Miller’s Bolt 25th Anniversary

Today, April 17 2022, is the 25th anniversary of the original publishing date of my first book Miller’s Bolt: A Modern Business Parable (ISBN 0-201-14379-8). The first draft manuscript for this book was written in the evening and early morning hours during a 6 week period back in 1993 while I was still in corporate life. It’s route to publication is best described as serendipitous.

Miller’s Bolt was originally published in English for the United States market by AddisonWesley Publishing Company in Reading Massachusetts, and simultaneously published in Canada.

In 1998 Miller’s Bolt was published in Spanish by Editorial Grijalbo, S.A. de C.V. in Mexico (ISBN 970-05-0950-8). Then in 2000, the book was published in Taiwan for the far east market by The Morning Star Group (ISBN 957-583-942-0).

The English language version of Miller’s Bolt remains in print and is still available. I am unsure of the status of the other two versions.

While writing the original manuscript for Miller’s Bolt I had the rare honour of being mentored by Ken Blanchard, one of the pre-eminent business authors at that time. Ken very graciously provided a Foreword for Miller’s Bolt.

In a tough, competitive world there is one nagging thought that keeps gnawing at each of us: “How do I improve my performance.”

If there was ever a parable written for today, it is Miller’s Bolt. This masterful story draws you through its pages with realistic characters and situations and delivers a powerhouse of ideas. Quite simply, Miller’s Bolt is a must read if you genuinely want to improve yourself and the quality of your life. It is more than just another “how-to” manual – it is a creative journey that anyone who hopes to be successful must take. 

There are many personal management books on the market today, but few deliver the goods as effectively as Miller’s Bolt. No dry lectures here. As Thomas weaves this parable, you live the techniques with the characters. You experience their pain and frustration and modern stresses they feel. 

As the story unfolds, Thomas guides you through the performance spiral. It is a simple and logical process that combines time-tested personal management principles with easy-to-use project management skills. Miller’s Bolt reminds us that our performance is never static. We are either getting a little bit better, or a little bit worse every day. It confirms that we cannot conveniently divide our lives into home and work segments. Each part of our life profoundly affects the other. And finally, Miller’s Bolt puts the onus for our performance squarely when it belongs, with each one of us.

So sit back and enjoy the story that Thomas Stirr has created for us. Miller’s Bolt offers you a treasure chest of powerful tools to help you improve your performance right now. Choosing to use them could be the difference between your success or personal obsolescence. 

Ken Blanchard, coauthor, The One-Minute Manager and Everyone’s a Coach.

Sometimes things happen in our lives that are very hard to explain, and can lead us to interesting experiences. For me, my first book opened the door to do executive coaching with a range of wonderful clients, and to speak professionally for a time at various industry and business events.

Those days have long passed but I still have fond memories of them. I still receive royalty cheques for Miller’s Book. As you can imagine after 25 years the joy in receiving those royalties isn’t in the amount of the payments which are very modest, but rather the fact that they still happen at all.

I still have vivid memories of coming home from work after a long commute, having dinner with my family, then spending time with my children. At about 9 PM every week night I would continue writing that first draft manuscript and do so until about 1 AM (I’d set aside longer blocks of writing time on the weekends).

Then I’d hit the sheets until 4 AM when I’d get up to get ready for work. I’d leave the house at 5 AM so I could be in the office for 6 AM to start my work day. My negotiated flex time hours allowed me to leave work at about 4 PM for my commute home. After 6 weeks in 1993 the first draft of Miller’s Bolt was completed. A lot more effort went into it after that initial draft. The book wasn’t published until 4 years later.

Each of us does what we do for those we love and to follow our passions and dreams. During our day-to-day journey, life can often feel like a one way tunnel without a clear reward for our efforts. We can doubt the future and question our efforts. Sometimes those doubts overwhelm us and we abandon some of our pursuits. Dreams die with them.

Once we understand that the rewards of life are in the doing… and not in the outcomes we produce… we can more fully embrace each new day as the incredible gift that it truly is.

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4 thoughts on “Miller’s Bolt 25th Anniversary”

  1. I get it now! In reality your Iron Man. I wouldn’t function for a week after 3 days with only 3 hours sleep and a non-stop schedule for the balance of the day. Kudos to you.

    1. Hi Bill,

      No problem! 🙂 I’ve never needed much sleep… even now in my advancing years 5-6 hours a night works well for me. I was much better in my youth of course. At one point when I first began working I was up for 4 days straight… the reasons for which is another story… suffice to say they weren’t work related. I was able to function pretty well on my first day back to work… but was a basket case for a couple of days after that.


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