Ep. 127 – Advisors Excel Chief Marketing Officer, Mike Miller

Sep 21, 2020 | 0 comments

Advisors Excel is a company that offers a wide range of supporting services to independent financial advisors. After 20 years in the manufacturing industry, Mike Miller felt attracted to the company’s unique business model and culture. He has since served as its COO for more than seven years. Listen in as he shares with Cameron Herold how he became instrumental in scaling the company from 250 to over 600 employees and how he leads in building a culture that breeds trustworthy workers who can work remotely with minimal supervision.  He also shares his personal journey as a leader and how he has adapted to suit the organization’s needs.

Mike Miller is the Chief Operating Officer at Advisors Excel and Chief Executive Officer of the company’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Go Modern, both located in Topeka, Kansas. Prior to joining Advisors Excel in 2013, Mike spent twenty years in the manufacturing industry, holding executive positions in operations, finance, and corporate development. Mike has a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance from Kansas State University and serves on the advisory board for the Financial Planning Degree program at Kansas State. Mike, welcome to the show.

Thanks for having me. I appreciate it.

I’ve known you for a couple of years. Maybe share with our readers what Advisors Excel does and give us some rough ideas on the scope of the organization because you’re a much bigger organization than I first even anticipated.

We service independent financial advisors, an advisor that doesn’t have a relationship with Wells Fargo or a Citibank or something like that. These guys are truly entrepreneurs. They’ve set up their own business. We serve them in a number of different ways. Advisors Excel is an umbrella company. We’ve got a number of different businesses underneath that. On the insurance side, we act as a distribution partner to insurance carriers, distributing annuities, life insurance, and Medicare supplements. On the wealth management side, we’ve got a broker-dealer. It’s an RIA, a Registered Investment Advisory business, but it’s set up as an asset management platform.

Our advisors are managing money for their clients. They use us for technology, access to products, access to institutional money managers, portfolios, and things like that. That’s the core of the business, but then we also surround them from the business side with a number of different things. We have an in-house ad agency that builds and hosts websites, does PR, and design services. We own a print company that does a lot of their print marketing stuff for them. We co-host radio and TV shows with our advisors from our office here in Topeka around the country. We’ve got an operational support team.

My main focus is helping advisors open accounts, transfer assets, service businesses, and things like that. We’ve got a compliance department that helps our advisors stay in compliance with all the different regulatory bodies like the SEC, FINRA, and Insurance Commission. We’ve got a large technology group that manages their on-site technology assets and their infrastructure there. We’ve also got a business coaching group that is helping the advisor with the practice and everything from managing employees and payroll and stuff like that to how to market and grow their business.

The part that I first connected with you on a few years ago was related to the business coaching component of it and I thought about it as it related to franchise companies that I built. The more that we helped grow our franchisees, the bigger their businesses would be, the more royalty revenue we would collect, or the more products they would buy, the more money we’d make. The more that I helped our franchisees grow, the more that we grew. It was almost backward. Most organizations didn’t do that. Is that what’s made you stand out from the rest?

This is early on, but our founders saw an opportunity to not only distribute products. It’s the insurance carriers that pay us on the insurance side. It’s not our advisors. We’re distributing that product to the advisor. When we surrounded them with all of these other support aspects to their business, being entrepreneurs, wearing all the hats themselves, this ended up being a great support system for them to help them come up with ideas.

We’ve got a lot of networking events. We’ll do about 60 events a year for advisors where they’re networking with other independent advisors and being able to bounce ideas off each other and stuff. Surrounding them with all those support things was the unique driver of Advisors Excel’s growth. A lot of companies in our industry have followed that model now. There are a lot of folks that are trying to set up that same model for their advisors.

Would you compete against Wells Fargo? Would that be a competitor of yours, at least in this niche of attracting more of the brokers into your model?

