Educated For Success With Jack Miller

Education is at the root of success. A better education can open up the doors for you to find your way and place in the world—the possibilities are truly infinite. Jack Miller is the founder and former President and CEO of Quill Corporation. He joins Dr. Diane Hamilton to discuss why better education is the key to unlocking success. Learn the benefits of a better educational system through this conversation between Jack and Dr. Diane.

TTL 721 | Better Education


I’m glad you joined us because we have the former Founder and President of Quill Corporation, Jack Miller. Quill was acquired by Staples in 1998. Jack continues to do amazing things. He’s a philanthropist and much more. I want to talk to him about what he’s working on. He’s written a couple of books. It’s going to be a great show.

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Educated For Success With Jack Miller

I am here with Jack Miller, who is the former President and CEO of Quill Corporation. He and his brothers grew their company over 40 years from the back room of his father’s poultry shop to the nation’s largest independent direct marketer of office products. They employed over 1,300 people with annual sales in excess of $630 million. Quill was eventually acquired by Staples in 1998. Jack is also the author of some books, including Simply Success and Born To Be Free. He’s an active philanthropist. He has the Miller Center. We’re going to talk about some of that. He’s also established The Foundation for Peripheral Neuropathy and a host of other issues he’s working on. Welcome, Jack.

Thanks for having me on.

I was looking forward to it. You have quite an interesting background. I remember writing a blog years ago about companies that were started in garages and back rooms. You’re definitely in that group of people like Apple where they started somewhere that you wouldn’t have thought of as glamorous and yet was successful. Can you give a little backstory on how you started Quill?

After I graduated college, I spent about five years on the road traveling all over the country from the Mississippi River to the Atlantic Ocean and from Canada to Florida. It was in the food business. I called on dealers who distributed food products. Frankly, that was my MBA in business. I learned a lot. After that, I had a minority interest in the business and it lasted a year. I decided I had to go into my own business. I had to work for myself. I looked around and in that business, I had been selling some briefcases and stuff. I had been calling on some companies in Chicago. I said, “What else do they do? What else do they buy?” They buy office supplies. I said, “I’ll go into the office supplies business.” I had some cards printed up. I put a phone in my dad’s chicken store. I went out knocking on doors. That’s how the business started.

A year and a half later, my brother joined me and 25 years later, my older brother joined me. My younger brother and I kept knocking on doors. We moved from dad’s chicken store into my wife’s uncle’s basement. We cleaned out a coal shed, washed it down, painted it, and that became our office. I’d sent out a penny postal card with a few items listed. I sent it to 150 people or so and I’d called them. We then sent out a one-page flyer, etc. We ended up sending out 50 million, 60 million pieces a year across the country. We started knocking on doors then we began to grow. Our mailings began to get more attention. Soon, we found ourselves inside answering the phones. We had switched into the mail-order business, so much for strategic planning.

You talk about something that is interesting to me because I’ve worked in sales my whole life and taking something from nothing and making it big. A lot of people have a different viewpoint of what sales are. Maybe we had a Biff Loman thrown at us from Death of a Salesman or different things that people have seen where they don’t see the upside to it. Did you always enjoy what you were doing? That’s tough to go knocking on doors.

I’m a stubborn guy. My idea is you set a goal, you put on blinkers and then you keep going. That’s all there is to it. You’re going to knock on doors. You’re going to get turned down a lot. There were days when I’d go out and I wouldn’t get an order. There were other days I’d get an order and that’s great. Gradually you build it up and that’s never changed. It’s never going to change. I don’t care if you knock on doors personally or if you do it through email. Whatever you do, you’ve got to go out there. My late father-in-law used to tell me, “Nothing happens until you get a sale.”

You’re only as good as your last deal is another thing sometimes in sales. Unfortunately, if you can’t keep the sales going, it’s tough. You kept it going. You wrote Born to be Free. That described your role which you’ve learned the founding principles. Are these sales principles? What principles are you putting in that?

