Does Leading With Grace Make You a Pushover?

Being a graceful and grateful leader, rather than being brash and audacious, might be viewed as weakness. Won’t people walk all over you?

Not at all. When you lead with grace, you’re not a pushover. Instead, you lead with courage and quiet determination toward your goals. You may even inspire others to act courageously.

You’ll lead with quiet determination toward your goals.

We are all feeling pressure on many fronts right now, and you may be tempted to choose an expedient solution over a difficult one. When you lead with courage and grace under pressure, you develop the fortitude to choose the right path, even if it is not easy or popular. You will develop the dignity to rise above instead of responding to insult with insult.  And you will have the strength, above all, not to blame others and to accept the responsibility that comes with leadership.

Employing grace and gratitude creates trust among your colleagues and your team. This trust forms the foundation on which you build a shared vision of success for your organization. From here, you can courageously guide your team through today’s storms, and be better prepared for the storms that lie ahead.

Sherri Miller, Founder and CEO
Center For Extraordinary Success
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Be a Grace-filled and Grateful Leader

Leading with grace in our modern world may seem counterintuitive – it rarely gets the attention that audacity and swagger may elicit. But a graceful leadership style builds trust and collaboration among your team and your colleagues. And it all begins with gratitude.

I learned many years ago that grace is about gratitude. To lead is a privilege, partially earned and partially due to all sorts of luck. Leading with grace means you are grateful for the opportunity to lead, and are thankful to those around you.

No leader can go it alone. Leading well means relying on others. Those who trust you to lead them and those on whom you depend deserve your gratitude. A 2018 Inc. article by Michael Kay entitled Why Expressing Gratitude Is Crucial In Business explains how employing gratitude can yield unexpected results.

To lead is a privilege, partially earned and partially due to all worts of luck.

Why does being a grace-filled and grateful leader matter? Executives attribute 64% of a strategic initiative’s success or failure to their employees. So, leaders must build strong connections with their teams before they can achieve successful outcomes.

Yes, it’s true – gratitude is connected to successful outcomes!  People trust leaders who are genuine and grateful.

Start today by building grace-filled and grateful practices into your leadership.  Our world needs some of this right now!

Sherri Miller, Founder and CEO
Center For Extraordinary Success
E-mail me     Connect on LinkedIn

Leading With Grace

What does it mean to “lead with grace” in today’s world?

To lead with grace is to be at the service of others. When we are gracious, we make others feel at ease and give them an opportunity to feel graceful themselves. To lead with grace is to recognize that true leadership is not about you.

Grace is defined as an intentional act of unmerited favor or an inclination to promote others’ interests and bring them joy.  Yet grace is more than just an action – it is a deeply spiritual word.

Grace can seem nostalgic and countercultural in today’s harsh and coarse world.

Grace is where style and substance meet. Grace can seem superficial, but when properly understood, it is genuinely profound. Grace is a way of moving through the physical world and a way of touching the realm of the spiritual.  It is a concept that is evocative and elusive.  Grace can also seem nostalgic and countercultural in today’s harsh and coarse world. Brashness and bravado are rewarded far more often than the gentler and subtler act—and art—of grace.

When unsure what to do or how to respond to workplace challenges, go with grace. Ask yourself what it would mean to act graciously.  By leading with grace, you create opportunities for others to be their graceful best, whether they are your children or your colleagues.

Leading with grace will always help you find the best possible outcome.  Embrace your grace, cultivate it, and share it with colleagues and the world, which desperately needs it.

Lead with grace.

Sherri Miller, Founder and CEO
Center For Extraordinary Success
E-mail me     Connect on LinkedIn

Finding Positives In The Midst Of Change

“Unusual events are guaranteed to happen.” That was the message from Chris Voss, author of Never Split The Difference and a speaker at last year’s Global Leadership Summit. When he spoke these words, none of us could possibly know that major changes – in the form of COVID-19 – were on the horizon.

As leaders, we should expect change and be delighted in the possibilities it can bring. Of course, the devastating loss of life from the pandemic is a horrible tragedy. But has the shutdown opened new opportunities within your organization?

We should expect change and be delighted in the possibilities it can bring.

At the Center For Extraordinary Success, we believe that your team holds the key to finding these opportunities. Rather than  focusing on data, start a conversation with your staff – maybe even with employees with whom you often disagree. They may see hidden gems that you have missed. Approach these conversations with an empathetic mindset, and you may find something transformative amid the uncertainty.

