Preview Thursday: Win the Heart

We are pleased to present this excerpt from Win the Heart by Mark Miller.

Why Engagement Matters

The life of a leader can be hectic. On most days, we have a dizzying array of problems screaming for our attention… internal pressures such as staffing, quality, and capacity issues combined with external storm clouds propelling the war for talent, competitive pressures, and ever-changing governmental regulations, to name just a few.

In the midst of this cacophony is brewing a threat to our organizations… often unseen and unheard above the daily din – the thief of sales, profits, customer satisfaction, and the pride in a job well done: low employee engagement.

The data on this topic is so consistently shocking most leaders have become numb to the annual statistics. Some have even retreated to denial and actually chosen to stop thinking and talking about engagement. This is not the answer.

Engagement matters for several reasons…

First, there are the people. Their work life matters. As leaders, we have an opportunity to help people find meaning and purpose in their work. We can create a place where they can bring their best selves to work every day. The workplace we create determines, to a large extent, how engaged someone is at work. Do your people go home energized or disempowered at the end of a long day? We really do have the responsibility to decide.

Leaders should also care deeply about engagement because of the opportunity it presents. If we can harness the untapped potential buried deep within the hearts of our people, we can turn engagement from a liability into real, sustainable competitive advantage and usher in gains in productivity unseen since the industrial revolution!

Finally, for many organizations, engagement is the final hurdle to becoming a High Performance Organization. For those who are not familiar with the concepts, here is a ten-second summary.

All High Performance Organizations have four things in common. They Bet on Leadership, Act as One, Win the Heart, and these three ‘moves’ enable them to Excel at Execution.

Here’s my encouragement to you…

Keep an open mind, check your assumptions about engagement at the door, and get ready unleash the full potential of your people and your organization.


Mark Miller began writing over decade ago when he teamed up with Ken Blanchard on The Secret: What Great Leaders Know and Do. He has since authored or coauthored seven bestselling titles. In his latest book, Win the Heart, Miller uses a clever and entertaining business fable that continues the story of Blake, a young CEO, who sets out on a journey to discover the key to engaging leadership. By the end of his journey, Blake has discovered a powerful philosophy to guide his decisions in the future, and four drivers of engagement to implement today.

In addition to writing, he really loves speaking to leaders. Over the years, he’s traveled extensively around the world teaching for numerous international organizations. His theme is always the same: encouraging and equipping leaders.

He also sells chicken. Mark started his Chick-fil-A career working as an hourly team member back in 1977. In 1978, he joined the corporate staff working in the warehouse and mail room. Since then, he’s provided leadership for Corporate Communications, Field Operations, Quality and Customer Satisfaction, Training and Development, and Organizational Effectiveness. Today he serves as the Vice President of High Performance Leadership. During his time with Chick-fil-A, annual sales have grown to over $5 billion, and the company now has more than 1,700 restaurants in 39 states and the District of Columbia.

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