The first book that I wrote is Simply Success. That book is based on all of my experiences at Quill and how we ran the company. I personally think it’s a fantastic book for anybody who wants to be an entrepreneur. It’s better than what you’re going to get in college. It talks about everything from what it takes to be an entrepreneur, getting sided with the miracle of hard work, the magic of a vision, concentrate on your customer, focusing, budging and building a great corporate culture. I’m a big believer in culture. It drives everything. Too many people ignore it and let it evolve on its own. That book was all about what things we did at Quill to become successful. We’ve taken those ideas. After we sold Quill, we started a commercial real estate company. We own quite a bit of office property. We applied the same lessons and they still work.

The Miller Center wanted me to write something. I started out and I wrote the book Born to be Free. It’s divided into three sections. The first section deals with what I learned by my close associations with all the professors and postdocs. I’ve gone to every summer institute that we’ve had. We have a ten-day summer institute to teach young postdocs and young professors. My wife and I go to every one of them. I’ve learned a lot being amongst them. I wrote about what I learned about this country and what makes it great. That’s the first section. The second section talks about the Miller Center, what we’re doing, the work that we do, and I explained that fully. In the last section, I wrote about me, about my life and what I did. I’m going to have some pictures in there posing as a bodybuilder and all that stuff. It’s an interesting book.

You posed as a bodybuilder? When was this?

I was in high school and college. I am 91 years old and I still work out with the weights. In high school, I was pushing a lot of weights. One of my friends and I formed an acrobatic act. Throughout college, we performed at county fairs and clubs and things like that. That’s long past. It’s hard standing on my feet, much more with my hands anymore.

[bctt tweet=”You put on blinkers and then you just keep going.” via=”no”]

Every year, it does get more challenging. I didn’t realize you still did so much with the weights. That’s awesome.

I work out every day.

That’s great. At 91, I hope I am too. You’ve got many things that you share. You said a lot of important things. I’d like to go back and touch on how too many people ignore culture. That’s one thing I deal with CEOs quite a bit with because culture at the top will filter down. If we can get a culture of curiosity, we can get away from status-quo thinking and be more innovative, engaged and productive. I’m curious how much curiosity played a role when you lead a company?

It played a good role but not as much as I’ve thought about it. We were always looking for new items. We were looking for better ways of doing things and better ways of operating. To that extent, it was good. What I learned later, I could have been the Amazon before. I was Amazon before Amazon was Amazon. We had about 600,000 customers across the country, all types. I thought we were in the business of selling office products. After we sold the company, I realized that we were in the mail order business and office products was one of our products. We could have gone into shipping room supplies in a big way. We could have gone into a lot of other things in a big way, a lot of other products.

We did get into break room supplies like coffee and things like that. Coffee eventually became the biggest selling item that we had. If we would have done that, if I would have been more curious about what else we could be doing, I would have spent less time working on the details of the business and more time thinking about what we could do, what assets we had, and how we could use them. We could have grown much bigger than we were. We were a debt-free company. I only borrowed money once in the beginning and I hated the experience. We grew Quill in retained earnings. We never borrowed money again.

You talk about what it would have taken and that you could have been the next Amazon. I’m curious what would it have taken? Would it have been readjusting your mission and vision statement? What would you tell another CEO who doesn’t see the big picture like what you think you can see now?

It wouldn’t have taken much. All it would have taken was to look around and see what other products companies and customers were buying, and selecting the biggest selling items that were in these other lines and adding them to ours. It’s targeting the audience even at that time before all the database marketing was becoming popular. In other words, if we are shipping room supplies, we could send it to our wholesalers and manufacturers. We would not send it to lawyers or accountants. We could have done that. We had the money. We had plenty of cash to get into other things. We had nine distribution centers around the country. We could easily have added more lines.

I’m wondering, why do you think Jeff Bezos of Amazon was able to become successful? What did he do that you didn’t? Do you think he was able to see something different than anybody else? Was it timing? What do you think was it?

He understood what was going on with the online business. He understood that he could become a middleman and be a place where people could go to and get about anything they wanted. He had that vision. He started out with selling books. I started out with office products. Instead of me sticking with office products, he realized he wasn’t just selling books. He had a platform where he could sell a lot of other items. He had a vision and I wish I had that vision.

