtesy questions and I'll say: 'Well, thanks for your time today.' If you can't name for me nine people who don't like you, you are not self-aware. I can name 90 people, right now without taking a breath, that do not like me. Now I can name 90 who you do like me also. And I can tell you five major messes that I have caused single-handedly. I caused them. I can name 90 things I've done well, but it just speaks to self-awareness and comfortability, and your confidence. Because humility is born out of confidence. Confident people are capable of demonstrating humility. It's arrogant people who are incapable of being humble.
Stacy Mayer: Oh, absolutely. And one of the things that I first noticed about you when I started following you on LinkedIn and absorbing all of your content is how well-spoken and well put together you are. And on the surface, you would put Scott in a lineup and just say, you know what? He's a confident person. He's extremely well-spoken. He's he has great ideas. He ties it back. Just all of the criteria of a public speaker that has got themselves together. But what really sets him apart is this idea of vulnerability that he's able to share his journey, his story. And I think that when I started to see that, I was like: 'I want to emulate that. I want to understand what that kind of confidence is. Both being well-spoken, well articulate, but then also being able to just have a normal conversation, be vulnerable.' Say: 'Hey, this is what it is. Let's just talk like human beings.'
Scott Miller: You know what my transition was have happened. That words has a lot of meaning now. So let me be more careful. I'm not transitioning. But for those who have and are and will, that's fine for you. My transition for me was a friend of mine in Indiana, who said something to me that was profound. Now listen carefully. She said, "You think they don't know? They do." I think that is so profound. I mean, everybody knows your messes. They can guess to the closest 40 points, your credit score. Everybody knows who's gay or straight or who's going to be in the future. Everybody knows who's confident or humble. People know your messes. Your colleagues, the receptionist, your vendors, your bosses, they know your messes. So why not just own them and make that like your brand. Not to wallow in them. Not to license bad behavior, but to be able to diffuse them, talk about them and make your brand be self-aware. I know that I speak too loud. I know that I could be perhaps less focused on myself. I know that I'm always on to the next meal, the next dinner. I don't live in the moment. I live in the future. And that's good and bad. And so people know that about me. So the more I can talk about it, the more people can talk with me about it and the less people can weaponize it against me.
Stacy Mayer: Wow. So I was just going to say, speaking of weaponizing. But I meant it as this extreme power. So you talk about this in the introduction of marketing mess. And it's the interview that you had with Rachel Hollas. I actually found this interview at her conference online, because it's online. You can find these things and I watched it. It's absolutely fantastic. Listening to you speak to all of these incredible, just it's an incredible conference. But at the end of it, the story is that people were chanting "Own your mess." Oh my God. Why do you think it resonates with people at such a deep level? What are we so hungry for that people are just chanting this?
Scott Miller: Well, when I asked them to in full disclosure.
Stacy Mayer: Scott, please. Oh, my goodness. Yes. I was a cheerleader in high school. We did a lot of asking in that way. And that is. Oh, I'm glad you said that.
Scott Miller: Thank you. I did ask them. Here's what I think. And I think there are many answers to your question, but I think people are tired of working for leaders that they can't relate to. I think for decades, corporate America was put off by Japanese corporations where the boss was infallible and she or he was unapproachable. And that's not true. Everybody's got imposter syndrome. Everybody's stretched their skill. Everybody's trying to find the right balance of their skills with their passions and their joys and their marriage and all that. So I think people, especially the younger generation, people in their 20s and 30s or 40s, want to do meaningful work in a trusted environment where they are respected and valued and where they can learn from their leader. And I think the days are gone where you have this chasm between the leader and her team. You can still be respected and you can be the leader. The buck can stop with you and you can still gather your team around and be real and talk about your own career journey and how you made mistakes and what you did.
