Dr. Julie Miller

Fast Track the Success of Your Employees

Fast Track Employees to Engagement and Success
Engaged employees are positive, energetic and passionate members of your team who help you grow your business. When employees are engaged, they tend to perform up to or above their skill levels and support your organization’s vision. How do you make sure that you’re growing your people so you can grow your business?
Answer, the Fast Track Success Program!                                       
Find out where your employees stand relative to the nine Success Factors by taking this reliable assessment. That’s the first step in our Fast Track program. Our carefully developed assessment tool has been shown as effective, consistent and reliable. You’ll get useful results to make informed decisions.
Success factors 
What good is an assessment if you do nothing with the findings? Our Fast Track program includes a three-day, intensive workshop that helps employees learn which success factors are their strengths, and which might need more development. Our program is tailored to your organization’s vision and assessment findings.
We’ll coach participants
Follow-up is crucial after a workshop or training. In the Fast Track program, we don’t stop after we walk out the door following the workshop. We’ll coach participants for 12 weeks, based on all nine success factors. And, we’ll help them successfully complete an actual hand-on workplace Success project.
A culture of engagement
To create and maintain a culture of engagement, leaders need to nurture relationships, communicate openly, and demonstrate their commitment to engaging and growing their employees. What better way to demonstrate commitment than by investing in a thorough, professional approach to unleashing your employees’ capabilities?
Give us a call today!
Call us at 425-485-3221 to schedule your Success Factors, Inc. Fast Track program and learn more about Fast Tracking your employees and business to success on our web site.
Welcome to the Self-Starter Zone!

Perseverance Pays Off


Marie Curie, famous for her discovery of radium and polonium and recipient of a 1903 Nobel Prize in Physics, did not stumble upon success. Far from it. The Curies had to work to make ends meet and performed their research under difficult laboratory conditions.

Quiet and dignified, Mme. Curie has been quoted as saying, “Life is not easy for any of us… We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something and that this thing must be attained.”

The Curies had a vision and the perseverance to reach it. Perseverance is an essential success factor for business owners. Owners also should value and retain employees and managers who possess this kind of “stick-to-it-ness.” You can spot people with the trait by noticing their focus on tasks, their ability to endure despite obstacles. These successful people are tenacious; they don’t give up or run for help when faced with a problem, and they’re invested and engaged in their work.

To identify people who persevere when interviewing new hires, ask questions such as, “Can you tell me about a time when you had to overcome obstacles or solve a complex problem?” or “Have you ever tackled a long-term project that took many steps and weeks of attention to complete?”

Perseverance is more than enduring obstacles; it’s the ability to see into the future at what an organization/department/product or service can be. Once you recognize perseverance in yourself or others, do all you can to reward it. If you or an otherwise awesome employee have vision and passion, but give up a little more easily than you should, tweak your skills, patience, and characteristics that help you persevere. Learn more about how to measure this success factor in yourself and in colleagues or employees, and how to fast track people who can grow your business at Success Factors Inc.


SoulCycle CEO Cites Employee Engagement in Success

Melanie Whelan, who is on Fortune Magazine’s 40 under 40 list, is taking Manhattan’s SoulCycle public. The company, a chain of exclusive indoor cycling studios, is only about 10 years old. And Whelan just became CEO in June. As she was working this month to expand the company and launch a mobile app for class sign-ups at the studios, she talked to Fortune about SoulCycle’s success.

According to Whelan, the organization’s employees are “hyper-engaged.” She explained the concept by saying that when working at the studios, the employees treat their jobs as if they are accountable and as if they are entrepreneurs themselves. And there’s no wonder; some of SoulCycle’s most talented instructors’ classes sell out in minutes.

Melanie WhelanOverall, small companies tend to have more engaged employees, perhaps because they feel more directly connected to making a difference. Whelan herself was promoted to CEO from a position with the high-end gym chain Equinox. Now that SoulCycle has already grown to include 38 U.S. locations and boasts more than $110 million in sales, let’s hope that the company continues to focus on successful employee engagement.

Do you want to make a difference in your company? Contact us today, 425.485.3221 or info@drjuliemiller.com

Self-Starters Believe in Themselves and Control Negative Thoughts

Researchers say that the average person has 50,000 thoughts a day. Think what we could achieve if we made most of these thoughts positive ones that help us reach our vision!

