I now understand…

…that I don’t understand at all. And therefore, I understand more than I’ve ever understood before.

It isn’t only “just OK” not to be able to explain everything. It’s also freeing to not be burdened with feeling like we have to.

Be free to lead even though there will be unanswered questions.

David Miller Initials


October 1, 2014 – Black and white

I am a recovering “black and white” leader. Left or right. Up or down. Wrong or right. Good or bad. Either/or.

Why do we get backed into corners when it comes to philosophy or theology or strategy or politics? No doubt in my mind that there are a variety of reasons. For me, and perhaps for you, I’m a product of my environment…parental guidance; school teachers and coaches; preachers and advisors; employers and employees; teammates; family members…all have had pivotal impact points on my life.

But, unexplainable events also have shaped me. Things happen that just don’t make sense…or at least they don’t seem to make sense at the time they happen. Both good and bad, by the way. Asking “why me?” occurs more often than not in my life because I feel so fortunate to be blessed as I have been.

This is one more attempt to let you know how important I believe it is that we look at life (business, family, politics, religion, etc) from a “both/and” perspective rather than an “either/or” point of view. At this stage of my life I’m asking (either to myself or right out loud) “REALLY???!!!” when someone makes a statement that they claim to be absolutely the only way.

Maybe, just maybe, there is more than one way…one idea…one path. Maybe, some things we just can’t explain at all. You know what? I’m finally comfortable with not knowing or even thinking that I have to know. What a place of freedom that is!

Try it. You might enjoy the freedom, too.

David Miller Initials

June 27, 2014 – Avoidance of Accountability

In his best-selling book The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, Patrick Lincione describes the “avoidance of accountability” as the 4th dysfunction. He has also provided his readers with an assessment tool that can be used to determine which, if any of the five dysfunctions, is present or prevalent in an organization. Invariably, when I administer this assessment to groups I am working with, avoiding holding team members accountable is #1 or #2 on the list of issues to be dealt with. Why, is that?

In this our next look at the 3rd Cornerstone we call Freedom, we can see how accountability within an organization is not only possible, but also made much easier when trust and understanding are in place. Think about it for just a minute. If there is a high level of trust and a confirmed understanding of direction and goals, then we do have the freedom to professionally and firmly help each other be accountable for our performance. If we trust one another and we have agreed upon a certain objective, then it is both our responsibility and privilege to help each other be accountable.  Notice I said help one another to be accountable…not hold one another to be accountable.

The statement “I am going to hold you accountable” has a negative and somewhat threatening tone to it. And, perhaps that tone may be needed from time to time. But, if I say “I’m going to help you be accountable”, it sounds like I am there to assist you…support you…remind you…do whatever it takes to make sure WE win.

Folks, we are missing the concept of mutuality when it comes to this subject. The mutuality of responsibility and duty, yes; but, also the mutuality of respect and victory and servant-leadership. If we are truly going to be (or ever become) a high-functioning team then we simply must have the freedom to help each other perform.

WARNING: Don’t try this at home (or anywhere else!) if the first two cornerstones of trust and understanding are not in place. How can any of us help another be accountable if there is a lack of trust or a misunderstanding about what is expected.

Next time we will begin looking at the 4th cornerstone: Unity

David Miller Initials