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Meet Acie McMillan


We’re excited to introduce you to the always interesting and insightful Acie McMillan. We hope you’ll enjoy our conversation with Acie below.

Hi Acie, thanks for joining us today. Naming anything – including a business – is so hard. Right? What’s the story behind how you came up with the name of your brand?

When I was young my favorite show was Dragonball Z. While everyone navigated towards the lovable protagonist Goku, I was always more fond of the then antagonist Vegeta. Vegeta was the prince of all Saiyans, an ELITE warrior sent to conquer inferior planets. While it seems as though Goku could reach new levels effortlessly, Vegeta always had to train extra hard to top Goku and was more than willing to work harder than ever before to push himself to reach new heights. I think I always liked Vegeta more because I felt as though I related more to him. I understood his desire to be the best. My whole life I had been the underdog. I made it up in my mind at a young age that I would do whatever necessary to improve my situation. I refused to let anyone outwork me!

When you think of the word ELITE you associate it with being the best. After graduating college I became a production supervisor. As a young supervisor I had to establish my identity and my teams identity. Remembering my favorite character, I adopted the acronym E.L.I.T.E. as our DNA. It stood for: Execute no excuses, Leadership, Innovation, Teamwork, and Excellence. ELITE was the standard for any team I led.

After years of speaking, 2019 provided the perfect opportunity to finally establish my brand. As I continued to speak I would motivate the world under my own brand. And thus, The Elite Standard was born.

Awesome – so before we get into the rest of our questions, can you briefly introduce yourself to our readers.

I was born and raised on the westside of Detroit. I grew up in a single parent home where I watched my mother work multiple jobs in order to provide for me and my siblings. I was the oldest so I assumed responsibility at a very young age. I learned to work hard and the value of hard work. There were no participation trophies; either you did it or you didn’t. I knew I had to grind for everything and was instilled in me.

Over the years I was told that my voice carries. Even in elementary school I had a commanding voice. I was always high energy with a loud out-going personality. My teenage years would prove to be trying times for me. Like many around me, it didn’t take long for me to become a product of my environment. I did the things I saw in my neighborhood like sell drugs and gang-bang. After deciding to want more out of my life and making a conscious decision to change my future, many admired the change and just how far I had come. I started being asked to tell my story and before I knew it I had a knack for helping people.

My company The Elite Standard is a personal/professional development company geared towards helping people become ELITE! On one side I provide motivation via speaking engagements, online videos, one-on-one sessions and more. I have spoken in front of both small and large groups in many different settings from schools to corporate rooms. The other side of The Elite Standard focuses on helping leaders become better leaders especially in a operations setting. I graduated from Michigan State University with a degree in supply chain management. Since then I have had the opportunity to work for and lead teams for some of the largest companies like Amazon and Walmart. Currently, I am the General Manager for one of the top 3 wholesale distributors of activewear in the U.S. I lead hundreds of associates daily and have an impressive track record developing leaders. It’s safe to say I know a little bit about leading teams so I use the experience I have gained over the years to help others.

What sets me apart from others is that I execute: no excuses. I help others to do the same. I take a forward approach when it comes solving problems and getting things done. I take great pride in helping people and if I’m lucky, the work that I do/have done will continue to inspire others to do better and help someone who will then do better and help someone else.

Any advice for managing a team?

My advice for managing a team and maintaining high morale is having high engagement. As a leader you have to be in the know. You have to know your business and most importantly you have to know your people. Everyone is different and are motivated in different ways. Knowing what those “levers” are allows you to bring the best out of your team members.

Are there any books, videos or other content that you feel have meaningfully impacted your thinking?

I can’t give you a single source that I would credit to my way of thinking. I listen to smart people. I pay attention to people like Eric Thomas, Shawn Carter (Jay Z), Simon Sinek, Daymond John, etc. that has already accomplished everything that I am trying to accomplish. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel of experience lessons that someone else has already experienced for me. Will I always use 100% of everything I hear? Of course not, but I will digest it and pick out the things I find most useful. I take my learnings, apply where applicable, and bet on myself. As long as I do that, there is no way I can lose.

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