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on July 31, 2010
I don't go to work to be part of a losing team, to make policies and procedures that confound progress and productivity. I don't want to sit around and watch our country get deeper in debt, yoked to the burdens of irresponsible lawmakers.

I am not striking out "on my own" to start a consulting firm that does not succeed. I don't lead my family, so we can be average, just get by, merely survive.

In each of these endeavors, I want to excel, to be outstanding, to win. What does it mean to "win"? I think a leader's vision is the answer to that question. Vision is what gives us hope each day, the motivation to work hard, because I have a mental image of the outcome, whether that is at the end of the day, week, year, or lifetime. But it's more than that, because if no one buys into the vision, than a leader has no followers, so "winning" is a team's shared outlook.

I've read John's other two books, QBQ and Flipping the Switch, and now this one. In all three, he writes with concise clarity. By that, I mean that he explains and illustrates each principal in just a few short pages.

This is the essence of Multiplying Leadership with atoms--small, fundamental principles that exist independently, building blocks. In this case, they are building blocks of organizational excellence. I didn't need to read the whole book to walk away with one actionable idea. In fact, I can absorb a whole chapter that stands alone, an introduction to an idea that has endless possibilities for application that I can easily imagine, in the time it takes to read four pages.

Who should read it? Anyone who feels they are accountable, in some degree, for the excellence of their organization or team or family or relationship.

What is it about? 47 concepts you can implement today...that take a lifetime to master--ideas to help you accept responsibility for and achieve an exceptional organizational culture.

When? It doesn't matter where you are in your journey of leadership or what level your at in the company org chart--don't wait until you are in a position of leadership. Read it now--you can finish in one weekend.

Where can you get it? Amazon is cheapest: Outstanding! 47 Ways to Make Your Organization Exceptional (affiliate link). But it is available at any bookstore or the author's website [...]. John is very friendly and real, and he even answered my email within minutes. You can follow him on twitter @qbqguy or facebook/theqbq.
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VINE VOICEon August 15, 2010
John Miller's book, OUTSTANDING!: 47 WAYS TO MAKE YOUR ORGANIZATION EXCEPTIONAL, is, well, ... OUTSTANDING! The author of QBQ and Flipping the Switch, may have written his best book ever. Quite often authors put out a book that is little more than a regurgitation of their earlier books. Not so, here.

Each of Miller's 47 points are given a chapter. Each one is valuable in its' own way. In Chapter 3, I realized why some of my training initiatives fail. I don't always put purpose first. If people don't have a good understanding of why it is necessary for them to do things a certain way, they are much less likely to adopt it as their own. This one little piece of knowledge and understanding on my part will totally change how I develop and delivery new initiatives.

In Chapter 5, I learned the true definition of a customer. A customer is anyone who has a legitimate expectation of you. This opens up a whole new realm and an entirely new dynamic on how we view people. Customers are not just people who buy from us, they are our vendors, supervisors, family members, co-workers, etc. If we treat these relationships with the same respect and regard as we give our "paying customers", imagine the results we will see.

Chapter 44 is a refresher course in doing the little things that will make a difference for customers. These are just a few things you'll find here. There are tips of doing a better job of coaching, the importance of encouragement, even ways to hire better people.

As I read Chapter 12, aptly titled "Value Ideas Over Politics", I kept remembering Ronald Reagan when he said, "It's amazing what can be accomplished when we don't care who gets the credit."

This should become required reading for anyone at the corporate level. I'm giving this one my highest recommendation. As always, Miller writes clearly with direct points and succinct summaries. QBQ set a pretty high bar for Miller, but he may have succeeded in surpassing that bar with Outstanding!
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on August 5, 2013
I've been a fan of John's for many years and bought Outstanding as soon as it hit the market. John's writing is quick, witty and gets right to the point without a lot of lead up. That's one of the main things I look for in good writing, especially as I'm quickly trying to ingest a good bit of knowledge and quickly put it to work.