Do you think that if you had waited to sell you might have come up with something else? Do you think you sold it at the right time? How do you know? A lot of people are waiting to be unicorns and waiting to sell. How do you know when to sell?

In our case, Staples had been after us for a long time. They wanted to buy us. I didn’t want to sell. I wanted to have the business, own it myself and run it myself our way. My older brother came down with a quite serious cancer. He survived that for a few years. One day he says, “I’m tired. I can’t do it anymore.” He wanted to leave. My younger brother said, “I’m tired of sweeping the floors.” He swept the floor for 35 years. He wanted out. I said, “I don’t want to be responsible for both of your family’s wealth.” We decided to sell. Another piece of it was while many of our kids worked in the business, none of them wanted to run the business. We had no family to pass it on to. We decided to sell. We were fortunate. We sold at the peak of the office products business. After we sold it, it started going down as people got to using computers, more paperless and so on.

You had great timing. Did you stick around or was that it? Did you get out at that point?

TTL 721 | Better Education
Better Education: Many people tend to ignore the effects of culture, even though it filters down from the top to the bottom of a company.


They asked me to stay around. I agreed to stay for a couple of years. Thomas Stemberg wanted me to sign a contract. I said, “No. If I take you off, you would fire me. If you aggravate me, I’ll quit.” That was our agreement. I stuck around for two years.

I like that agreement. Your family didn’t want to run the business. Younger generations don’t necessarily have the same visions that their parents do. We’ve got a lot more work-life balance discussions. What do you think about the generations and the changes that you’ve seen in this balance of life? Where does that fall in what you think leaders need to focus on?

If all you want to do is make a living, then you can have a balanced life. If you want to be successful, you’ve got to work like hell. You grab whatever time you can on the other stuff. I always work 10 to 11 hours a day. I was in on Saturdays for half a day. It was the way that I did it. It led to our success. My brothers did the same and it’s fine. My wife was a big commercial real estate broker. She did the same thing. She was a single mom. She worked all the way through. My late wife passed away many years ago. Goldie, who I’m married to, was a major real estate broker. She had the same thing. She worked all the time. In fact, on a trip that we took early on, she was on the phone most of the time. We were down in one of the Caribbean islands and she was on the phone most of the time. The younger generation, I don’t quite get it. People are going to be fairly successful if they work hard.

Like your wife, I’m always working. I’m always on the phone when I’m on vacation. A lot of people don’t necessarily have that same idea of how work should be. Different generations have different ideas of when they are going to retire, if we’re going to retire. It doesn’t sound like you necessarily have retired because you’re doing all these other things. You invested millions of dollars and time in this Jack Miller Center for teaching. Tell me a little bit about that. Would you consider yourself still working because you’re still doing work with them? What is that center? What do they do?

I still work about 5, 6 hours a day at least. It’s either in my home or office up north. I’m about ten minutes away from it. When we’re down in Florida during the winter, I have my office in the house in Florida. I’m still working and I’m working hard. I’ve hired somebody to help me with the freedom initiative as I call it. Thank goodness because we’re doing much more. I started the Jack Miller Center many years ago. An organization that I’ve been donating to came to me and wanted more money. Out of the spur of the moment I said, “I’ll give you a hell of a lot more than you’re asking for if you start a program teaching our founding principles and history onto college campuses.” They agreed to do that. They started it. I wrote them a big check. Three years later, I decided I didn’t like to be within their organization. The people who were working in their organization agreed to go with me and set up a separate 501(c)(3), which became the Jack Miller Center.

When I started, we had a meeting with about 50 professors from around the country to tell them our idea that we wanted to get this teaching back onto college campuses. They said, “You won’t be able to do it. The other professors will block you.” We came out of there with some good ideas. We developed a plan. We put the plan into action. Starting from nothing, we now have over 900 professors in our network. We have programs in over 300 campuses across the country. We have passed the mark of teaching our one millionth student in 2020. If you get down to the basics, we take young postdocs and young professors. We have a ten-day program with them. We have two of them a year and has 50 professors a year. We have young postdocs. They’re taught by and meet some of the best professors in the field.