Scott Miller: Well, I'll tell you. The people that I promote are the people who are self-aware, who know what it's like to work with them, who know what it's like to report to them, who can tell you all their strengths and their weaknesses, and they have a plan to grow them both. I don't care if the person has technical competence. I can teach you how to balance the cash flow statement. I can teach you how to grow SEO. Those skills are teachable. Self-awareness and maturity is hard to teach. So if you're looking to promote yourself, build your brand obsessed with becoming self-aware. Make it safe for people to tell you the truth about what it's like to be around you, to be in a zone call with you, to be at a corporate conference before you absorb it. Now, not all their feedback will be helpful. And yes, you can get too much feedback, but self-awareness is something that all of your listeners and viewers should be obsessed with because that will be what differentiates you from your competition.
Stacy Mayer: Yeah, and it also sounds like there's this act of asking and sharing information. So many of my clients and my listeners haven't even gotten to the point where they're having regular development conversations with leadership.
Scott Miller: Own it.
Stacy Mayer: Yeah, exactly.
Scott Miller: This is your responsibility. I think this is a misnomer. And Stacy, maybe I interrupted you. I apologize. This is not your leader's responsibility. It's your responsibility. You book a phone call with him and say, I really want to know what I am doing that annoys you. I want to know what I am doing that underwhelms you. When you're frustrated with me, I'd like to know what does that sound like. Look like. Feel like. I'm craving your feedback because you're a leader, because you are a leader does not mean that you have the courage to lead these conversations.
Stacy Mayer: Oh I love: what am I doing that underwhelms you. Oh my goodness. That's brilliant, I love that question.
Scott Miller: Because you know what? Every leader, if they're honest, has things that you are doing that underwhelms them.
Stacy Mayer: Oh, for sure.
Scott Miller: Or for that matter, even overwhelms them. Like your personality is so strong. You talk during the whole meeting. Or, you know, you have a solution for every problem. And five to spare. Hold some of the solutions for the next problem. If you are courageous enough to move outside your comfort zone and ask your leader for these types of feedback sessions, you will transform your brain.
Stacy Mayer: Yeah. Now I want to transition into your book Marketing Mess. And I have a lot of listeners who are in marketing or sales or some sort of outward client-facing position and they're looking to expand their marketing. So can you tell us a little bit more about who is the ideal reader for this book? What? Who is the person that should go out and buy this book tomorrow and tell us more about what we will find inside?
Scott Miller: So one of the things that I've learned from Seth Godin, who's a good friend of mine, endorsed my first book is that this concept of your total addressable market is bunk, right? I mean, use that for your SBA loan documents or your venture capital funding. But the fact of the matter is, great marketers know what their smallest viable market is, right? Who is the first person who should buy my book? Who is the second person that should subscribe to my podcast? So I've been very deliberate about this. This is a book that is aimed at people in marketing, marketing managers, marketing directors. And I spent 10 years of my career in marketing and over 10 in sales. And so I do think it's a person that wants to build their influence by becoming a more responsible marketer. Someone that is seen as a solution that is tied to revenue, to cash, to profit. That isn't just masquerading behind the likes and brand and brand equity. Those things are important, but you cannot staple brand equity to the back of a bank deposit slip and fund payroll on it. You have to drive profitable revenue that increases the value of your company. So I think people that are in marketing will benefit most from the book. I'll tell you who I think is going to be the real big audience. It's going to be sales leaders. I think that sales leaders are going to buy the book and they're going to give it to their marketing department and say, I need you to read this because I need you in my boat rowing with me. Yes, I would say it's generally marketer's first and then second will probably be sales leaders. I don't shame marketing, but I have some courageous conversations throughout the book around marketing's role from my point of view and what I think marketing too often gets wrong. And when they do get it right, here's what they're doing.
Stacy Mayer: I love it. And Scott has broken it down into 30 bite-sized messes. So you can even skip around. You can look be like: 'Oh, this is one that resonates with me. This is something that resonates with me.' But the one that resonated with me was right at the beginning. Chapter one, first mess out of the gate. Would you mind sharing with us a little bit about that one?