Not really. It’s a different mindset. Somebody that joins Wells Fargo and wants to be a wealth manager for them, they’re going to get their clients from Wells Fargo and they’re going to get all the support. It’s almost a prescribed model for those guys. We call it captive. They don’t have a choice about what marketing funnels they’re going after or what technologies they’re using or how they’re investing their client’s money or anything. It’s prescribed to them, where our entrepreneurial advisors get to make all those decisions. From a business standpoint, there’s some difficulty with that because you’re managing a lot of different preferences and styles of business leaders and stuff like that. It becomes somewhat customized on our side to deal with different business models that they’re going after.

You are definitely more of that entrepreneurial crowd than any of these other groups are as well. Would you compete against ad agencies or you’ve got different little death by a thousand cuts in every little group? Is it once you get these advisors into your group, you’ve got them?

When it comes to a lot of the different support pieces of the operational support, ad agencies, even compliance, and things like that, those are the things that we don’t charge our advisors for. We make money as they bring more assets on the platform and as they sell more insurance products and stuff. If it’s not free, it’s deeply subsidized and it makes the service stickier for us. We would compete with an ad agency. An advisor could go to an ad agency to develop a marketing campaign or a branding strategy or something like that, but they could also come to us and we can offer that same service for either free or deeply subsidized.

All of those extra services that you’re doing are the way to make it stickier to bring them in because you found your one revenue stream. Rather than being greedy and making money off everything, you’re making money off the core.

All those things that we do help them build and drive their business. We start with a base level of advisor, so you have to be successful to even sign up with Advisors Excel. For us to put this much effort, time, and energy behind an advisor, we have to know that they can succeed. We take the cream of the crop to start with, but then our ability to grow those guys so they may come to us as a $5 million advisor. Meaning, they’ve gathered $5 million in assets in the last year and got them up to $20 million, $30 million, 40 million, $50 million a year run rate with the ability to help them market better, streamline their business, and run it better.

What was it that attracted you to Advisors Excel?

It’s a unique story. I spent most of my career in manufacturing. I got my degree in finance, but it wasn’t always in finance and operational roles, but always on the manufacturing side. We sold a manufacturing company in 2008. I went and got licensed to be a wealth manager to start my own practice. That was my plan coming out of selling that company. I met the owners of Advisors Excel then. The company was only three years old. It was attractive and it looked like a fun place to be. I had heard great things. I’ve got some friends that knew the owners that had started it and they spoke highly of them. That didn’t work out back then. I ended up taking another job with BIC. Spending about 4 or 5 years there, I came back when these guys were a little bigger and they needed a real chief operating officer. It’s worked out great.

It’s funny I was at a friend’s house for dinner one time. He made one of the best steaks I’ve ever had in my life. We were talking about when he was recruiting a chief operating officer and I introduced him to somebody from the COO Alliance. She’d left the position she was in and I thought she’s a perfect fit, but she was a little more expensive than he wanted. I was partially going, “I don’t know if he’s ready for her. She’s good and she could knock the cover off the ball, but he’s not quite as global as he needs to be.” It didn’t work out. They weren’t ready. She wasn’t quite ready. A year later, she circled back and started talking to him. Now she’s been working with him as a COO, but he was totally ready. He’s like, “I couldn’t even do business without her.” There needs to be a time for that skillset between the COO to work out. What was it that was ready when you came back the second time?

It was the scale of the business. They’d scaled it up and I was around employee number 200 at that point.

First looking at them, what employee number would you have been?

Probably 40 or 50 or somewhere around that.

SIC 127 | Advisors Excel

Advisors Excel: An advisor has to be pretty successful before they can even sign up with Advisors Excel.

 

They didn’t have a management team or a strong leadership team yet?

They were starting to build it out, but it was three founders that started the company all with unique skillsets. They were able to handle it from their chair. They’ve added leadership over time. They’re more sales and marketing personalities and all entrepreneurial. The operational aspects of running the business wore them out. That’s not what they wanted to be involved with. They were looking for somebody that could turn the operational piece over to, know it was taken care of, and then focus on what’s next for the company from a growth standpoint. Taking that piece off their plate was what they were looking for.