Let us help you ask the right questions and seek the right input from your team. Together we can create the most powerful path to success from today’s uncertainty.

Sherri Miller, Founder and CEO
Center For Extraordinary Success

We Are All Leaders During a Crisis

We often think of “leadership” as a specific role within a company. But in reality, we are all leaders – especially in times of crisis. Whether your organization has one employee or thousands, each is a potential leader who can step up during challenging times no matter what their role is.

How do you tap into this leadership potential? Here are some ideas:


What a great time to practice finding solutions together! Gather your team virtually to discuss top priorities right now. Create a list of solutions to address the situation, including those that may be unthinkable.  Engage employees from all levels of your staff – they experience uncertain times through a different lens and may offer insights that differ from your own. Once a solution is agreed upon, determine the who, what, when, and how of implementation. Have a daily or weekly call for updates, changes, and progress.

Engage employees from all levels of your staff – they experience uncertain times through a different lens and may offer insights that differ from your own. 


Employees thrive when they are empowered with as much direction, certainty, and involvement as possible. By listening to your team members’ unique perspectives and knowledge, you show that you value and respect them. Communicate clearly and often during times of crisis and invite feedback from your team. Many leaders believe this approach may diminish their authority – not true. This strategy will strengthen a leader’s executive presence and earn the respect of their employees.

Don’t Go It Alone

In the end, you cannot do leadership alone. It’s all about building trust through the way you treat people, and how you show compassion for their concerns.  When you have the trust of your staff, you can make smarter decisions and anticipate the needs of your employees more clearly.

Contact me if you need help empowering your employees to be leaders.

Sherri Miller, Founder and CEO
Center For Extraordinary Success

How Leaders Can Build Trust During Uncertain Times

When faced with uncertainty, people want strong, confident, and decisive leaders who are also transparent and vulnerable enough to express genuine care and concern. Here are five things you can do to ensure that you never lose the trust, loyalty, and support you desire from others.

Listen To Your Team

Leading through uncertainty is a critical experience for you, but it can have greater significance for your employees. This is not a time to “wait and see.” Your employees are deeply concerned about their families, health, and careers. Ask yourself, “What can I do today to listen to my team?” and respond to their concerns in a timely manner. Reach out to large or small teams through Facebook groups, teleconferences, video calls, or other channels.

Nothing reveals your true leadership style like guiding your team through uncertainty.

Show Respect

Respecting others could be the most important tool we can employ now.  Whether you agree or disagree with orders to self-quarantine, social distancing or limiting travel, we must respect the experts who are leading us through this devastating time.  Respect the concerns of your employees, too, no matter how trivial they may seem to you. Create a plan that respects their needs and share that plan with your team.

Be Transparent

Leaders often feel compelled to have ALL the answers.  During times of uncertainty, no one has all the answers, so be transparent and admit it. Go ahead and say “We are in this together and will figure things out together” or “I am working on this issue and expect to have a plan by [date] and will debrief you by [date],” then follow through on that promise. Being transparent is key to building trust.

Be Honest and Consistent

When someone asks you a question, give them an honest answer. Don’t dance around the issues. Even if you must share bad news, your staff would rather know than not know. If you aren’t authorized to discuss a particular topic with the entire staff, be honest about it. As you develop plans, ensure that your leadership team knows what’s confidential and what can be shared. Leaked information can undermine your leadership ability, tarnish your reputation, and erode loyalty.

Reveal Your Executive Presence

Nothing uncovers your true leadership style like guiding your team through uncertainty. The way you compose yourself, your reactions to negative dialogue, and how you handle office politics will expose your ability to lead in a crisis.  Always be present and compassionate, yet decisive. And after the crisis is over, you will have gained valuable insight to carry you through the next one.

Strong leaders always seek to improve. Contact me to learn how you can grow as a leader.

Sherri Miller, Founder and CEO
Center For Extraordinary Success

Are You Among the 10% Who Achieve Your Strategic Priorities? 

So you’ve established your 2020 Strategic Priorities and the new year is off to a great start. But according research shared by David Norton and Robert Kaplan in their book The Balanced Scorecard, 90% of organizations fail to execute their Strategic Priorities successfully.

Are you one of the 10% who can claim success?

If not, let’s review the fundamentals of implementing your Strategic Priorities.