We work from original documents. We read John Locke. We read The Federalist Papers. We read Tocqueville, all of the thinkers and people who brought us to what we have in America and what our founders wanted. We go through all of that. We then help them get jobs on campus. They’ve become part of our network. Our network of professors helps them get jobs, help them get positions, and help them in their careers. When they’re on campuses, we help support them when they have programs beyond the classroom. That’s what we built. A few years ago, I kept hearing about, “You’ve got to start earlier.” One professor told me, “We used to have to wait until the kids got to college, until some of the professors started teaching socialism. These days, they come into college thinking socialism is great.” The school systems have virtually kicked out the teaching of our founding principles and our history in a sympathetic and empathetic way. We want to get it back into the schools. We want to get it back into the high schools. It’s simple.

Our country has a mission statement. It’s in the second paragraph of the Declaration of Independence. All men are created equal. They’re entitled to their life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness. That’s our mission statement. Our history is simply the story of trying to reach that vision statement. Sometimes we make mistakes. Sometimes we do the right thing. Eventually, we get to it. We’re closer and closer to realizing that vision. It should be taught to our young people about how great our country is and how fantastic that vision is. It’s all about individual liberty, individual freedom, individual rights of property, which is the definition of the pursuit of happiness. It’s a great country.

One of our people on our board of directors, Wilfred M. McClay, a professor out in Oklahoma wrote a fantastic history book, Land of Hope. It’s an unbelievable history of the United States. It tells the story, wars and all. It’s designed for high school students or freshmen university students, but high school students in civics. Another book that’s being used is A People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn, which looks at American history through the eyes of slavery, how bad America is, how terrible it is, and the whole bit. That’s what the kids are using. In some high schools, they’re even using New York Times 1619 Project which talks about America through the eyes of slavery only.

I write about perception. I teach ethics and business in different courses that deal with John Locke and different things. Do you think the class could be a counterpoint looking at both aspects of Zinns’ and McClays’ for critical thinking?

You can look at both of them. You can look at the questions involved. You certainly can look at the question of slavery. How did it come about? Why did our founders not illuminated when we founded the country and so on? You can even read The Federalist Papers. You can read The Anti-Federalist Papers, which our young postdocs read to understand why our country did this and why our constitution was what it was.

In my research in perception, I found it interesting how people continued to read the things that support their values, whether we liked one side or the other. I would like to see a lot more counterpoints being made in education so that you cannot get just the Fox News or CNN News. It was not like that when I was young. We just had news. It was a lot different in the day.

[bctt tweet=”If all you want to do is make a living, then you can have a balanced life.” via=”no”]

I used to listen to Walter Winchell. That’s way back. It was just news. Now it’s more commentary than news. Take our founding principles and compare them with socialism, with Marx or whatever. They’ve got to stand on their own. You should read what our founders read to understand what we’re lacking in society. John Locke has to read his first two treaties. Read it and understand it and then look at socialism, look at communism, and see which type of society is best and which one gave individuals the most freedom. It’s been kicked out of our schools. In college, you can graduate as a history major never studying American history.

I don’t think I took a single History class in college. My degree is in business. I have a PhD in business. It’s interesting to see the value of college degrees and university degrees. Any of this is changing into more bite-size pieces of content. We’ve got YouTube. We’ve got different things where people are looking everything up. You can Google everything. I’m curious, what do you think the future of education is? I know you’re starting to conclude high school civics teachers. You’re trying to expand this. Do you think that higher education is going to remain as it is if in the past, CEOs valued a higher level of education? Now we will be the certificate society. Where’s the glue of the humanities, the ethics, the different soft skills that we learned?

I’m like you. When I went to college, I had proficiency data of English and math. I got six credit hours before I started. I worked my way through and I carried 21 hours a semester versus a fifteen-hour basic program. I graduated in 3.5 years. It was business and I never had time for philosophy or history or anything else. If I would have taken liberal arts education, I would have been better off.