Scott Miller: Sure. So challenge one is called 'It's the customer, stupid.' It may sound harsh, but it's based on a very famous marketing campaign from the 1992 US presidential election when then-Governor Bill Clinton and Senator Al Gore, Al Gore were running against then-incumbent President George H.W. Bush and Vice President Quayle.
And they were coming off a major success on the first Gulf War, I think IT had a 93 percent approval rating. But the US economy was going in the tank. And so it was Governor Clinton and Al Gore's campaign strategist, James Carville and Paul Begala that famously had that sign in their Little Rock war room called It's the Economy, Stupid. Because only they were going to beat George Bush was on the economy. Well, of course, they went on to win two terms.
So I co-opted that with credit and said, 'it's the customer, stupid.' Because I think it is a truism that in organizations we get sucked into our hairball or gravitational pull to be obsessed with our mission, our systems, our profit, our cost of goods. And rarely do meetings have anything to do with the customer. What are the customer's needs? What is their mission? We tell you your customer does not give a crap about your mission.
Scott Miller: They don't care about your second-quarter profit. They don't care about your stock price. They care about their stock price. So it's the best marketers that are kind of Stacy, the calm voice in the wind that represents the client to say: 'Well, how do we know that? Have we asked the client that? And did the client tell us that? And are these the words the client used? Because we call it leadership and I think they're calling it engagement. And we call it productivity, but they're calling it to scale.' It's fiercely, obsessively understanding what is the circumstance your client is in, what do they call it? How do they fund it, and how are they looking for a solution? And if you can find your way to focus on the client, you'll be unpopular. You'll miss some do not miss meetings in your company, right? There is some downfall to this. But it is the person who is the client's voice that will win the client, win them back. You will be the person that actually is predicted. You'll be the futurist of the market. Because every company has a gravitational pull into your own hairball.
Stacy Mayer: I think the reason, as you were just talking, one of the reasons why, because obviously every book that we read is through our own lens and how does this apply to me and my work. But when I was reading at, the first thing that I thought is it's about your company, stupid. It's about your boss. Stupid. And so as so many of my clients are trying to make it to that next level of leadership, they're very self-focused. Right? They're like: 'I want to get ahead. I should be on this project.' And they're not thinking about what their boss needs or what their boss's boss needs or the executive team or the organization. And it just it all goes really hand in hand to me. It seems very the leadership parallels are very clear.
Scott Miller: You crushed that. If you were to do an interview of 100 chief people officers and said: what mistake do most interviewers make? They would say they're focused on their needs, interviewees. They're focused on their needs, not the organization's needs. You go into an interview, whether it's an internal promotion or you're coming in fresh, you should be obsessed with how can you help the organization further their needs? Or when you help them further their needs (launching a product, global expansion, recovering from a reputational breach, whatever it is) they think will help you with your needs. Put your customer first. And your customer might be your boss might be able to boss in a different division. Here are the ways I can help you. Not what you want and what's your career journey is, and where you're trying to.... I'm sorry. How can you help me?
Stacy Mayer: Yeah, totally. Such a game-changer. Now, what are what's your favorite mess in this book. Anything you want to share with us. A good story.
Scott Miller: When you qualified it by this book, I had to change my opinion as I got out there.
Stacy Mayer: Yes. This book. Not what your wife would say. This book.
