Being Chief - Net Impact meets Rick Miller

Friday, October 3, 2014

Braydon Gemmill-Beck


          On Oct.1st, Rick Miller spoke to Net Impact and other interested students on campus to give us his valuable insight on “Being Chief”. Rick Miller has had triumphs in a diverse set of businesses from AT&T (fortune 10), Lucent Technologies (fortune 30), multiple startups, to nonprofits. He turns around businesses facing various financial and human capital challenges through his strong focus on responsible leadership. He has a passion for seeing young people succeed, which is what made the session so valuable.


          “Being Chief” to Rick doesn’t mean being a bossy authoritarian leader is the driver for success. He mentioned that it was the exact opposite ideology that makes a good leader. Reports show that on average Americans give 13% effort and productivity in the workplace. With his expertise he has been able to drive these metrics to 60% and greater for top companies. Through servant leadership, being mindful, challenging yourself, and communication accomplishing goals becomes a much easier task.


          Achieving these goals is no easy task he says, it requires the efforts of a cross functional team and a “Chief” that can empower their workers. He connected a lot of his business knowledge with his personal beliefs stating, “It’s important to connect what you do to who you are”. Having a balance of principles such as truth, service, connection, and equality are at the cornerstone of his work.


          Sometimes without these guiding principles, there are connectivity failures and lapses in judgement among management, which attracts negative media attention for large companies. His “I3k” model can help responsibly guide organizations. It means focus on intelligence, intensity, and integrity, while incorporating kindness into your practices. With these guidelines in mind, “failure” doesn’t even exist.


          To a primarily college audience, this notion that “failure does not exist” seemed shocking. He liked to use the term “yet”. This means if an anticipated goal isn’t met, it just creates a learning opportunity and a teaching opportunity to others. Through this mentality one can improve themselves and the workplace simultaneously so that connecting who you are to what you do becomes second nature. To Rick, this is what “Being Chief” means.


Check out more about Rick Miller at




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