I’ve met one of the founders, David Callanan. Who are the other two?

Cody Foster is the other one, and then the third founder is out of the business now, Derek Thompson.

I have met Cody before too. What was it that they liked about you? Do you know what it was? Have they told you since or did they tell you at the time what it was that they liked about you?

They didn’t tell me at the time. It was a different interview, quite honestly. I don’t think they had a real grasp of what they needed. They knew the outcome that they wanted, but they didn’t know what they needed. David said to me one time, “We wanted you in here when things didn’t go right because we’ve had a lot of success and things were going right. We want the guy that’s been through the mud and everything else and could get us through the tough times. That’s one of the things we liked about you coming in here.”

They weren’t trying to avoid conflict. They were getting prepared for the inevitable road bumps.

It was a learning curve when I joined this company. I was giving them a lot of data and operational reports and stuff like that. They didn’t have any desire at all to see it. They wanted the best service they could get for their advisors. As long as they were getting that, they didn’t need a lot of data and stuff supporting it. I also came in because of being in a manufacturing background, looking for efficiencies and cost-cutting opportunities and stuff like that. That also was not cored to their mindset. They were looking for growth and almost looked at cost-cutting as taking the focus off of the growth that they wanted to have. They asked me not to bring them cost savings.

It’s interesting how so many entrepreneurs missed that opportunity. I’m probably more like you. I still believe in that bootstrapping and entrepreneurial side that I’d rather grow big but act small. I don’t ever want to get rid of that entrepreneurial side of the business culture. Just because we can grow revenue doesn’t mean you want to waste money at the same time. How have you changed over the years as a leader? How have you had to adapt or change as a leader?

Honestly, I’ve probably changed more than I have in my entire career. The culture of this company is unlike anything I’ve ever been around. Our employees are excited to come to work. They love this place and that’s by design. Our founders do an awful lot to take care of employees. We’ve got a young group here and a lot of young families and stuff. Events for employees and everything from margaritas and nachos on a Friday, they set that up. We’re 650 people, so that’s a fairly big deal. If we make our big stretch goal every year, we take all of our employees and their spouses on a four-day trip. We’ve gone to Cancún and the Bahamas. It’s a trip of a lifetime for a lot of folks that probably wouldn’t be able to get out of the country. Flag football games, volleyball games, basketball tournaments, and stuff like that.

I’ve noticed some stuff with Advisors Excel over the years. I had a course or seminar that I ran about several years ago and David contacted me. He said he wanted to send 2 or 3 of the advisors from the company that was clients of yours. He paid for them to come to the course and I was like, “Who does that?” He’s like, “I want to grow them and it’s a great way to give back.” You mentioned the margaritas and nachos. I walked past one of your conferences in Las Vegas. I was speaking at the other end of the convention center at this boring industry on furniture.

You were at the other end of the convention center. I walked in and the culture of the conference was unbelievable. The stuff up on the walls and it looked like it was all tied to like a gambling theme. They had the best donuts in the world. I kept stealing the donuts even though I wasn’t at your conference and throwing them into my bag. It was amazing to go around and talk to some of the people blind and walk past some of the booths. You could feel the vibration of that culture, so it’s not going unnoticed.

It was Vegas. All-in was the theme, that’s the reason it looked like that. I’ve never been to a place where our customers and our employees liked us that much. It’s changed me. I’ve developed more empathy. I lead differently from more of a motivational side. I don’t ever see myself as leading through fear, but I was direct in what we needed to get done and how we needed to get it done. Now I try to build people up.

You mentioned coaching a couple of times and that the business coaching area was part of the divisions that you run. Can you walk us through some of what you believe makes the coaching program work for your clients? Do you have a mindset or a methodology or is it systems? What do you work with your coaches on so they deliver great coaching?

