By Phil Klutts
June 18, 2024

Now Before Next

Discover how to slow down and make the most of what you have now before moving on to the future in this book by Edmondite Jantzen Miller.

Leaders and business professionals constantly face decisions and compromises about where to focus their energy and what ideas to pursue. This battle takes many forms and often causes personal and professional frustrations. Jantzen Miller, my friend and fellow Edmond resident, has written a book on overcoming this struggle and finding success by stewarding the resources we already have. 

Miller wrote “Now Before Next” to share her process of slowing down and making the most of what we have now before moving on to what we want in the future. This book is more than just a step-by-step guide. She shares her personal journey and stories from leaders she has coached. The process is tangible and can be implemented by anyone, especially using the tools and downloadable resources Miller makes available to readers. 

“Now Before Next” uses a stewardship model, but not just as you would think of it for finances or environmental resources. Yes, she defines stewardship as maximizing resources, but she adds a formula to walk through what stewardship means for leaders today. 

Miller says, “Stewardship = Awareness + Discernment + Follow Through.” 

After introducing and defining stewardship, Miller goes on to define and process each part of the equation. Awareness takes up the bulk of the book, 9 of the 17 chapters. Her focus on awareness is justified. Leaders often move quickly in the action phase of any project, forgetting all the resources they already have deployed. 

One of my favorite aspects of this book is that Miller doesn’t pull any punches. There were at least two parts of the book where I felt she was calling me out specifically and demanding more from my leadership. Her audit process and the accountability that comes with it will make a difference for you. “Build it or burn it,” she writes on page 160. Miller challenges each of us to go all in or leave behind what we won’t use. 

The discernment process is next. Miller leans on process and prayer to discern what to move forward with after your awareness. Christians will understand this process. This part may be different for those who don’t follow Biblical faith, but what Miller brings forth is powerful for everyone. The personal values, journaling, and commitment steps will benefit everyone, no matter your faith practice. 

Miller finishes the book with a section on follow-through that will help you implement everything you’ve done in the previous sections. She reminds us to focus on the effort and not just on outcomes. The right outcomes will happen if we put in what we know we should on the front end. She even (rightfully) uses a Michael Jordan example and assigns him the role of GOAT. Throw in a John Wooden reference for success, and this book hits the mark for this basketball lover. 

Trying to find success by chasing more doesn’t work. “Now Before Next” takes leaders through a powerful process to inspire and change how we think about doing our best.

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About Phil Klutts

Phil is an Edmond native and has managed to keep his wife here instead of traveling the world, which they both enjoy. They have two boys who love the outdoors, adventures, and learning new things. Phil is a problem-solver at heart and enjoys connecting people to the resources they need.

In addition to being the co-owner of Edmond Business, Phil founded the CK Group LLC after working for large and small businesses in the Energy, Construction, and Fitness industries. He focuses on helping small businesses and entrepreneurs improve their systems and processes. CK Group LLC's mission is to eliminate chaos and create clarity for small business by connecting vision, strategy, and implementation.