Lifting Leaders' Blog

The Evolving Relationship Between Business and Science - Corey Kocian - 10/11/17

There are new scientific discoveries uncovered every day, but somehow these discoveries don’t seem to be enough to achieve their true goals. This is of great importance because non-renewable resources that we currently depend on will run out, meaning business and science needs to work together to achieve a more sustainable world. These solutions are rooted in science and can be implemented by the powerful hand of money and business.

The idea is to bridge the communication gap between science and business. We must understand where each side is coming from, to be active listeners, and to work together to have more forward thinking. However, getting each side to listen to each other has proven difficult. There are many misunderstandings, each side has very different cultures and ways of thinking, and these interactions are not always smooth. Scientists have a priority to share their information and to make their research and findings known. They have invested a great deal of time and passion and don’t seem to be heard as much as they were hoping. Businesses have a priority to increase growth, reduce costs, and improve efficiency. Businesses must not ignore the findings of scientists simply because it is not conducive for their current plans. It CAN be useful if we appreciate each other’s priorities and realize that there are benefits to closer collaboration. There can be big money and success on both parties with forward thinking. Working together can achieve a much higher goal, a goal of innovating a sustainable world while at the same time generating revenue and reputation. By coming together, we are one step closer to achieving that higher goal. Overall, scientists and businesses have a responsibility to work together to understand and inform the public. Be a Lifting Leader by making a choice to bridge this communication gap and work together for the greater good of both communities.

Teamwork Makes the Dream Work - Grant Gibson - 09/15/17

  Being a road racer is awesome! In mid-April I competed in the US Air Force Academy Road Race. I found myself on the front of the peloton of riders. As we approached the bottom of the big climb a group of three riders attacked the race and put a gap on the front. I timed the gap at around five seconds and realized the riders ahead were working well together. I thought, “If I can bridge the gap to them I can be in the top five at the finish line.”

  In road racing it takes so much power to turn those pedals push through a gap into another group of riders. But once you’re there, you have to help out the others if you don’t want to be caught by the main group. Teamwork is the key to success of a breakaway.  We all worked together on the last two laps of the road race and had nearly a minute on the main group at the finish line. 

We may all be on different teams, but have to work together for the success of whatever we may be working on. You can be a Lifting Leader anywhere you go. The easiest place to start is by helping someone out.

  The success of a break away in road racing comes when everyone takes a turn at the front and drives the pace.

 Help out a co-worker and drive the pace, for a little bit, on a project y’all are working on. There is no “free ride” to the finish. Everyone has to work and pedal their bike. It’s just nice when someone helps you up front in a race.

  There is a motto “Teamwork makes the dream work,” be a Lifting Leader in your workplace and help each other to the finish.  

Big Work In a Resource Constrained World - Tom Miller - 09/07/17

 Big Work in a Resource Constrained World

Great human accomplishments regularly occur in environments of scarce resources.  We can all name enormous brands that were started in garages (Microsoft, Hewlett Packard) or begun by people with no money and no “experience” (Richard Branson/Virgin, Sara Blakely/Spanx).  We can point to people who came from obscurity, held on to a strong belief, and had tremendous influence based on what they contributed to society (Martin Luther King, Malala Yousafzai).

Smart people?  Undoubtedly….  Dedicated?  Absolutely…. Special?  No…. 
Beginning a movement requires a timely idea that matters and it requires the work needed to regularly execute toward a goal.  

That's it.

What Do You Call Work - Tom Miller - 04/12/17

In his classic novel, "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer", Mark Twain tells the story of Tom turning the task of painting 900 square feet of fence in to a grand adventure where a group of boys actually pay (albeit with apple cores and dead rats) for the "privilege" of helping Tom get his work done. There was nothing different about what needed to be done - what changed was the perspective about why the work mattered. Tom created a vision that was compelling and exciting enough that what everyone once considered a time-sucking, life draining task was transformed in a way that caused Tom's friends to demand to be involved. 

"Work" - at it's core - is the way we humans provide for ourselves. While we do that, we have the very cool opportunity to create for ourselves a purpose behind the work that can fuel our individual passions and make the world better. 

Are you...   

Picking up trash, or creating a cleaner, healthier community? 

Moving rocks or building a wall that creates beauty and order? 

Going to class or building knowledge to enable you to impact the world? 

Making sales calls or improving peoples lives by helping them understand how to use your product?   

The tasks are the same - you get to choose how to approach the "work"... 

Opening Day - Tom Miller - 04/05/17

  Some think baseball's "Opening Day" should be a national holiday. There's this strong sense of new beginning and every fan's belief that, this year, their team will grind through 162 games, make it to the playoffs and, somehow, win the World Series. The pageantry and excitement, for many, is a highlight of the year. And yet...   

It's just ONE DAY   

What's so special? Aside from the real excitement baseball fans have about getting the season started, Opening Day is the day everyone gets to joyously, happily and without remorse, have hope in a future outcome.   