  1. Evaluate. Meet with key staff to determine and clarify the scope of each Strategic Priority including its purpose and desired outcomes.
  2. Vision and Communication. Create a vision of what the company will look like at the end of 2020. Plan a time where you can share the vision, including key priorities, with the entire team. Don’t skip this step – everyone wants to be part of something new and great.
  3. Name a Leader. Identify a leader for each priority as well as team members who will support and contribute to the priority. Make sure the leader knows they are in charge of achieving the priority.
  4. Accountability and Progress. Don’t wait until year-end to learn that the priority is just getting started. The leader must provide periodic updates to the CEO or other leaders. This step is critical to ensuring that your priority remains on track.

If you need guidance to move your organization into the successful 10%, join the Center For Extraordinary Success for quarterly Strategic Priority Workshops where organizational leaders will learn to create effective implementation plans for their Strategic Priorities.

Our March workshop is filled, but you can attend June 8, September 14, or December 7, 2020. Contact me for details, or you can register online.

Sherri Miller, Founder and CEO
Center For Extraordinary Success

Office desktop

It’s 2020 – Put Your Strategic Plan Into Action

You and your team put a lot of effort into developing your company’s 2020 Strategic Plan. Now that 2020 is here, have you taken these steps to put that plan into action?

  • Have you held an all-team meeting to declare your company’s mission and vision?
  • Have you shared your 2020 key priorities company-wide?
  • Does every single team member understand how he or she contributes to 2020 and its success?

If you answered “no” to any of these questions, you are not alone. Each year, the Center For Extraordinary Success receives hundreds of calls from business leaders who are frustrated with the lack of employee buy-in and poor results from their hard-thought strategic priorities.

To help business leaders like you, CFES is launching a series of Strategic Priority Workshops. During these quarterly 2 ½ hour events, you will obtain proven, actionable tools to achieve higher levels of mission results and employee engagement.

Only 10 organizations are invited to each Strategic Priority Workshop. If you are interested in attending future workshops and learning how to effectively integrate your mission and strategic priorities, connect with me today.

Sherri Miller, Founder and CEO
Center For Extraordinary Success

Don’t Launch Your Project Without This Critical Step

Your company’s new product or service is finally ready to go after months of meetings, analysis, detailed projections, and marketing plans. But have you included the most important step of all?

An internal communication plan is essential to your project’s success and is often overlooked by leaders. If your staff doesn’t understand the project and how it will be rolled out, you may not achieve your desired results.

Your staff may not be aware of your project’s mission and vision.

Have you ever asked three different staff members about your project’s goals and gotten three different answers? Without a planned project implementation and careful communication, your staff may not be aware of your project’s mission and vision. That means your customers won’t know, either.

Without effective internal communication, even the most thoughtfully planned, marketed, and priced product or service will miss the mark.

The best leaders plan their internal communication in advance by asking these important questions:

  • WHO needs to know about the new product or service? (Senior leadership or customer-facing staff?)
  • WHEN do they need to know (Hint: make sure it’s before the product or service is rolled out.)
  • HOW will I share the plan? (All-hands meeting, or a staff e-mail?)
  • Offer DETAILS to share with the internal team, including:

Why is this product or service important to our organization? (Make sure it’s NOT just to make more money – money is the result, not the reason.)

What is your vision for the new product or service?

What will be different in your team’s workflow as a result of the new product or service?

Will company processes change as a result of this new product or service?

How and when will you celebrate successes?

How will your team be informed and held accountable to ensure the project’s success?

Contact me before you roll out your next product or service and together we’ll create a successful and effective internal communication plan.

-Sherri Miller
Founder & CEO


Strategic Plans: Turning “No” Into “Yes”

As a child, my parents impressed upon me that “no” is a temporary roadblock to finding “yes.” Now that I’m a business consultant, I assist organizations that struggle to get past the “no” – especially when it comes to strategic planning.

According to, planning is time consuming and challenging, but critically important to obtaining results in your business. Sadly, many plans end up collecting dust because the organization could not get past “no” – such as resistance to change, ignoring shifting market forces, or unwillingness to make the plan a priority.

Are you ready to say “yes” to making your strategic plan a priority and moving past your roadblocks? If so, start by reflecting on these questions:

  • What are the real issues you need to overcome in 2020?
  • What opportunities are on the horizon for your business?
  • Can your team name the top three priorities your company is working to achieve?
  • What are you doing to solicit ideas and input from your employees?
  • Do your goals and priorities support your mission?

The Center For Extraordinary Success can help you create a strategic plan, refresh an existing plan, or help push your current plan past “no.”

Call me at 260.402.1693 or send me an e-mail to get started.

Sherri Miller, Founder and CEO
Center For Extraordinary Success