Unfortunately, it’s much easier for the subconscious mind to wander toward negative self-talk. If you need to pass a certification exam for the next step in your career, but your subconscious mind constantly tells you things like: “I am a terrible test-taker;” “I always freeze when it comes to timed tests of any kind;” or “I will never pass the exam,” you just set yourself up as a victim on the road to failure. The good news is that you can control negative self-talk and turn it around to align it with your vision. Start by developing a list of 10 to 20 statements, called positive affirmations, that you can repeat to yourself every day to crowd out the negative talk.

Can or Can't Toggle Switch Committed to Solution Attitude

Here are a few examples:

  • “I have studied hard for this exam.”
  • “I know the material.”
  • “I have the skills to move on to the next level in my field.”
  • “I am smart and make good choices.”
  • “I am ready to take on this challenge.”

If it helps, enlist your spouse or a close friend or colleague to help you come up with your list and stick to positive self-talk and attitude. They can’t hear what’s going on in your head, but they probably can tell whether you’re keeping up with your plan to crowd out limiting beliefs with positive ones. And once you develop positive self-talk as a habit, you’ll find you can become more successful in many aspects of your life!

More Tips for Retaining Self-Starters

Unemployment rates are dropping slowly but steadily nationally, and despite some recent turmoil from the government shutdown, some industries and areas of the country still need qualified workers. Pockets of health care, finance and technology come to mind.

Regardless of whether you have trouble finding skilled workers, turnover and recruitment likely cost you more than retention of self-starters, those workers who have the vision, passion, perseverance and other key traits of successful people.

If you can’t pay higher wages across the board or to select self-starters, it might be time to get creative. Remember that for many workers, especially in the younger generations, lifestyle matters. They want time with their families, days off to make it outdoors, some “me” time to unwind. Consider incentive programs that award extra days off. True self-starters won’t take advantage of the time or fall behind on their work; they’ll come back recharged and more positive than ever.

Some companies are offering added retention bonuses, which often give supervisors a little more leeway and don’t hold you to offering even more the next quarter or year like wages do. Technology gifts also work; who doesn’t love a new tablet for work or play?                                                                                                                                          bungee jumpingAcross the board, try motivating staff with fitness plans or programs and other perks. And if you haven’t already trained your supervisors on how to reward individuals and teams for success, add that to your priority list. Nothing beats a pat on the back and a celebration of a job well done to remind self-starters that you value their contributions.



Perseverance Pays Off for New Editor In Chief

Perseverance Pays Off for New Editor In Chief

Audrey Cooper, the new editor-in-chief of the San Francisco Chronicle, just broke a few barriers. With her promotion, she became the first woman to hold the position in the newspaper’s 150-year history. And at age 37, she also became the youngest woman in the country to hold an editor-in-chief position at any large newspaper.

Of course, “young age” is relative. Cooper has paid her dues. Although she obviously has a passion and talent for the work she does, it’s her perseverance that stands out to me. For one, she advanced from her first job at the paper as assistant metro editor in 2006 through a series of promotions to her most recent position as managing editor in 2013. Admirable, but not the entire story.

Perseverance Trumps Adversity

In an interview on SFGate, Cooper said that 15 years ago, she applied for an internship at the San Francisco Chronicle three years in a row and was never called back. She worked several other journalism jobs before making her way back to the second-largest newspaper on the West Coast.

When a self-starter has a vision like it appears that Audrey Cooper had, she doesn’t let a setback hold her down. Or in this case, three setbacks early in her career! Cooper also is married with a two-year-old son and leads walking tours in the Bay area.

Does Your Vision Align with Your Company’s?

In my e-newsletter this week—please feel free to sign up by clicking this link https://successmindedleader.com//blog/ –I wrote about how employers can show appreciation for their employees.

Now, I want to talk about your obligation to your employer. And, that is to become crystal clear about your vision for your future, for your life, for your career. Where do you want to go in your life? What is the future you want to enjoy? Does it involve the current company you work for? What does that mental picture look like? Could you draw it out or explain it in detail?Spending Too Much Time Planning

Once you have written it out, talked it through, ask yourself: How does my vision align with the company’s vision? Am I in alignment with what my employers, the company wants to accomplish? If that is yes, you’re golden.

If that is a “no,” reexamine your priorities, fine-tune your skill sets and go forth. Ignite the self-starter within!


Leaders and Self-Starters

We know that self-starters are initiators; they don’t wait to have everything mapped out for them. They see a problem, they solve it. They see a decision to be made; they make it.

