Leadership / Results / Accountability

The maximum effective range of an excuse is zero meters.

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Did you ever ask someone why something went wrong and instead of an answer you get a list of how somebody did this and someone else did that, or stars aligned which resulted in tectonic shifts, and so on and so on?

Right there you know the person you asked either made THE mistake which caused the problem or at least contributed to it. This situation is the classic case of someone ducking personal accountability. It’s a bad thing when a front-line employee does it. When someone in a leadership position does it, it’s mortally dangerous to the organization.


Leadership / Relaxing / Baseball

Friends can recharge you.

mage by No-longer-here from Pixabay

Had a great weekend with friends we hadn’t seen in a few years. I’d forgotten what a baseball nut he was. This guy is like a walking encyclopedia of the sport.

We watched my nephews play a couple of games and all along, Allen was giving me a clinic in the sport. I’m more of a casual consumer of the game. Allen breathes it.

It was wonderful catching up as couples and swapping travel stories of getting lost and the funny experiences that can happen from them. But for me, it was wonderful to hear someone share such passion for…

Leadership / Planning / Time Management

Run your day or it will run you!

Photo by whereslugo on Unsplash

Didn’t make a plan last night for today. I knew I had swim practice for the boys, haircuts for me and one son, transport duty for my aunt to physical therapy, and weightlifting for the boys today. Didn’t get up any earlier. Didn’t skip anything in my regular morning routine. Didn’t have possible clients sketched out to research or contact. Didn’t move the needle for my business.

There were no surprises today. Nothing forgotten and suddenly remembered. Just a failure to prepare, organize, and make things happen.

I’m in business for myself. I only eat what I kill. Sometimes it’s…

Leadership / Values / Courage

Personal Courage isn’t just for the battlefield!

Photo by Stephanie LeBlanc on Unsplash

This is the first in a series of excerpts from my forthcoming book. The book is about applying the Army values to daily life at work. It’s about leadership and it’s about LDRSHIP. It’s how to apply the seven Army values (Loyalty, Duty, Respect for others, Selfless service, Honor, Integrity, Personal courage — LDRSHIP) to the world of business.

Personal Courage: Face fear, danger, or adversity (Physical or Moral).

Personal Courage is not the absence of fear. Rather, it’s the ability to stand up to one’s fears, face them, and overcome them. Personal courage is necessary for you to have Honor, to fulfill your Duty, and to maintain your Integrity

Leadership / Self Improvement / Skills

At least one guy’s opinion.

List by author

I was inspired to write this by Glenn Taylor’s post on LinkedIn. He does a great job of making his stuff fun (which is also one of his Top Ten). There is some overlap but mine are my own (which means nothing because I don’t “own” them!). Let’s go!


This has to be the top leadership skill for me. If you can’t get your ideas across to others, then I don’t see how you can lead them. It doesn’t mean you have to be eloquent or articulate, but you do have to be effective. You have to be able…

Leadership / Teamwork

It screams loudly in its absence

Photo by Rodolfo Quirós from Pexels

Poured eight yards of concrete today for what will become a beautiful pavilion eventually. Right now and probably for this year it will just be a patio. If you haven’t checked lately, the price of building materials has skyrocketed. Literally tripled in many instances. Fortunately concrete has not.

So we hired a guy who does concrete as a side gig. Great guy, but a little less organized than you might want. His skilled help didn’t show this morning so it was one guy who knew what he was doing and me. …

Leadership / Consulting

Sometimes you can see better from the outside.

Image by Felix Lichtenfeld from Pixabay

“Observers are less cognitively busy and more open to information than actors.”

─ Daniel Kahneman, p. 417, Thinking, Fast and Slow

When I was a platoon leader in Germany back in the day, we were often tasked to go evaluate the platoons in another battalion. Before I’d ever done it, I was frustrated by the idea of some other platoon leader telling me what was wrong with my unit. How could an outsider know more about my platoon than I did? How could they tell me how to do things better? I spent every waking moment thinking about platoon operations…

Leadership / Civility / Politics

You can disagree and still be civil.

Had a really enjoyable lunch today with a guy I hadn’t seen in a year or two. We have lots in common including military experience and the importance of family. Maybe that’s why we have such great conversations. We have pretty divergent viewpoints on several major topics but always have an enjoyable visit. I think he’s one of those people who is a naturally good listener. I’m not.

He’s really sharp and has experienced substantial success at several companies. I respect that and see it as excellence in depth. Here’s what I mean by that. When someone who succeeds in…

Memorial Day / Remembrance / Veterans

Memorial Day

Image by Joseph L. from Pixabay

“Let no ravages of time testify to the present or the coming generations that we, as a people, have forgotten the cost of a free and undivided republic.”

Memorial Day began in 1868 with those words by Army General John Logan as he signed the order creating Decoration Day. Decoration Day was named quite simply because that is how we first began recognizing those who died in service to our country: by decorating their grave sites. This continues today as this weekend, soldiers of the Old Guard placed flags in front of more than 260,000 gravestones at Arlington National Cemetery…

Leadership / Commitment / Lead Bullets

Grit your teeth and git’er done.

Friday. It should be the day for winding things up and getting ready to relax. Especially a Friday before a long weekend!

Not so much for me today. We’re building a pavilion and getting ready to pour concrete. Using a guy who does it as a side hustle which is cool but requires more from me. That’s cool too and I’m willing to help to save some money.

In fact, my sons and I dug the footers by hand. Helped me remember why I chose to join the Army instead of becoming a ditchdigger.

My mission today was to get…

Mark McMillion

Retired Army officer with two tours in Baghdad, taught at West Point, married with four kids. Proud West Virginian and West Point grad. Amazon pubs.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store