Success Podcast Post

Learning from Others with Scott Jeffrey Miller

George Grombacher January 27, 2023

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Learning from Others with Scott Jeffrey Miller

LifeBlood: We talked about learning from others, the power and value of mentors, what a mentor does for you, how to find one, and the importance of lifelong learning, with Scott Jeffrey Miller, Senior Advisor to Franklin Covey, top podcaster, speaker, and author.

Listen to learn how to take a real world approach to your values!

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Our Guests

George Grombacher

Scott Jeffrey Miller

Scott Jeffrey Miller

Episode Transcript

george grombacher 0:00
Hey Michael, this is George G and the time is right welcome today’s guest strong and powerful Scott Jeffrey Miller. Scott, are you ready to do this?

Scott Miller 0:22
Or Gee, I am always ready. Thank you for the spotlight.

george grombacher 0:25
And excited to have you on. excited to have you back on the show. Scott is a senior adviser thought leadership with Franklin Covey. He’s a member of Marshall Goldsmith, 100 coaches. His newest book is master mentors, volume 230 transformative insights from our greatest minds. Scott, welcome back. Tell us about your personal lives more about your work and what motivated you to write the book. Well, you

Scott Miller 0:49
and I have fairly parallel personalized I live in Salt Lake City, Utah with my wife, Stephanie. And we are we’re told blessed to have three sons that are 810 and 12. That was a tough early start to our marriage, but it’s getting a little bit better. I’m originally from Florida, I worked for the Walt Disney Company for four years, and I just finished a 27 year career with the Franklin Covey company, the world’s most trusted leadership firm. I’m also privileged to host what is now the world’s largest weekly leadership podcast. And our fifth year hits about 7 million people each Tuesday. And from all those amazing interviews with about 300 guests. I’ve authored this 10 Volume series called Master mentors, where each year I published a new volume focused on transformational insights from 30 of that year’s guests.

george grombacher 1:39
Love it. The idea to do that, did that just pop into your head or you thought you know what I’m interviewing all these really, really smart people I ought to, you know, write, write write books and the thought, like gonna write one, I’ve got all these other people. So 10

Scott Miller 1:58
You know, I’ll be honest, real honest, is I don’t know that I’ve never had an original thought in my life. I was the Chief Marketing Officer of a global public company back most people statistically have never had an original thought of their life. And the more I came comfortable with that accusation, I realized, you know, I’m actually a great pollinator, I’m a great aggregator. I’m pretty good at teasing out, you know, that’s actually profound. Let’s talk more about that. So my idea was to say, gosh, you know, I’ve had this amazing podcast, interviewing really remarkable people. And I want to have more access, I want to create broader access to it. Beyond just the listeners, I thought, what if I was write a book featuring these 30 people with their permission and share a little more context around what Deepak Chopra center, Arianna Huffington, or Matthew McConaughey, or you name it. So that was the idea was just to kind of pollinate their ideas better. I think the first half of my career, George was very much having the spotlight focused on me. And now I hope, the second half of my life and career, statistically, I’m 73%, done with my life, which is kind of horrifying at 54 as a white male in America. So I want to have the remaining 28% of my life, really had the spotlight, focus on other people and help pollinate the ideas, the books have done well, and I’m on to volume three now. But that really was the genesis behind the books. By the way, do not ever have an idea to write a book about 30 celebrities, it will crush you with the legal permissions. The publicist, the agency editors do not write compilation books about celebrities.

george grombacher 3:31
Well, that’s fascinating, isn’t it? And I will just take your advice on that one.

Scott Miller 3:36
That’s one way to say it.

george grombacher 3:39
That’s, that’s, that’s one of those euphemisms that you’re about. Yeah. Nice. All right. So no original ideas. Somebody asked me once, they told me that they were at a dinner and they would they went around the table and they said, What do you think that know? What, what do you believe or think to be true that nobody else thinks I was like, Oh, my God, how would I even answer that question? And I don’t know. I’m, I’m, I’m with you. And, like, coming to terms with that getting over it, or, or, or embracing it. Tell me a little bit more about that.