Do you think you need both?

Anybody who’s taking courses, they want to be an accountant or a lawyer. They have to take certain courses. The liberal arts teach you why you’re living. The other stuff teaches you how you live and how you make a living. The future of college education is in for a big adjustment. You can’t give money to a university. If you give money to a university and say, “Here is a $10,000 check. Here’s a $1 million check,” you’re absolutely wasting it. You don’t know what they’re going to do. The college you graduated may not be the college it is now. The college now is not the college you graduated from. What they’re teaching, the philosophy that they’re teaching their kids, the culture, it simply isn’t the school you graduated from. If you’re going to donate money to a college, you have to donate it to a cause. You have to understand what it is. You have to make sure that they’re used that way. Donors waste so much money. It’s unbelievable.

Why not open your own college? Why not have a not for profit or a private university?

Let’s twist it around another way. Let’s say you want to be an accountant. You can go to a trade school to learn all you need to do and all you need about accounting. If you want to be a lawyer, you do that. If you want to be a journalist, you do that. You can have a trade school type. In colleges, their original concept was a liberal education. I have nothing against the idea of trade school type of teaching. That’s fine. Liberal education is critical. I got my liberal education after I got out of college. I began to expand my reading and so on.

When I went to college, we never had demonstrations. We never had all of that stuff. You went to school. You went to class. You worked. A lot of people had good times. I was too busy. Now, they’ve got courses about women, gender courses, they’ve got black courses, they’ve got this and that and everything else that have nothing to do with either making, working or getting a liberal education. You’ve got more people working at the administrative position on campus than you have professors. They’ve got people to support if somebody says something on campus. If there’s another student that feels, “That hurt me,” they go running to somebody at school to get some commiseration.

The schools have a tremendous overburden of expenses. They keep raising tuition instead of looking at how I can be more efficient and better. There’s got to be a time when that has to stop. Donors have to begin to look at it and demand some results for their donations. Donors who wanted to do things in our area come to the Miller Center and say, “I’d like to do this at my alma mater. I’d like to have the teaching of the founding principles of American history at my alma mater. Can you help me?” The money funnels through us and we make sure that it can be done on the campus and that there are professors who will teach it. We check up on it constantly and then we help support it. Otherwise, if you write a check to the university, the university does what it wants with it.

Having worked as an MBA program chair, I know the development of curriculum of how it goes through the process at least in certain universities. How do you have any influence on that with your group that you’ve started? Don’t you have to have the dean or the program chair or whoever’s writing the curriculum determine if they want to be credited and certain things have to be met? How do you deal with all of that?

Universities don’t quite work that way. The way we do it is that we find a professor on campus who is sympathetic with what we want to do. Through that professor, we start with them developing courses. Professors decide what they want to teach.

Are you saying universities like public universities?

TTL 721 | Better Education
Better Education: All men are created equal. They’re all equally entitled to their life, liberty and pursuit of happiness.


Yeah. If enough students want to take their course, then they teach it. We go through the professor. We don’t go through the administrators. We don’t go through the president, board of regents or anything like that. We start at the ground level and build from there.

Do you ever get any backlash above them? People who listen about what the courses are taught that give them any pressure not to teach certain things?

It’s not. I’ll tell you why. We go in and we follow this strictly. We say, “We want to enrich what you’re offering your students.” We don’t want to teach from a book like Howard Zinn’s book where you’re getting his bias on something. We want to teach from the founding documents. We want students to know what John Locke said, what Montesquieu said, and what all of the thinkers back then said. We want them to read and understand the discussions that went on at the Constitutional Convention. We want them to read The Federalist Papers. We don’t want them to read somebody’s opinion about what went on. That’s the way we attack it and it works well.

It’s interesting to see people who are successful in where they guide their philanthropy. I’ve interviewed Craig Newmark from Craigslist or Keith Krach from DocuSign, all these billionaires. I see how they focus on giving back. Did you always think this was going to be where you would go with your philanthropy? How did you fall into this?