Scott Miller: You know, I would say maybe challenge 10, it's called Augment Your Business Acumen. Now this will be a broad, sweeping statement. So I recognize there's some stupidity in that. But let me tell you, I think that people who are in marketing, people that are creative types, public relations, advertising. Right brainers. I think we tend to run with our strengths and minimize our weaknesses. But everyone, regardless of your role, you need to build your business acumen. You need to understand what is the business of your company's business? What is your organization's money-making model? You need to understand the five levers of business, cash, margin, velocity, customers, and growth. You need to be able to read a PNL and understand the difference between gross margin and net margin and cost of goods and SGNA and ebitda and ebit. You need to be willing to go over to finance or go on YouTube or Khan Academy and figure out how to read a PNL. Because I think too often those in marketing or those on the right brain side of an organization, perhaps innovations or in product development or even sales. That they have a very shallow understanding of basic business principles. How to read a PNL. What is a cash flow statement? What's a balance sheet? What business is your company? And what are the high margin and low margin products? And fiercely attach yourself to your company's money-making model. This is a recipe for remarkable success and relevance. It's also a recipe for inoculation between getting fired or downsized or outsourced or let go. Because if you attach yourself to the company's moneymaking model, oh they'll skip over you. We can't fire Scott because Scott is crucial to lowering our days outstanding on cash. Or he's in collections. Or he's in revenue. Whatever it is. I think it's just generally building your business acumen and being obsessed with your company's money-making model by asking.
Go over to the CFO. Go over to the vice president of sales and say: 'You know what? Please judge my intent. I'm going to sound like an idiot for a few minutes. But can you tell me, how does this company make money? Where do we lose money? What should we be selling more of? What do our customers value?' And you'll learn so much from where you should put your time and attention. I'm passionate about this because I think organizations and leaders don't think it's safe to ask these questions and take the time. Don't assume all your employees understand what are unprofitable solutions. What are profitable solutions? What is the ideal customer? How can they contribute to revenue growth? This is the lifeblood of your business.
Stacy Mayer: And you know what I'm noticing, too? If you stop thinking that it's the organization's responsibility to "make it safe" to ask these questions, because I think what my clients and listeners are experiencing is once they do ask them, it's a very safe environment. It's just that the people at the top aren't overly just giving you this information. They don't just walk around and be like: 'you should ask me as the CFO what.'
Scott Miller: They assume, you know, and all of your peers are too embarrassed to ask. You become a transition figure. Be aligned. Not a judge. Be a model, not a critic. Raise your hand in the company town hall and say, 'hey, I have a question. I'm sure everybody else knows the answer, but I'm courageous enough to ask this. If you could give me three-piece of advice on how I or even others could be better contributors to our money-making model, what would that be?' The CEO would be in love with you? Because now you have given her a platform to say: 'Well, as a matter of fact, you know, we're transitioning to a subscription model. We're finding is, if each client can just add on one service, it's worth this, and we can give raises a profit-sharing.' And now everybody's looking at you thinking that took some courage and they're all loving that you just gave them career advice. Move outside your comfort zone. Practice your question, but ask it. You'll become the favorite person of the CEO.
Stacy Mayer: Most of the women who want to make it into senior executive positions, it's because they want to be having those higher-level conversations. They want to be talking to the CEO in this way. They want to make a bigger impact at their organization and just literally, like how you described that, they get to do it in that moment. Yes, Scott has his hand up. I love this.
Scott Miller: I'm so delighted that you're elevating this because there should be no shame in this. Maybe practice your question so it's elegant and eloquent. But here's what you do. Make sure you have your follow-up later. Someone comes up to you. Its a peer and says: 'Wow, that took some courage, thanks for asking.' Say: 'You're welcome. It's my pleasure.' If someone from the executive team later comes up and says: 'Wow, do you really think people didn't know that?' Your answer should say: 'Yeah, you're detached.' I mean, like that. You should say: 'Yeah, you don't know what's going on in this company.' I mean, honestly. Say that. Because I mean, you aren't the only person. There are like a thousand people who said, damn girl.' I'm so glad you did because they're taking notes and you're building their careers. Now, don't ask it at every meeting. You don't want to be the guy or the gal that's always asking the super tough question. You just want to make sure that you're asking questions that give the leaders the invitation and the platform to not just educate you, but educate others.
Now take it a step further once they tell you, get obsessed with doing that. So they don't see you just as the gutless wonder, asking tough questions. But you really want to know and have them catch you behaving in alignment with their advice. You will have an amazing career.
Stacy Mayer: Yes, amen. I catch you behaving in alignment with their advice. Oh, that is so brilliant. Scott, what is next for you? You have so many things on the horizon. So please tell us.