Scott Miller 4:18
Yeah, I mean, statistically is true. The vast majority of humans have never had an original thought. And it’s so offensive at first blush, but the more I kind of embrace this statistical accuracy of it, I thought, well, that’s okay. I wouldn’t know that I was here to have an original thought I was here to, you know, find my purpose and mission which I’m still searching for as a 54 year old, you know, author and podcaster radio host, but I think my I focus less on the necessity of having original ideas and more about not trying to reinvent the wheel right. My life sadly, isn’t that much different than your life we struggle with the same issues and had the same types of 401 K’s Since the types of gas and our cars and our kids had the same problems, and so I’m kind of focused more on avoiding the mistakes that previous people have made. I think life has happened, just avoiding the messes in life. And so I’m more focused on trying to understand what are the paths to success, happiness, joy, congruence that successful people have had and how to also understand the mistakes that they’ve made and not to repeat them in my own life and help others do the same. I’m after, you know, a 30 year career in the leadership development industry. Having been tutored by the most famous man in that business, Stephen R. Covey. For more than a decade of my career, I have learned George that I think some large portion of success in life is just avoiding the pitfalls and the potholes that other people fall into. And that they’re a small portion of successes, then, you know, finding your own passions and joys. But that’s my story.

george grombacher 5:57
But I think it’s excellent. You know, I’m one of those people that it seems I must touch the hot stove myself a lot of the time, but as I’ve been getting a little bit older, I’ve been able to actually take in and receive information and and and apply it into my life. And that’s really what you’re driving at. That’s really what mentorship is.

Scott Miller 6:18
That’s exactly right. These books are called Master mentors, because I passionately believe that we too narrowly define mentorship. Most people believe mentorship is someone who you’ve been partnered with in the C suite on the 10th floor, or someone that’s down the hall that you know you were part of a program with. Those are great opportunities, take advantage of those if you have those with your employer. But the fact of the matter is, if you look at my own career, by most measures, wildly successful, I worked really hard and I worked under great people who mentored me. Most of my mentors in life, George, are people I’ve never met, like they literally do not know I am alive. I’ve read their books, I followed their podcast, I flew to conferences, where they keynote it take Marcus Buckingham, many of your listeners may know who he is, he was one of the original founders of the strengths movement at Gallup, he wrote now discover your strengths and first break all the rules and he’s gone on to build a huge following. I followed Marcus Buckingham for 30 years. I met him for the first time three weeks ago at brunch in San Diego after interviewing for the podcast, Marcus has had a profound impact on me. He didn’t know I even existed until about a month ago, when I reached out in any of your non podcasts, he’s one of the biggest names in the industry. And so I think for your listeners, and and those that are following your podcast, don’t limit the the definition of who a mentor is in your life. It’s a commonality that everyone that I ever interviewed on this podcast has in common. They have identified mentors in their lives. And not always the most successful person, it could be the person that had three divorces, that if I look for a successful marriage, I don’t look to be mentored by the guy that’s had a 50 year marriage, I go to the guys had three marriages. Because again, I don’t have the I don’t have the patience, I don’t have the countenance I don’t have the personality of the guy that’s had a 50 year marriage, I probably had the personality of the guy that’s had three marriages. And I want to know what not to do are the mistakes you made. And I think mentorship isn’t just about being someone else. It’s about learning what they did wrong to avoid that you see a theme here and, and my conversation, avoid the messes.

george grombacher 8:25
That makes a ton of sense. So it’s avoid messes. It’s certainly it’s learn what has worked. It’s it’s it’s maybe pick up a tactic here or there. It’s behaviors. What about recognizing that, look at that there’s a human being who has done maybe the thing that I’m interested in doing, or the thing that I’m not sure it’s possible.