I read Outstanding with one goal: to strengthen and build every team I'm a part of. This book delivers in a big way and has saved me countless missteps, though not completely eliminated them. I always look to those ahead of me in business and seek to learn from their expertise. John is such a guy and the stories he tells in this book kept me engaged and made the lessons more real.
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on January 19, 2015
John,

Thank you for outlining in detail, and yet in a concise and entertaining (audio book) manner the principles in your book. I was pleasantly surprised to see I am doing so many things right as a leader however I am also not too egotistical to say that I will be getting started right away on many of these ideas. Chapter 2 Be Humble is a lifestyle choice I live by daily. Your ego nor your wallet can enter the room before you do, and it's nice to see I'm not the only one who feels that way. In Chapter 3 you bring up a great point that I often times overlook; Keep the Mission at the Top. Whenever I am confronted by a large decision or a marketing concept I need to remind myself if this is in line with the Mission.
In your chapter Fight the Fat, I found the concept: Sales cover Sins to be huge. If I am truly honest with my personal success as well as any company I have worked for or owned I will find that I should be more critical, and more focused on the details while times are good. Thanks for the reminder. Another reminder that I implemented this morning was to Make Meetings Meaningful. Often times as a relational person I tend to not keep focused at meetings by asking people personal questions and encouraging chit chat. Which in turn creates an atmosphere of unfocused side conversations that require to be reeled back in. The other concept of releasing those who are done from the meeting makes enormous sense. This says to that individual they are important and so is their time. Finally I would like to thank you for permission to Fire Customers as discussed in Chapter 33. As a people person I am constantly trying to live by the customer is always right. However sometimes people take advantage of companies and their time and resources. I learned here that it is okay if I fire a customer. Granted I don't want to make a habit of it but I sure do appreciate learning Outstanding Organizations do sometimes. Overall I found your book to be as it is titled. I would recommend this to anyone looking to grow personally as well as their organization. Thank you for also making it available on audio. As a salesperson my vehicle often times becomes a rolling library. I wish you continued success and look forward to digging in and being outstanding.

Live the Dream!

Greg Keating
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on October 30, 2014
Well, in my humble opinion (humble is the topic of chapter 2), Outstanding! 47 Ways to Make Your Organization Exceptional is, in fact, Outstanding! In a mere 205 pages, John Miller captures all of the essential “actionable” elements needed to move an organization from good to great to exceptional. John’s quick wit approach to creating and sustaining successful organizations is very easy to understand, clearly relatable, and the creative stories he tells makes it easy to recall the 47 strategies.

I think this book would be very helpful for any organization who wants to realign and breathe new life into its Mission. Chapter 3, Keep the Mission on Top, reminds us that “purpose comes first.” It explains that for an organization to be exceptional, its stakeholders (employees) must fully understand and connect with the company’s “purpose”, or the company’s “why.”

Chapter 4, Get Actions in Line with Values, drives home the point that exceptional organizations work diligently to align the company’s guiding principles, “Values” with stakeholders’ “Actions.” Why? Because as John says in his book, “Any organization can espouse great-sounding values, but if they aren’t translated into action they are nothing more than slogans.” When an organization commits to aligning its actions with its values, then fulfilling the company’s Mission becomes highly achievable.

The rest of the book is filled with great ideas for establishing “Values “and suggestions for how to bring them to life (“Actions”). For example, organizations that identify “Integrity” as a core value could look to Chapter 15, Do What You Promise to do. It’s the little things we do, like consistent follow through, that reap the big rewards for employees and organizations alike.

Here’s another one. If you work for an organization that identified “Flexibility” or “Adaptability” as a core value, but find yourself surrounded by employees who are resistant to change, then read Chapter 30, Choose to Change. It provides compelling reasons why employees should expect change; why they should be receptive to change, and why they should play an active role in all change efforts. Why? Because complacency breeds mediocrity, and mediocrity is a major roadblock to being “Outstanding!”