All of our coaches are independent and they’ve got different specialties. The way we recruit advisors is we’ve got what we call marketing teams. Those teams are trying to recruit the best advisors in the country to come to us. Those guys then end up being a coach for that advisor, but then we’ve got an external team that coaches advisors as well. We’ve got a person that coaches on operational needs and stuff inside the business. We’ve got a marketing coach for them and we’ve got a coach that works with them on succession planning. They’ve got some specialties around that.

From our marketing teams, they’re managing lead funnels, marketing funnels, and the best, latest ideas to get in front of clients. We’ve put out hundreds of pieces for advisors to recruit new clients in a virtual world, how to connect with your existing client base and make sure that they’re okay during these times. There’s a number of different ways that they do that. Probably our lead coach is David Callanan. He gets in character at some of these events as Coach Callanan. He’s got a whistle, clipboard, a hoodie and stuff and does a little skit. He’s coaching them from a CEO role. He’s teaching them to be CEOs. They’re strong sales and marketing people but teaching them to be CEOs and work on the business more than in the business.

What every industry needs more than anything is to teach the CEOs how to be CEOs and to teach the leaders how to be leaders. In every industry, when you go to the industry events, they’re good at their functional area that they run or they’re good at the industry subject matter expertise like finance or investing or insurance, but then they’re terrible at interviewing, hiring, leading, and coaching people. They’re terrible at delegation, time management, problems, and all the soft skills of leadership. You notice it in dental practices and doctor’s offices.

These are horrible human beings at running companies, but then you ask them like, “How much time did you ever get in dental school about running a business?” They said, “It was one semester, one course.” If you learn for seven years how to fix teeth and you learn for two months on how to run a company, it’s no wonder you’re not making any money. It’s not about the teeth. In your growth, where have you grown as a leader? What have you focused on to adopt as a leader?

A number of things. I read a lot. I’ve hired personal coaches. One of my weaknesses still is my presentation style from stage and speaking ability, so I hired a coach to help me with that. It’s reading best practices from a leadership standpoint on how to lead through a COVID type of situation. I was talking to David Callanan and there are no books on how to lead through something like this. The suggestions are to read books on war.

Chapter eleven of my book, Double Double is How to Grow When it’s Slow and How to Grow Through Adversity. It’s all about the 2008, 2000, and 1988 downturns and how I lead companies through all those. There’s no book, but there is at least one chapter on it for you. I’ll send it to you. How else are you growing?

It’s more of a maturity thing. I started out, and we all do probably, overly sure of ourselves with little experience to back it up with. You make up for that being like a bull in a china shop and being the loudest voice. Learning to connect with people in how to coach them, identifying their needs and personality types, what they respond to and stuff, it’s more of the soft skills of leadership, you would say. Trying to develop those and connect with people. They don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.

SIC 127 | Advisors Excel

Advisors Excel: The culture comes from the energy and the people being together.

 

By the way, when you were explaining that, I thought of another one that I’ll send you as well. It’s a book called The Hard Thing About Hard Things by a guy named Ben Horowitz. It’s one of the top business books I’ve read. It talks a lot about the wartime CEO. Not the wartime of operating a business through World War II, but operating in these massive times of adversity, crisis, and economic downturns. I was scribbling notes the whole time I was going through that book.

I’m honestly hungry for that and I can’t imagine any leader that’s not. I look at this as the first few months of this situation is driven by adrenaline. I’ve heard everybody talk about how well their companies did when they had to work from home and adjust on the fly. That’s all driven by adrenaline and that only lasts so long. Now it feels to me like we’re in an endurance period and this is getting tough. It’s tough to keep people upbeat and motivated and everything else because their entire world is falling apart.

It’s tough and it’s a different time. You’re right that leaders have to lead. Followers are starving to follow, but if there isn’t a prescription for it or a recipe, it’s tough to be making it up on the fly. We’ve got our COO Alliance event and it’s all around growing and leading people. We’re covering things like situational leadership, onboarding, and ongoing training. We’ve got three different CEOs. One from Lessonly and one from Thinkific.