Like anything else, we started small. Many years ago, we sat down around the end of the year, my wife and my two daughters. When they got married, with their husbands, we took everything that we put in a basket during the year and we started going through it and say, “Do you want to give to this? Do you want to give to that, etc.?” We have a foundation with professional staff. We divide our giving up. I want to give so much to the Jewish community. I want to give so much to the liberty freedom, which by the way is the biggest bucket, so much to medical, and so on as a percentage of the total. What we have become is we’ve become more entrepreneurial. In other words, the Jack Miller Center is like a business and I treat it like a business.

I started The Foundation for Peripheral Neuropathy, a condition that I’ve had for many years as an entrepreneurial effort. My wife wanted to start an initiative for women in real estate. She has The Goldie Initiative. She has 100 women that have graduated from the Master’s program in real estate. She wants women to be in the corner office and real estate firms. Her daughter who was running her foundation started something to train boards of directors and foundations of 501(c)(3) organizations. She got involved in it that she said, “This is what I want to do.” We were funding it all along. We funded it more and she started on her own. We’re entrepreneurial in what our major money goes to.

I talked to another guest about the women on boards. What do you think about the changing viewpoint of having more women serve on board of directors?

My wife, of course, pushes for that a lot. As far as I’m concerned, whether it comes to women, blacks, greens, or whatever you want, I want the talent. I wouldn’t go out and say, “We’ve got to have four women on the board of directors that we’re going to criticize.” If we find people who are competent and they happen to be women, that’s fine and that’s what we want. My wife said that she was extremely successful because she was a real estate broker and she happened to be a woman. Not that she was a woman and therefore she became successful.

When you look for board positions, most of what they’re looking for is people with CEO experience, and most of the CEOs were older white men. How do you get the women in there if they don’t get the experience? It’s a catch-22 a little bit sometimes.

It is a little bit. Women do have a more difficult problem. A lot of them don’t become CEOs because they have children. They take time out to raise their children and then they go back to work. They missed a couple of rungs in the ladder. There are a lot of successful women around. There also are a lot of women around who have spent time in the field with various 501(c)(3) and who have grown up and become the heads of boards in those organizations and would certainly be competent to serve on the boards.

It’s a tough time. Things are changing. You’ve seen a lot of different changes. My father would have been 100 had he lived. He was born nearly blind because my grandmother had the Spanish flu while pregnant with him. We’re seeing something similar that we haven’t seen since that time with the COVID. Has this surprised you, the way we’ve handled this? How would you describe these times compared to anything you’ve seen?

A lot of people aren’t going to like my answer. I think we’re dumb. We committed economic suicide. They rushed in with a sledgehammer on the COVID virus. I can understand it. It’s scary. They didn’t learn fast enough. They closed everything down. What we know and we should have known early on is that they should look at people like me, “Jack, you’re 91 years old. You better stay at home and not mix with people because you’re in danger.” Look at people who have underlying diseases, etc. For young people, and when I say young, anybody less than 60 or less than 55, we could have kept our economy open. Because New York City has a tremendous amount of COVID-19, there’s no reason to shut down parts of New York where there are few people. Chicago, Cook County, has a big outbreak of it. Most of Illinois has a wide open farmland and people live miles apart. It was handled over harshly. We’ve harmed ourselves a great deal.

[bctt tweet=”A lot of women tend to get passed up on opportunities to become CEOs because they have children.” via=”no”]

It’s going to be interesting to see the impact. It’s a hard decision. I certainly would not want to be the one making the decisions at this time.

I said the same thing. Thank God I’m not the guy that has to make the decisions.

It’s hard. You deal with what you know and then in hindsight, it’s always going to be 2020. It’s challenging and I know it’s hard. My husband is a plastic surgeon. Never in a million years did I think he wouldn’t be able to operate. There are things that have happened. I’m not in New York where you’re on top of each other going in elevators with people. It’s a fascinating and horrible thing to research it. I was curious how you thought this recession will play out versus what other recessions you’ve lived through.