Overall, I think the book provides great perspective and insight, and stimulates ideas for how each of us can help move our organizations from good to great to excellent. Thanks, John Miller…..job well done!
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on December 2, 2015
We are an off premise catering company that has been in existence for 104 years and are into the 4th generation. We came across QBQ 10 years ago and it has changed the way we do business . Our culture is stronger and employees have a different attitude than other companies. Recently one of our customers that works with two companies stated that the difference between the three companies is the attitude of our staff. The QBQ ideals are game changing for staff and management.
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on October 4, 2014
Another great book from John Miller - simple practical steps to achieving excellence in any organization. I really like the simplicity of the concepts which makes execution on them much easier. As a leader of a small organization with limited resources we need to take steps to being outstanding rather than a grand plan and "Outstanding" is a great roadmap to achieving our goals.

Some outstanding chapters of the book I recommend:
25 - Manage: Too much emphasis is put on developing leadership skills. You can't skip the management phase and be an outstanding leader - someone has to pay attention to the details.
38 - Be Coachable: People should seek out opportunities to learn from other people - and work hard to execute on change
47 - Try, Risk, Grow - Learning from mistakes is the best way to improve and it is a mentality that should be harvested.

"Outstanding" is a must read and a great guide for organizations who are committed to getting a little better every day!
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on July 31, 2014
Reading "Outstanding!" is a wonderful journey of encouragement for any person wanting to be personally outstanding, and those who are working toward leading an outstanding team of people...not only is it possible to be outstanding, but if you struggle in these areas you will know you are not alone! Simple yet deep wisdom lies in the pages of this book. Written in bite-sized segments, the quick short stories are easily relate-able. Some of the chapters I enjoyed most were: Never Forget Who Pays The Bills (for us, that is our customers!), Let Every Player Count (the eyes are not more valuable than the feet), Speak Well: Make The Right Impression (people will always remember how you made them feel), Fire Customers! If Necessary (guard your energies and your resources wisely), Be Coachable (no one knows everything there is to know about everything, and often the best ideas come out of the mouth of babes, team members, outsiders, and novices). Would I recommend this book? YES! Read it...read it TODAY!
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on October 2, 2013
What a GREAT book to help people with Personal accountability! After reading this book, I purchased one for each of my direct reports. At the beginning of each staff meeting I read one chapter to my work group. We had discussion and everyone enjoyed it! Now if I miss a week of reading a chapter, I am called out!! We have gone back to various chapters and have reviewed and discussed again.. What a GREAT resource!
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on June 20, 2012
First, huge thanks to John G. Miller for writing this book! I have listened to the audiobook version 3 times now and take away something new each time. I also bought copies for my business partner and the heads of our sales and customer support team. They, too, were "Wowed" by the wisdom found here.

I run a small software development company ([...]) that specializes in the development of web-based point-of-sales solutions and e-commerce websites for small to mid-sized retailers. We love what we do--help people sell stuff! And I thought we were doing a pretty good job, not just with our customers, but also internally. After reading Outstanding!, I realized that, while we actually were doing a pretty good job, we had settled for "pretty good". John's book showed my team and me that we really could become Outstanding!

While all 47 topics are great, the one's that we have really focused on are (in order of importance to us): 5) See Everyone As A Customer, 4) Get Actions Inline with Values, 16) Hire Character and 21) Succeed with what you have.

As a business owner, I thought it was obvious to me who the customer is. I was wrong! It hadn't occurred to me that my team members are also my customers. Our suppliers are our customers. In essence, everyone with whom we interact is a customer. Outstanding! opened my eyes so I now see everyone in a very different light. My "brand" isn't just my company or our product, it's actually ME! As I do a better job of serving everyone around me, it improves the popularity of my "brand" and ultimately reflect back on our company.

While we are still in the early stages of implementing some of the suggestions made in this book, it has already improved the morale of everyone on our team! Just knowing that we are all on the same page and that we all want our small company to be outstanding has given us a new-found energy and hope for our future!

John, thanks for writing this book! Keep up the great work!
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