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Jul 21, 2022

Key Takeaways


  • Doing something stretching and challenging with your child can bring a closeness and bond that can only grow for years to come.
  • Repetition and patience in fatherhood shows intention and presence.
  • The window of time we get with our children is slowly closing. Be mindful of the trade-offs.
  • The Four Smart Choices:
    • Confront reality
    • Grow capacity
    • Fuel curiosity
    • Create change




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Mark Miller


For the last 20 years, Mark has focused much of his time on serving leaders, helping them grow themselves, their teams, and their organizations. In addition to his role at Chick-fil-A, he's also had the privilege to teach and lead in not-for-profit organizations domestically and globally. Although the context is different in every organization, the problems have common roots and so do the solutions. Along the way, Mark has been fortunate to author (and co-author) a few books – nine and counting. Today, more than a million books are in print in 25+ languages. His approach to writing has always been to find what is true in principle and figure out how to make it applicable to the real world.


Conversation Notes (Full Transcript of the Conversation Here)


  • 9:48 - Mark describing his son's, David, diagnosis, Cerebral Palsy and Autism and how he supports his wife with the challenges that can bring on, "I'm always trying to figure out how can I serve her as she serves him... My advice, again, is a lot of prayer for sure... I'm trying to take care of her on the journey as much as I'm trying to take care of David."
  • 14:42 - "I've prayed a lot more and I've served a lot more... I'm a better human being, a better husband, a better follower of Jesus... I'm better all the way around because of David... I get to live with a glimpse of unconditional love. Because David, he's never, this side of heaven, going to tell us he loves us. But that's okay. You know we love him."
  • 17:29 - Mark on his adventures with his other son, Justin. "We decided years and years ago that we wanted to try to do something every year that would stretch us and challenge us. And he has come up with some of the ideas. I've come up with some of the ideas... We've climbed mountains and became certified scuba divers... run a marathon... We just we want to keep growing. We want to keep stretching. We want to do hard things together and grow through the experience."
  • 23:29 - "You've got a pretty small window when you really think about it with your kids... There's plenty of time in my case to sell chicken, later. There's plenty of time to write books, later. But that window is going to close... I hope to be and God willing, will be close to Justin and David forever. But even those opportunities are limited, and that makes them more precious to me... We've got to be real careful about the trade offs we make."
  • 26:40 - "It's our ability to make choices. That's our superpower... They're completely paralleled with fatherhood. The choices that leaders make to get out of the quicksand, a busyness and distraction and complexity and competing priorities and success and fear and fatigue and aimlessness... What you have to do to get out are the same things... you have to do to be a good father."
  • 27:30 - "Choices give us agency, choices give us opportunity and choices give us responsibility."
  • 29:06 - "We can forfeit that agency and assume a victim mindset. Our locus of control shifts from internal to external. It's not my fault. It's not my responsibility. It's not a result of my choices. And the stuff that keeps us in quicksand is almost always a result of our choices."
  • 34:41 - "Peter Drucker, the late management and leadership guru... said he had never met a leader that couldn't eliminate 25% of the things on their calendar and no one would notice."


Conversation Links


  • Mark's Website
  • Mark's Books: Smart Leadership, Win Every Day, Chess Not Checkers, Leaders Made Here, Talent Magnet, Win the Heart, The Secret, Great Leaders Grow and The Heart of Leadership. 
  • Mark's son, Justin, organization: Untold
  • Mark's free assessment on Smart Leadership: text besmart to 66866
  • Fathers for the Fatherless Biking Schedule 


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