Scott Miller: Thank you for asking. I'm launching a few new books. Job Next to Career Success comes out in January, followed by Communication Mess to Influence Success. I've written a new book called Master Mentors coming out by HarperCollins in September, which is a collection of thirty of my favorite interviews from my podcast. In mid-July, BookClub.com is launching. It's a new subscription model that gets remarkable access to authors. I'm a moderator on that for Franklin Covey. I'll be coming out BookClub.com com in July. My wife's having quintuplets. No I'm kidding.
Stacy Mayer: And he has three boys already. My eyes just got really big for her.
Scott Miller: Stacy. Snip snip. There's no quintuplets coming, girl.
Stacy Mayer: Oh man.
Scott Miller: Thank you for your abundance. Thank you for your great questions. I'm honored to be with you.
Stacy Mayer: Oh thank you. And did you already tell us how we can find you specifically like that? I guess we could go to Amazon and I'll link to that in the show notes.My website is ScottJeffreyMiller.com. All my books and episodes are good columns and articles and blogs are there. All my books are available on every book platform, both digital and bricks and mortar. The most recent book is Marketing Best to Brand Success. I love it if your listeners bought a copy.
Stacy Mayer: I want to ask you one more question. Looking back at the last thirty years of your career, what are you proudest of?
Scott Miller: I think I'm proudest of disrupting myself. I do not let anyone else control my career for me. You're never in the room when your career is being decided for you. So I was always one step above the boot. I'm always disrupting myself and moving myself out of a company or a job a year or two before anybody else thinks I'm getting complacent. So I'm proud of my courage. I'm a pretty fearless person. I don't scuba dive. I don't skydive. I don't do crazy crap like that. And I have three kids. I have a friend who was on this morning on a major news program. She just climbed Mount Everest. She has seven children. Wow. I think that is outrageously irresponsible. No apology. Outrageously irresponsible. I do not put my personal desires above my responsibility to provide for and raise three children. Good luck to her. That's just not my values. I'm most proud, however, of my courage to move to cities where I knew no one. To quit jobs before I needed to. To really move myself outside of my comfort zone. I don't need to shame that woman for climbing Mount Everest. But one of the things that Seth Godin taught me was the difference between being reckless and being fearless. And I had at times been reckless with my brand, with other person's feelings. But I'm really not trying to be less reckless and more fearless. And you won't find me count climbing Mount Everest until my chicks are out of the nest and they're OK and safe.
Stacy Mayer: Yeah, those are little guys, too. Oh, my gosh. I love watching them on social on LinkedIn. I think that's great.
Scott Miller: Well yesterday I might have dropped a few choice words in private, but I'm sure we all have on our worst days.
Stacy Mayer: I get it. I get it. Well, Scott, thank you again. I think everyone listening go back and I'll also link to the first interview with Scott. He has so much incredible leadership wisdom and his generosity and his willingness to share with us today, but with leaders everywhere. And just really, I'm so impressed and you are making such an impact. And I just I'm really grateful for your time and your knowledge. Thank you so much.
Scott Miller: The same is said for you. Thank you for the platform, your abundance. And I would love to come back on your podcast when Job Mess to Career Success launches.
Stacy Mayer: Absolutely.
Scott Miller: Thanks Stacy.
Stacy Mayer: Thank you.
About Your Host
Hi! I'm Stacy Mayer, a Certified Executive Coach and Promotion Strategist on a mission to bring more diversity to the leadership table by getting 1000 underrepresented corporate managers promoted into senior executive positions each year worldwide.
I help undervalued executives scale to the C-Suite using repositioning strategies that build your confidence and visibility, so you can earn the recognition and support you need from key stakeholders while embodying your unique leadership style.
My podcast “Women Changing Leadership with Stacy Mayer” tackles topics like executive communication, getting more respect in the workplace from challenging bosses and team members, and avoiding the common mistakes that sabotage career advancement.