I’ve also got the CEO who’s got a 4.9 rating on Glassdoor with about 184 reviews. They’ve got 140 employees and they’re all remote. He was rated as the number two company to work for in the United States on Glassdoor. He’s coming in to present as well in how to lead through this time with a virtual team. It’s something that we need to keep growing our people. If you’re green, you’re growing. When you’re ripe, you’re dead. By the way, a quick thought for you on speaking because I know you said something you’re working on with that. You’ve been speaking your whole life.

You’ve been speaking since you were two years old, so you know how to talk and you know the content. Don’t try to script it and don’t try to present. Just stand on stage and talk to your friends or talk to me or talk to whoever like you’re normally talking and you’ll find that it’s the easiest way to communicate to a group. When you hear David Callanan talking to a group, he doesn’t sound any different than when he’s talking to you one-on-one or if he’s talking at a cocktail party, does he?

No, he doesn’t.

He might wear a silly costume or something, but he is just himself.

Mine is more of the energy level, the voice inflections, and stuff like that.

You’ve got good energy.

Maybe it’s just self-critical. I don’t know. I’m around an awful lot of good presenters in this company and it wasn’t until I got this company that I identified this as a real weakness.

It’s because you’re trying to present instead of trying to be Mike Miller because you have nice energy about you. If you don’t stand behind the podium and just walk around on stage and talk to us like you’re talking to friends over a beer or a game of golf, you’d be quite engaging.

Thank you.

I’ve seen people try to present like, “My name is Cameron Herold. I’m on stage presenting.” It’s like, “Who are you? You sound horrible.” It sounds all schlocky. Through the COVID, you have got a fairly big team. I’m not going to ask you specific numbers, but I’m guessing 250-plus to 500 employees probably.

We’re a little over 650.

All of a sudden, from out of the left field, you’re told, “Sorry. You can’t come to work. You’ve got to work from home.” How did you go through that? How did you adapt? What did you do? What did you tell the team? How did you figure some stuff out?

It is what it is, so you’ve got to present the facts. I presented a confidence level. “You know how to do your job. You’ve got the tools to do your job. We’re going to send those tools home with you and trust that you can do the job, but we’re going to be here to help you as well.” I had my managers make sure that they were staying in real close contact with their teams like they would in the office. The daily team meetings and stuff like that, check-ins, one-on-ones, and that type of stuff. We sent them home with a laptop and one monitor, so that was an adjustment.

There were some technical glitches and stuff like that, but the adrenaline and some good hardworking Midwest people, they’re going to get the job done. The culture comes from the energy and the people being together. We even started working on different games I could play and stuff like that and different events that they could do virtually to keep the teams engaged. Doing it like this versus doing an in-person gathering, the in-person energy that you get from that can’t be replaced via Zoom.

You touched on something that is important as well and you talked about the Midwest people are going to figure it out and get it done. It speaks to the culture of the people that you’ve hired. Not just the region that you’re in because there are lots of people in the Midwest that work for the government to the post office that aren’t going to get anything done. You’ve hired the ones that are good core values, people that are driven, have got the skillset, and feel like they’re a part of the team. They feel the love and the connection of the team that you are building as a company. They know you care about them, so they’re going to care about the organization.

What is interesting about that as well is that the reason you’re okay with them all working from home is because you have the right people. I spoke with somebody and they said, “How do I keep an eye on everybody when they’re working from home? How do I know what they’re doing?” I’m like, “If you’re worried about that, you’ve got the wrong people. If you have to micromanage them because they’re at home, they’re the wrong people.” How have you, as an organization, scaled from the 50 or 200 employees when you joined to 650? How have you scaled in bringing the right people in? What do you screen for? What do you do? What is your secret sauce?

One of the benefits of being in a smaller town in the Midwest, the peak is about 200,000 people so we pull a lot of people in from even smaller and more rural areas outside of town. I couldn’t even guess how many people we’ve got that came from a farm family. They woke up doing chores in the morning at 6:00 before they went to school and stuff like that. Our three founders met at Washburn University and I know one was an athlete, but I’m not sure about the other two. We ended up with a lot of athletes coming in here. The mindset and the work ethic of a college athlete and the effort that they have to put in. Effort is not a foreign concept to some of these folks.

