Ordinary Name, Extraordinary Achievements: Unveiling Uncommon Greatness

Leaders are the architects of the future and everything rises and falls on leadership. We all have our stories. As part of a lifelong quest to stay abreast of the latest and greatest in leadership development ideas, I read constantly. And that’s how Mark Miller’s brand new book, Uncommon Greatness, landed in my hands.

 Uncommon greatness as a leader requires an expanded view of greatness. Skills matter, they are foundational, but your heart matters even more. Mark Miller paints a compelling picture when he states, “When I walk in a room, I’m trying to figure out how I can add the most value. Sometimes that is to take charge and sometimes it is to take out the trash.” That’s uncommon greatness.

How many leaders can you name who keep their focus on what is needed in the moment to serve others?  Can you make a mental list? I’m guessing it’s a short list.

Each of us have the opportunity to become the leader we would want to follow. In order to do that, it’s prudent to clarify exactly what extraordinary leaderships looks like. The fact is, neither people nor teams drift to greatness. Miller makes a clear case for what uncommon greatness looks like in his book.

It’s comforting to know that often, the leader’s greatest contribution is not the answers they provide but the questions they ask.

Statistics point to the fact we are experiencing a global leadership crisis.

  • 80% of executives believe their business model is at risk due to new innovations.
  • Gallup reports 82% of managers aren’t very good at leading people.
  • 45% of leaders lack the confidence to help their staff develop the skills they need.
  • 50% of leaders do not believe they have enough emerging leaders to meet future demands of their organization’s growth.
  • 33% of organizations do not have sufficient leaders for today.

I didn’t realize until after I started reading that I met Mark in 2019 when he was speaking at a Leadership Conference in Destin, Florida. The conference was sponsored by Chic-Fil-A and it was memorable and impactful. The funny thing is I remembered his message clearly but couldn’t recall his name – it fell into a general category of “ordinary”.

It was a pivotal time as he came to an area in NW Florida that was still recovering from the devastation of Category 5 Hurricane Michael. Many people drove over from Bay County as we still didn’t have public places to meet after the storm came through months before. We were hungry for hope.

Miller delivered hope, inspiration, and a call to rise up and shine through the darkness. He probably wouldn’t tell you that’s what his message was about. But that’s what we heard. And it was a game-changer. Something tells me that Mark would be satisfied with my summary: that his ordinary name represents the humility covering a lifetime of extraordinary achievements. Mark Miller has a calling to unveil Uncommon Greatness in others. Let’s rise to the challenge.

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