Scott Miller 8:51
No question, right? If there’s two sides to this, but I need to get more raw. I mean, I some of my greatest mentors in life are people that have had colossal failures, like colossal failures in their marriage, with their kids, with their businesses. I mean, I think I’ve learned more from the mistakes of big mentors in the successes into your point. You want to guide you want someone that can help to channel your energy and, and teach you the lessons that they’ve learned along the way of what does make for a successful business or successful brand. So absolutely. I mean, some of my mentors like Seth Godin, for example, right, a famous podcaster and marketer and blogger. You know, Seth has taught me the difference between being reckless and being fearless. And I used to confuse the two Stephen Covey taught me the difference between being efficient and being effective. And so when I look for mentors and to highlight them, you look at this book that I wrote master mentors, most of the stories are highlighting something extraordinary this person did that I think is replicable. Or perhaps they survived a trauma or in fact a plane crash or had some intervention in their life that leads you to a positive end in your own life. So there’s no question your mentor plays both roles. I just happen to like the idea, I have my own skills, my own personality, my own IQ, my own SATs score, or lack of SATs score, right? I have my own set of geniuses, and I don’t have any of yours. And so I got to run with my own strengths. And again, I’m, I’m kind of not obsessed, but I tend to be focused on. So what did you do wrong? What what are the what are the temptations and choices that you fell into or made that I will also face? So I can see those coming on the horizon? And stay clear of them? Quite frankly, to the extent I’ve, I’ve been self sabotage to my life, which we all do. It’s because I didn’t wisely avoid the same temptations or mistakes that other people fell into, you know, not significant things ethical or moral, big issues. But, you know, just the lessons that others have plotted in front of me, I really think it’s the key to success is just not falling into the potholes that people did in front of you.

george grombacher 11:06
Yeah, yeah. Well, I certainly couldn’t agree more. And it strikes me that, you know, when you read about when you’re on the internet, you wonder, is this really things are behaviors that people are doing? Or is it just BS? I’m, I’m concerned that that many of us are refusing to listen or talk to or take in information from people that we disagree with on a certain topic. What do you think about that?

Scott Miller 11:37
That’s for sure. Look at the elections, right? I mean, yeah, yeah. There’s no question about that. Is social media. Just a remarkable tool. I mean, it’s the new social media is the new television, a new radio, it’s a new podcast. It’s the new billboard. It’s the new newspaper, ad or magazine ad. And so you kind of need to be on social media. If you’re building a brand, if you’re selling products, if you’re selling a service, if you’re authoring a book, whatever it is, so you got to have a healthy lens about it. Right. I am trolled daily. I had someone a few weeks ago, send a POST to me, that said, you know, I’ve watched 17 episodes of your podcast, and I just can’t seem to like you. I thought it took you 17 episodes to decide you don’t like me. Most people have decided 17 seconds, whether they like me or not. And I think a lot of people I might crush them, but I find it fascinating fuel to keep going like Well, hey, you held hung in there for 17 weeks. Wow, you’re patient, you were really dedicated. So I try to keep all things in perspective, I try to keep a little frivolity with the trolling going on. I try not to fall into the comparison conundrum of you know, how big your podcast is versus mine, stay in my lane, do my thing. And just keep going. You know, I share a separate story with you. I’m six foot one about a buck 75 After a hot fudge sundae. I’ve always been kind of thin, right. And so in my 30s, I was intensely in the gym trying to gain weight, like three days a week with a trainer. And I put on a bunch of weight and really transformed myself back in my 30s when I got married, had three kids. Now back to the dad bod. My point is I went from, you know, like a buck 58 to about a buck 74 and four years, it was all solid muscle. And one time some guy came back, came by the gym and asked my trainer, if I was using steroids, which of course was hysterically not true. I had literally transformed my body through a lot of hard work. And my trainer said, No, the guy’s just really disciplined. And the guy came to me and asked me what my goal was. And I looked at him, and I said, to keep going, like my goal was just to keep going. And many ways that’s my life goal, whether it be through my book, some sell, well, some are total flop some podcast episodes get, you know, 3 million listens, some get 3000 listens. And so for me, my goal in life is just to keep going. There are setbacks. There are triumphs. Last week, a publisher dropped me within 48 hours, I had a new publisher for this series. And so I tried not to be super reactive with ups and downs, two bigs and two highs to lows rather, I tried to just keep going. It’s a long answer me meandering answered your question. But I think that’s been a fairly manic person kind of, like naturally and kind of family friendly, manic, not clinically, I don’t think just sort of personality wise. I tried to just keep going and use these tools, social media and things like that as a resource to touch as many lives as I can and be touched by as many lives including the choker that hangs with me for 17 weeks and decides he just can’t do it anymore.