I have no idea. We own a lot of real estate office property. All you’re hearing is, “They’re going to need less office space because a lot of people are going to work from home.” On the other hand, you hear that they want to have distance between workers. You’re no longer going to be able to pack them in like sardines, which has been the big issue for many years where companies wanted to maximize the use of the space. They’re going to need more space. We’re looking at buying a building and the question is, “Should we do it?” Who knows what’s going to happen in the business? Nobody knows. No one knows. I talked to some of the smartest people and they don’t know. Anybody that says they do is guessing.

It’s a tough and difficult situation to try to assess. I was curious to get your insight because you’ve done many things. Your company was successful. You continue to write these amazing books and to be involved in philanthropy. I know you’ve won all these awards, Business Hall of Fame and Entrepreneur of the Year from Ernst & Young. They are high-level awards. For a good reason, you did some amazing things. I was interested in hearing your story. I know you don’t do a lot on social media. Do you have a website? Do you have a way you want people to follow you or just find your books on Amazon? What would you like to share with people?

My books are on Amazon. I’m not going to give my email address because I get too many emails. I do have a LinkedIn and Twitter profile. You have the contact information for that. If people start writing to me and asking me questions, whatever they want, I’ll pay more attention to those. I’ll start writing on those.

They can find the Jack Miller Center by going to the Jack Miller Center website. and then you can get to the Jack Miller Center. We’re doing a tremendous thing in Florida, Texas, and in Wisconsin, where we’re starting statewide programs to teach the high school teachers in those states. If we’re successful in those states, we’re going to expand it into other states. It’s a major program that we’re working with Ashbrook Center and the Bill of Rights Institute. The three organizations have put together an extremely robust program for high school teachers. It will probably be online, to begin with, until this Coronavirus thing is over. We’re doing a lot.

At 91, you’re not slowing down at all. It’s amazing.

I have known since middle school and I see friends of mine who are retired, who are bored stiff. Down in Florida, they spend their entire lives putting golf and bridge and going out to eat and talking about politics.

It doesn’t interest you, I could see that. You’re a doer and I like that. It’s much more interesting to me too to get out there and get involved. You’ve done some interesting things. Congratulations on all the successes in your life. Thank you so much for sharing your story on the show. This was fascinating.

TTL 721 | Better Education
Better Education: In education, the Liberal Arts teach you why you’re living, and the rest teach you how to work.


Diane, I certainly appreciate it and I’m happy to share.

Thank you.

I’d like to thank Jack for being my guest. We get many great guests on this show. If you’ve missed any past episodes, they’re all at We list all the stations where we air, AM/FM and podcast and all that on the radio part of the website. Also, we have tweetable moments. If there was something that resonated with you, feel free to share that on Twitter. We’d love to hear what insights you had from the show. If you’re looking for more information about Cracking the Curiosity Code or The Curiosity Code Index assessment, you can get it on that site as well. You can go right to it if you go to Organizations are giving The Curiosity Code as they would maybe if you think of how they give emotional intelligence tests or DISC or engagement surveys. It’s important to develop curiosity to improve innovation, engagement and so much more that leads to productivity.

If you want to know more about my speaking or consulting or any of that, contact me through the site. You can contact me directly at my email, I’m happy to answer any of your questions. I get many great guests on the show. It’s inspiring to hear all the work that Jack has done throughout his career and continues to do. If you’ve missed any of the great guests who have shared their amazing stories of their companies and the takeovers and everything, there are many. I know I’ve interviewed enough for more than 500 shows. Usually, there are two people on the show. It’s in the 1,000 and up range of how many people have been on the show. There’s great content. If any of you are looking for past episodes, all you have to do is search at the top left bar on the blog for any topic that you might be interested in and we’ve talked about it on this show. It’s something to think about. I hope you enjoyed this episode. I hope you join us for the next episode.

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About Jack Miller

TTL 721 | Better EducationThe founder and former President and CEO of Quill Corporation, Jack Miller and his brothers grew their company over 40 years from the back room of his father’s poultry shop to the nation’s largest independent direct marketer of office products. Employing over 1,300 people with annual sales in excess of $630 million, Quill was acquired by Staples in 1998.





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