Have some fun and give yourself a chance to have several "Opening Days" each year.   

Beginning a new job 

Meeting a new friend and working toward a relationship 

Starting an exciting project  

Creating a new perspective and new habits around your health   

Take a day and celebrate the feeling of optimism and energy that comes with living in a way that expects great things from your future.  

The Choice to Uplift - Ryan Taylor - 03/21/17

 Each day we are presented with numerous choices. What to wear, what route to take to work, what to have for lunch etc. But there are two very specific choices that I am going to focus on today.  

1. The choice to put down and belittle others.


2. The choice to uplift and encourage others.

The first choice is almost always the one we resort to when someone angers or disagrees with us but this reaction rarely ever helps the situation. The second choice is one that many people strive to do but find it extremely difficult to implement consistently. Both choices however have the power to affect not only the lives of the people around us but also our own, whether it be positively or negatively.  

It may not always be easy to uplift someone, especially if that someone is “rubbing you the wrong way”, but if we can shift our paradigm away from negativity and instead towards gratitude and praise it can be one of the most freeing feelings in the world.  

No longer are you focused on how that person is affecting you, but rather you begin to realize that your response can affect them in a much more beneficial way.  

My challenge to you is for the next 7 days push yourself to not speak a single negative / demeaning word or comment about another person and to at least once a day say something uplifting to someone that you don’t or wouldn’t normally say. During the next 7 days take notes on the change of your thoughts and attitudes as well as the change in the people you spend most of your time with.  

Finally, I will leave you with a quote from Nelson Mandella. “As we let our own light shine we unconsciously give other people the permission to do the same.”  

There has never been a better time than now to become a Lifting Leader!  

Creating Capacity - Tom Miller - 03/14/17

What's the value in the creation of capacity where none existed before?  That's a pretty easy question to answer, isn't it?  Depending on where the capacity has been added, here's a partial list of what can happen - 

Hungry people are able to eat

Scared people feel safe

Children can go to school

Parents can provide for their families

People can begin to see their full potential

Communities can be healthier

Disagreements can be resolved

Of course, we could keep going and add to the list of things impacted when capacity is created, but let's stop here and ask the question...

Who will create that capacity?

That's a tougher question to answer, isn't it?  What would happen if we all took on the responsibility to "create capacity" when we see need?  Yes - we put our personal resources of time, money, energy, talents at stake when we commit to the effort - but if not us, then who?

Seek It, Find It, Do It - Tom Miller 03/07/17

Seek and Find Where You Will Serve

"I don't know what your destiny will be, but one thing I know: the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who will have sought and found how to serve."

-Albert Schweitzer

Schweitzer was an early 20th century theologian, musician, physician and philosopher.  He won the Nobel Peace Prize for the relief work he did in Africa.  As you can imagine, he had an enormous body of work that had life-giving, global implications.  

It's unlikely anyone reading this will win a Nobel Prize and we probably won't be written about on a large scale.  Yet, we have the same opportunity as Schweitzer to find happiness in service.  What kind of service?  That's for each of us to discover, to seek out, to find...  We're surrounded by opportunities.  A starter question to ask would be, "based on my circumstances, my resources and my skill set, what can I do to make other people's lives better?"

Seek it, find it, do it.  Take a shot at being "Albert Schweitzer" for someone today.

What is Lifting Leaders? - Tom Miller 02/28/17

"Have you ever spent time watching unsupervised 4th graders on a play ground or in a social setting?  It is a serious "law of the jungle" scene where only the biggest, fastest, coolest, hippest, most athletic, best looking, best dressed, best tech equipped kids get respect.  It's raw, unfiltered power willing to grind in the dust any unsuspecting kid that tries to break the paradigm in place.  4th graders are tough - and they have been since the beginning of recorded history.


Have you ever spent time watching adults in a business meeting or in a social setting?  It is a serious "law of the jungle" scene where only the biggest, fastest, coolest, hippest, most athletic, best looking, best dressed, best tech equipped adults get respect.  It's raw, unfiltered power willing to grind in the dust any unsuspecting person that tries to break the paradigm in place.  People are tough - and they have been since the beginning of recorded history.


My point with the above word play is that there are long standing existing "paradigms of power" that are not going away.  These paradigms are worth fighting because they impose limits on the potential of individuals and organizations.  I've got no issue with smart, talented, handsome, well dressed people achieving whatever success they can.  My issue is too many high potential people are excluded or feel excluded and, if we create a path for everyone to contribute, we will function better as an organization, as a community and as individuals.

Lifting Leaders is about helping individuals - all individuals - understand three things and build their ability to create Dynamic Influence:

1) The strengths, talents and passions that make up the Character of the individual

2) The Community the individual serves

3) The Choices the individual must make to build influence and impact their community

The Lifting Leaders gang will be busy bringing podcasts, blogs, articles and big ideas to people interested in new thinking about how to get things done and live a big life.  Stay tuned..."