george grombacher 14:45
Yeah. Yeah, I think that’s hilarious and need to be able to laugh about that.

Scott Miller 14:50
I think he thought he was like shaming me and I kind of saw it as wow, I had a you stuck around for 17 weeks. That’s a lot longer than I would stuck over happens. So kudos to you and me, I tend to have someone I was I was lamenting something this morning with a colleague at attached. And I said, you know, my overinflated sense of self importance comes in great handy during the low times, and the person laughs on the other end, I think there is some value. And having a little bit of healthy narcissism, a little bit of healthy sense of, you know, self importance. I said, a little bit.

george grombacher 15:28
Yeah, just just just just the right amount, it’s got the right

Scott Miller 15:31
amount and keep it going in hard times,

george grombacher 15:33
just then. That’s

Scott Miller 15:37
not what you expected your podcast.

george grombacher 15:41
I think it’s great. And I think a lot about that. We talked about how you’re constantly learning, sort of when we open the the interview, and you’re still searching for it. And I think that we all are, if if we’re thoughtful people, we are looking for our place in the world, the value that that that we’re providing. And so when somebody gets the opportunity to listen to you, they’re like, Wow, look, look at this guy. He’s got, you know, the biggest leadership podcast in the world. And he’s still, you know, going through this stuff, and he’s taking arrows and the front and the back and I don’t want to take away is just just, you just need to keep moving.