Those are also qualities necessary to be a leader. That’s why we can confidently say that all leaders are self-starters. I had the immense privilege to be interviewed by Convergence Coaching about my views about leadership. Here is the interview:

We met Julie Miller, founder and president of Business Writing That Counts! at a Washington Society of CPAs Women’s Conference. We were so impressed with her message that we invited her to participate in our Leadership Spotlight series.

Dr. Julie has founded two businesses: Business Writing That Counts! where she and her team help clients achieve their professional goals by reducing writing time while increasing productivity. Her mission is to increase her clients’ bottom line by eliminating bad writing. The company specializes in working with corporations, organizations, and educational institutions to improve the quality of written communication.

The second business is Self-Starter Enterprises, LLC. Her goal is to show professionals and the companies that employ them, how to take their high potential and turn into high performance. She does this work through keynote speeches, Success Sessions, assessments and coaching. The result? Engaged employees who will positively impact the bottom line.

We are excited to share Julie’s insights on effective leadership in the business world.

ConvergenceCoaching: Whose leadership style do you most admire and why? WomanLifeCoach

JM: Hewlett-Packard CEO, Meg Whitman. She is collaborative, supportive and relationship-centric; all good qualities that women bring to the workplace. She is also a good listener and actively participates in the running of the business. Whitman is a firm believer in influencing relationships with her employees and not controlling them. There are three leadership strands that Whitman used at her job as CEO of EBay.

First, she realizes she cannot control the buyers. Second, she believes people are basically good. And, third, she often says, “I don’t know everything.” Listening to your employees and getting their input is invaluable.

ConvergenceCoaching: What do you think the single most important leadership attribute or characteristic is and why?

JM: Vision. Without a crystal clear vision expressed by its leader, an organization quickly becomes rudderless. Strong passionate visions can sustain the company through tough times, can keep everyone focused on what’s important, and can create deeper loyalty and engagement.

ConvergenceCoaching: What do you look for in young up-and-coming leaders?

JM: Passion and the ability to execute. Strong work ethic, empathy and agile thinking are also at the top of my list.

ConvergenceCoaching: How do you develop leadership in others?

JM: By giving employees opportunities to explore leadership roles; through being a role model; presenting opportunities for personal and professional development; through mentoring.

ConvergenceCoaching: What advice do you have for those looking to step into a leadership position in their firms or businesses?

JM: Discover your passion—what is it that you truly love to do at your job? What task/skill set energizes you? Where have you been rewarded, recognized or awarded? The answers to these questions help future leaders to utilize their strengths, and allow them to take on an initiative or project that would positively impact the company AND make them shine.

ConvergenceCoaching: What three words best describe your leadership style?

JM: Nurturing, goal-oriented, continuous learner. I believe that when employees’ talents are discovered and directed, you have engaged people who work at honoring their potential. I strongly believe in creating team and individual goals and attaining them. And, lastly, to paraphrase Peter Block, author and consultant, if you are not learning every day in your business—get out. I take that statement to heart.

At ConvergenceCoaching, LLC we believe that true leaders never really “arrive” and we couldn’t agree more with Julie about the importance of finding your passion and then continuously learning and improving in that area. What are you passionate about? What are you doing to expand your knowledge and sharpen your skills in that area?

Best Regards, Michelle Baca

Entrepreneurs should never be daredevils

bungee jumpingAn interesting article in Parade Magazine this past Sunday gave me pause. It’s seem counter-intuitive to state so confidently that entrepreneurs should never be daredevils. Hmmm.  I believe self-starters take vetted risks and seize opportunities based on the clarity of their vision–all the time! But note the word “vetted.” Kind of like bungee jumping–hopefully you have calculated the risks because strapping on.

What do you think?

People can change through vision, says Pete Carroll, coach of the Super Bowl winners

Do you think that Pete read my book?! Pete Carroll, coach of the 2014 Super Bowl winners, was featured in today’s The Seattle TimesSeahawksCoach Carroll believes strongly in developing his employees to their highest level of performance.

He also believes strongly in the power of VISION for individuals and companies. The proof? Just look at how they won the Super Bowl—a contest that was to be an easy win for the Broncos. You know the story.

But, do know that the Seahawks are a Self-Starting organization with VISION, PASSION AND PERSEVERANCE as key indicators of their success.

How about YOU? Your organization? Does everyone share the same vision?