Lisa Miller: An Authentic Thought Leader

Women

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Coming from a family of confident, vocal and driven people, Lisa Miller grew up with a clear approach in life. From a very young age, she saw her parents run their furniture and auction business with modesty and success by paying immense regard to the customer experience. Lisa’s strong work ethic, ambition, sincerity, and skill laid the foundation for her inevitable success.

Lisa wanted a career with long-term stability. After she finished studying marketing at the University of Northern Iowa, she began her work in hospitality. Her ingrained work ethic, combined with a customer-first mentality, focus on excellence in customer service and differentiating yourself in the market, turned out to be keys to her success in the technology industry. Moving forward, Lisa stepped in the field of technology and began her professional journey at Sprint Communications before she finally moved to Level 3 Communications. Level 3 was later acquired by CenturyLink, where she is President for its $7 billion Wholesale, Indirect, and Small & Medium Business units spanning over 2,400 employees. Consistency, commitment to excellence, competitive nature and an intense focus on the customer for over 30 years in the industry has enabled Lisa to raise her executive platform to a level where she has led global and national organizations. She shares, “I have enjoyed leading global and national sales teams, as well as cross-functional strategic programs to improve sales effectiveness. Throughout my career, there were few women in senior leadership roles. It motivated me to work even harder, produce greater results, be vocal and excel so I could help break that glass ceiling and have a seat at the executive leadership table.” At CenturyLink, Lisa is responsible for driving profitable revenue growth and building strategic partnerships that enhance the position of the company as an industry leader.

“A guiding principle that is very important to me in life is that you should always leave things better than you found them.”

Headquartered in Monroe, Louisiana, CenturyLink has offices in over 60 countries across the globe. CenturyLink provides secure and reliable services to meet the growing digital needs of businesses and consumers through its extensive global fiber network. It delivers hybrid networking, cloud connectivity, and security solutions all around the world and strives to be the trusted link to the interconnected world while placing its focus on delivering technology that enhances the customer experience. Moreover, with its Adaptive Network, IT Agility and Connected Security Solutions, CenturyLink is uniquely positioned to be the preferred, trusted technology partner to serve their customers’ digital demands. Lisa adds, “As the 2nd largest U.S. communications provider to global enterprise companies, we have approximately 450,000 global route miles of fiber, 170,000+ on-net buildings and provide internet or voice services to approximately 6 million consumer broadband subscribers in 37 states. Also, we have the world’s best fiber infrastructure and the ability to scale and grow it at a pace that is unmatched by our competitors. Our fiber network positions CenturyLink for growth in the U.S. and globally, thanks to the continued need for more bandwidth capacity, higher levels of security and the management of applications and services in the cloud. We plan to deploy 4.7 million miles of fiber across the company’s intercity networks in the U.S. and Europe, the first phase of which was completed in June 2019 in 50 U.S. cities. We also added 18,000 new fiber-fed buildings in 2019.” Apart from the aforementioned digital solutions, their services also include voice and unified communications including VoIP, traditional voice, and contact center solutions along with a variety of managed services. Moving forward, Lisa shares, “As CenturyLink looks to transform, I am focused on automating and transforming our sales operations within the Wholesale, Indirect and Small and Medium Businesses to enable continued growth across these segments. This transformation is making it easier for our customers and partners to do business with CenturyLink.”

Lisa Miller, President, Century Link.
Lisa Miller, President, Century Link.

Lisa Miller completely justifies the position she holds, and it is quite evident from her series of professional achievements. Additionally, she has several other accomplishments as an advocate, leader, and mentor for the women in STEM. She helps refine talent by sharing her insight and valuable lessons as well as highlighting the importance of women in technology. Lisa serves as an executive for CenturyLink’s Mentoring Rings, as well as a board sponsor for the Alliance of Channel Women’s mentorship program. She is also a member of Women In Cable. Recently, she was named as one of the CRN 2019 Women of the Channel Power 100, a platform that recognizes women leaders whose vision and influence is a key driver of their companies’ success and instrumental in moving the entire IT channel forward. Lisa’s authentic leadership style paired with her analytical skills help her make well-informed decisions. “I strive to be honest, transparent, passionate and thoughtful in my leadership style. I’ve found that being authentic is the quickest and best way to motivate others to rally to achieve our business goals,” says Lisa. “No matter how many times I moved up in my career, I have always aspired to work harder, achieve more and make it to the next level.” Lisa is aware of corporate pressures and its toll on an individual’s well-being. She quickly points out that “it is important to have a healthy balance between your personal and professional life. This was not always a strength of mine. I now prioritize and protect my time for family and friends. I have learned I cannot be the best Mom, Wife, or President without this balance. You have to feel comfortable trusting and empowering your teams so you can focus and rest.” In order to unwind, she chooses to read a good book or watch a TV show that has no real thinking involved. She chuckles, “A Hallmark movie, home improvement TV shows or a light book are an escape.” Apart from this, Lisa loves spending time with her five grandchildren, her four daughters, and her husband. She says, “I cherish the time spent with my family!”

As a female leader, Lisa has grown with every challenge and encourages women to strive for advancement. She says, “I encourage my female counterparts to join and support as many women and community-focused organizations to make a positive impact. Women leaders have just as big of an impact and it’s time for leadership seats to be filled with confident, successful women. I also want to share with other businesswomen that you are more prepared than you think you are to be successful in business. I often say, “fake it until you make it” and sometimes that is what you have to do. No one is born completely ready for the roles ahead of them — take the chance, go for the job and learn as you grow. Respect your teams, learn from them, be an authentic and transparent leader, and you will flourish. I also want to challenge other women to be more confident, vocal and better negotiators. Be open to listening and learning from others. Be curious about everything you do, be flexible in life. Your career can go down many different paths, so be open to different options. Never take yourself too seriously, as it prevents you from seeing the fun in life. Always treat people with respect and the way you would want to be treated and always assume the best intentions in all your interactions. You deserve the best and you aren’t going to receive it unless you have the confidence to step up and make it happen.”

Lisa is someone who measures her success by the success of her team. She says, “When I am able to lead our team to collective success, while also developing talent, I know that I am driving the right results.” Lisa wants her legacy to speak of integrity, strength, hard-work, and fearlessness. She asserts, “A guiding principle that is very important to me in life is that you should always leave things better than you found them. It will be important to me as I look back that I can say I led successful teams of people to do great things, I did it with the best intentions, with the highest level of integrity. I drove people to challenge themselves, I created a team environment where everyone together accomplished more. I built a thriving environment of inclusion, and had fun along the way. I also will be proud that I was there to give back and to mentor the next generation of leaders. I took the time to help people. If I leave a legacy for these things, I will be very satisfied.”

CenturyLink Technology Center of Excellence in Monroe, LA.
CenturyLink Technology Center of Excellence in Monroe, LA.
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