Scott Miller 16:25
Okay, share, can I share insight with you, please, I don’t want to hijack your podcast. So I worked for the covey Leadership Center and Franklin Covey for 27 years, right? The most influential leadership firm in the world, given 1000s of keynotes. I’ve written seven books, blah, blah, blah. And I was at a conference once with Stephen Covey. And he talked about the importance of knowing your mission, finding your mission that at Franklin, the most trafficked page on that site is the mission statement builder. And he’s giving this speech to 1000 of our employees in the company and I’m about 35 years old, I’m single at the time didn’t get married. I was 41. And nothing in his speech resonated with me and like my mission, I have no idea what my mission is. I’m single, I don’t know more tennis more champagne, more trips to Italy. I don’t know more people cleaning my house morphic. I have no idea what my mission is in life. And I just everyone’s like, weeping and they’re having a translation of it. I’m like, I have no idea what my mission is. Dude, I’m 54 I still don’t know what my mission in life is. I kind of hate that question. It’s not telling me you found your mission. It’s insulting. I’ve not found my mission how my mission is to pay the mortgage this month. My mission is to launch three boys and a tough word ambition is to keep my marriage together. My mission is to scrape together January’s tuition payment for my boys school. That’s my mission. My mission is not to argue with my mother during the holidays. That’s my mission. My mission is to send her off in a plane six days from now still liking me. That’s my mission. And then the next thing raw, I have no clue what my mission is in life for my purpose. Not sure I ever will. And I’ve been in the leadership business for 30 years. I’ve interviewed the biggest names in the business, had no clue My mission is then our second founder. And men who have less well known names Hiram Smith got up, he invented the Franklin planner right sold hundreds of millions of Franklin planners who have since sold that company, he’s the father of time management, so to speak, modern time management, he gets up and he starts talking about your values. And this was not a new conversation. But he says if you want to have a successful life and find congruent with see and column in your life, peace, inner peace, you’ve got to identify your values. And I thought, that’s interesting. I’d heard that it was a new idea to me, but I’d never identified my values George. So I went off as a single 35 year old got married six years later, seven years later, and went off and I went back to my home and I actually identified my values. I wrote down seven things that I valued purpose, health, integrity, loyalty, positivity, abundance and learning. Phil Powell, Philp A L. Phil Powell, that’s the acronym. And I kind of dedicated my life to living in alignment with those seven values. And I think the exercise around getting really clear on my values, purpose, health, integrity, loyalty, positivity, abundance, and learning. And I’m not sure I’ll ever discover what my mission or passion is there to say, as you know, what, perhaps is just to live in accordance with those seven values and have people catch me doing it. And at my funeral, if someone mentioned, did you know Scott’s values, were these seven things. Maybe they’ll share a story? Maybe they won’t. That probably is more invaluable to me the mission. No offense to my hero, Stephen Covey. I still have no idea what my mission is. I’m trying to uncover it discover it. In the meantime, I’ve identified my values and I’m trying to live fiercely in accordance with them and Maybe that’s, maybe that’s some value to your listeners this morning. Take the time to identify your values, rank, order them, and then set your priorities in alignment with them. Most people, if you ask someone, what are your values, they say, oh, you know, freedom and liberty and patriotism. And then the next week, you’d say what your values Oh, harmony, people would make stuff up. That sounded good. Stop making it up. And by the way, don’t pick your values based on anyone else’s. I don’t give a flying crap. But George D thinks about my values. They’re my values. I live in accordance with them. And you shouldn’t care. When I think about your values. Go pick your values, live in accordance with them. And you will find, I hope, your mission in life Wish me luck.

george grombacher 20:43
I love it for a

Scott Miller 20:44
diatribe from a guest.

george grombacher 20:46
Boom, powerful. Well done. Thank you. I appreciate you sharing that. Certainly, we’ve all sat through those seminars like yeah, great mission, I don’t even write okay, you know, I’m 25. I’m 35 and 45, whatever, that’s not resonating. But then somebody does click. And when you align your values, with your priorities and your habits and your actions, you’re probably going to get closer to the life you want versus the life you don’t want. So

Scott Miller 21:09
I’m probably a pretty bad ambassador for that copy website. I’m super passionate at their company. I love them. I’m still an ambassador for them. But it that’s not for everyone, including me, the Chief Marketing Officer of the company for a decade.

george grombacher 21:24
And a little bit was Scott, thank you so much for coming back on the show. Where can people learn more about you? How can they engage and where can they pick up a copy of master mentors of volume two.

Scott Miller 21:34
So my books are in bookstores everywhere, online and digital. You can buy my books both in print, digital, audio, and video. My books are now master mentors. Volume One is a video book, you can visit lit video mit lit video books, they take books and they translate them into 50 minute videos. For those YouTube generation people who like to watch versus read or listen, you can visit Scott Jeffrey or you can subscribe to the on leadership podcast search for on leadership with Scott Miller interviewing Tony Robbins Brene Brown Jay Shetty. Some great guests coming up in the new year. There’s about 250 episodes that are aired video and audio. You can also follow me on every social platform, YouTube, Instagram, Tik Tok, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, you name it, I am on it.

george grombacher 22:27
If you enjoyed as much as I did, just get your appreciation and share today’s show with a friend who also appreciates good ideas pick up a copy of master min master mentors volume to wherever you buy your books. Check out the lit video LSAT, video as well and then go to Scott Jeffrey and check out the on leadership podcast with Scott Miller as well. Thanks again, Scott. Thank you, George. And until next time, remember, do your part by doing your best

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