I do look at where they came from and what their family background is. Not only educational but sports background. We do a lot of sports analogies and stuff like that in normal conversation, presentations, and stuff to the team and it resonates with them. We even create internal competitions. As far as screening for people, we don’t have to do a lot of it because we’ve got a good reputation. We’ve got people lined up that know fifteen people in the company, so we vet them internally.

SIC 127 | Advisors Excel

Advisors Excel: If you want people who are good at being team players, hire people who have been on teams.

 

You’ve probably turned away all the wrong people too, so the wrong people don’t want to have anything to do with you because they know they don’t fit.

There are a few that get through. You always have something, but we did a good job overall.

You’re talking even about the small-town values. They had to get up in the morning on the farm and do chores. They asked Herb Kelleher, the CEO of Southwest Airlines, “How do you get all your employees to smile like you do?” He said, “We hire smiley people.” If you want people that are good at being team players, hire people that have been on teams. You don’t train people to have a work ethic. They either wake up in the morning with a work ethic or they don’t. They’re either lazy or they’re not. They’re either driven or they’re not. You might be able to inspire a little bit of it, but it’s either there or it’s not.

We do a four-level interview. By the time I’m talking to folks, my managers and staff that are going to be managing them day to day have approved them and moved them on. The only thing I’m looking for is a cultural fit and I want to set an expectation for them. I’m talking to them about the team, attitude, and everything else. By the end of the interview, I’m telling them, “I haven’t asked you one question about your job and how you’re going to do it. That’s because I’m willing to train the right person and I know you probably don’t have any experience at all on this based on your resume.”

They’re bought in at that point. They want to be part of the team and they know we’re going to support them and train them. One of the greatest things about Advisors Excel is that our owners interview everybody that comes in here still. They’ll go through anywhere from a 30 to a 45-minute interview with every person coming in the door, whether it’s an entry-level, top sales position, or executive position, and that speaks volumes to the folks walking through the door.

I’ve worked with groups that say they coach two layers below them. They’ll interview but I’ve never heard of that 600 where the C-level is still doing that, which is amazing. Where does the organization struggle?

With the whole COVID thing, it’s maintaining culture. I would say we’ve not struggled with it but have been mindful of it for quite some time. We moved to a two-campus environment. It used to be all of the employees under one roof and we were much stacked on top of each other. Now we’re in three different buildings and trying to maintain that camaraderie and that team spirit stuff. We learned quickly that every individual location is going to take on its own personality and culture and we need to allow that, but we need to make sure that the core values are still across the entire organization.

Are the three buildings on campus together? Are they separate parts of the city?

Two are in a separate part of the city, and then the one main headquarters building.

How are you working around the us and them environment of the leadership team with the people working from those remote locations? How do you work around that where you have the leadership team in one building, and then people working from two other buildings?

The leadership is dispersed as well. I’m in a building with six of the operational teams and our licensing and contracting team is in this building. We’ve got our CFO and our CTO in another building with the technology group and the accounting folks, and then we’ve got hotel offices in each of the buildings. Our two founders make the rotation. They’re here once or twice a month walking around, talking to folks, and being present. We do all employee meetings once a month religiously. They’re like clockwork and it’s keeping the same message in front of everybody. We’re allowing a different culture and some uniqueness among the teams, but also bringing it all together and keeping it core. Having the founders, the co-CEOs at different locations at different times is helpful for that.

You’re touching on something important. Culture is not about the after-work activities and what each of the individual locations looks like as much as culture is about alignment with core values, core purpose, a vivid vision, and deep respect for each other and working together as a team. That’s what culture is about. The rest of it is like the window dressings. You can take a family and they live in a home and you can take that same family on vacation. The culture went from the home to where you’re staying in a hotel. It had nothing to do with where you’re living.

