A Better Boss Leads Well

Thanks to Mark Miller for this guest post, which coincides with the recent launch of his newest book, Talent Magnet: How to Attract and Keep the Best People. The book identifies three key elements for an organization to become a talent magnet. This article focuses on the first element, a Better Boss.

It’s fun to see different streams of work come together. I don’t know if you’ve had that experience or not. Let me try to explain the idea that’s stumbling around in my head.

I’ve been learning to lead for almost 40 years; I’ve been researching and writing about the topic for almost two decades. When I was asked to work on how we might win the war for talent, I was eager to learn and contribute, but honestly, I thought I had just entered another universe.

Now, many months into the journey, I see the convergence I referenced above. When I began thinking about talent, I initially took off my leadership hat. That was a mistake. I’ve now put it back on – Talent has always been a leadership issue. Looking at the war for talent through a leadership lenses I can see much more clearly what leaders must do to attract Top Talent.

Back to this idea of converging ideas – when we talked to Top Talent about their expectations of their leaders we found several attributes mentioned over and over. These two have been featured in other posts: A Better Boss must Demonstrate Care and Stay Engaged. Here’s another best practice… Top Talent expects their leaders to Lead Well. What does that mean? It means the unchanging fundamentals of leadership matter to Top Talent.

See the Future – Leadership always begins with a picture of the future.

Engage and Develop Others – Leaders create the context for people to thrive.

Reinvent Continuously – Progress is always preceded by change.

Value Results and Relationships – There is tremendous power in the “and.”

Embody the Values – People always watch their leaders.

Great leaders SERVE!

Don’t be discouraged as you look at the fundamentals and assess your own proficiency… you don’t need to be perfect to Lead Well. Influence is as much about being real as it is about being right. And great leadership is not just an issue of skills.

The attitude of your heart will ultimately have the greatest impact on your ability to lead well – admitting mistakes, sharing credit, maintaining a spirit of humility, being courageous and thinking others first all reflect your readiness to lead.

Do you really want to be a Better Boss capable of attracting a team of Top Talent? Commit to life-long journey and learn to Lead Well.

About Mark Miller

Mark Miller began his Chick-fil-A career working as an hourly team member in 1977. In 1978, he joined the corporate staff working in the warehouse and mailroom. Since that time, Mark has steadily increased his value at Chick-fil-A and has provided leadership for Corporate Communications, Field Operations, and Quality and Customer Satisfaction.

Today, he serves as the Vice President of High-Performance Leadership. During his time with Chick-fil-A, annual sales have grown to over $9 billion. The company now has more than 2,300 restaurants in 47 states and the District of Columbia.

When not working to sell more chicken, Mark is actively encouraging and equipping leaders around the world. He has taught at numerous international organizations over the years on topics including leadership, creativity, team building, and more.

Mark began writing about a decade ago. He teamed up with Ken Blanchard, co-author of The One Minute Manager, to write The Secret: What Great Leaders Know and Do (2007). More recently, he released Chess Not Checkers (2015), and Leaders Made Here (2017). His latest is Talent Magnet: How to Attract and Keep the Best People (February 2018). Today, over 1 million copies of Mark’s books are in print in more than two dozen languages.


LET’S TALK about strategies to retain top talent and increase employee engagement. A worker’s relationship with his/her supervisor is the X-factor. Send me an email or schedule a time to talk via my online calendar.


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