All the stuff, chips, margaritas, trips, and everything else lose quickly if you don’t have the leadership aspects that are core to the culture.

You’ve mentioned margaritas and nachos a few times. It’s starting to call me. I’ve got one final big question related to your industry that has always intrigued me. How does a good growth company like Advisors Excel work within/around the compliance and the regulatory of the finance industry? It’s always like, “I can’t do that ad because we can’t do this,” or “We can’t use Slack because of that.” You’ve got a lot of regulations around your industry. How do you work around those or through those?

Do the best you can. You’ve got to, first of all, take a view towards regulation as it’s there for a purpose, and there’s intent with it. Too many compliance officers and regulatory bodies lose sight of the intent and try to delve into the letter of the law and stuff. It’s like a catch people type of thing. That’s not our view of it. Our view of it is the intent of the regulation is to do right by the client. As long as we’re doing right by the client, then we’ll push some of those regulatory things. If it’s a word in an ad that’s going to cause a problem, we’ll change it up if we need to. I hate to say push the envelope because it’s not anything big, but still, we’re staying within the spirit of the regulatory effort and making sure that we’re maintaining the client’s best interests at heart.

I’ve done a number of presentations with my personal group, my group that reports through my organization. They’re younger, so I tell them to think of their grandparents. We’re working directly with the advisors. They’re investing their grandparent’s money that they saved 45 years for so that they can be in retirement. It now has to last them the rest of their life and give them the quality of life that they need. Look out for your grandparents and remember that this is somebody whose life savings you’re dealing with. We get numb to big numbers, but every one of these individual cases is somebody’s life savings.

It’s a great way to think about it. That allows them to frame the decisions of what they’re working on within that instead of thinking about some compliance officer who says you can’t or can’t do something because of some rule that doesn’t make any sense. If you were the 22-year-old Mike Miller leaving college, getting ready to start off in your career, what advice would you give yourself back then that now you know it to be true, but you wish you’d known at 22?

I listened to your podcast with Brett Pinegar and you asked him this question, so I’ve given it some thought. It’s hard to narrow in on one of them. I would say it’s not about making the best decision. It’s about executing the best on the decision. The reason I came up with that is I’ve gone through my career and questioned other leaders that I worked for as to whether it was the best decision. None of us ever know whether we’re making the best decision. We make mistakes all the time. We disagree and commit. I don’t want you doing the job in the back of your mind thinking, “This was a bad decision. We’re going in the wrong direction.” Not giving it your full effort because even on the fourth-best decision, you can still win all day, every day with the best execution.

I’ll probably mess up the quote, but it was General Patton who said, “A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan next week.”

Same idea.

Mike Miller, Chief Operating Officer from Advisors Excel. Thanks for joining us on the Second-in-Command podcast. I appreciate the time.

Thank you, Cameron.

Important Links:

About Mike Miller

SIC 127 | Advisors ExcelMike is also the Chief Executive Officer of the company’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Go Modern. Both Advisors Excel and Go Modern are located in Topeka Kansas. Prior to joining Advisors Excel in 2013, he spent 20 years in the manufacturing industry holding executive positions in operations, finance and corporate development.

Mike has a bachelor’s degree in Finance from Kansas State University and currently serves on the advisory board for the Financial Planning Degree program at Kansas State.

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Written By Cameron Herold

Written By Cameron Herold

Cameron Herold is known around the world as THE CEO WHISPERER. He is the mastermind behind hundreds of companies’ exponential growth. Cameron’s built a dynamic consultancy: his current clients include a “Big 4” wireless carrier and a monarchy. What do his clients say they like most about him? He isn’t a theory guy—they like that Cameron speaks only from experience. He earned his reputation as the CEO Whisperer by guiding his clients to double their profit and double their revenue in just three years or less. Cameron is a top-rated international speaker and has been paid to speak in 26 countries. He is also the top-rated lecturer at EO/MIT’s Entrepreneurial Masters Program and a powerful and effective speaker at Chief Executive Officer and Chief Operating Officer leadership events around the world.