Thanks to Dave Ramsey’s EntreLeadership team for a new QBQ! interview!

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Lowell, a frustrated headhunter, said to me, “John, do you think Enrico loves black, fizzy water???”

It was 1985 and he was trying to sell me on accepting a specific sales position. I was 27, still with my first employer after graduating from Cornell in 1980, and none-too-happy.

I spent most days staring at my watch. :-(

What Lowell was asking me was, did I really believe the CEO of Pepsi’s beverage division—Roger Enrico, a famous executive at the time—wakes up dreaming of … Pepsi?

I didn’t know.

But I did know this: I would never wake up dreaming of …

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happiness perspective life

I think fads are the funniest things.

Words have mattered since Adam and Eve talked with the snake, yet there’s a movement today focused on choosing a “word for the year.” The goal is to live that word, letting it inspire and guide you.

If you’ve done this and it’s helping you live life better, I say, Yea for you!

Most of the members of the Miller family who still live in this home (we’re down to 4 from 9), chose a fav word on January 1st. 

My wife, Karen, chose “intentional.” The 17-year-old selected “focus”—an excellent choice since she just got her driver’s license. The 16-year-old picked “willingness.”

Good for them. Yesirre, good for them …

Oh, me? What word did I choose?

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Who is Really Accountable for Training?

finally got this concrete out of the Colorado earth—using every tool I own.

But at least I had the tools.

This image provides us a clear message: People can succeed—and usually do—when they have the right tools.

But in this missive, we’re not talking about physical tools like shovels, vehicles, computers, and smart phones—but rather knowledge, skills, and competencies.

And the responsibility for people acquiring tools like these through “training and development” lies with, um, whom exactly?

Two parties.

1) Managers, with whom we share this truth:

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Reactions2

This email came to us just the other day. Enjoy!

Dear QBQ, Inc.—

My manager just took our department through the “Personal Accountability and the QBQ!” training, and I wanted to say thank you! Personal accountability is something I try to integrate into my daily living, but sometimes fail at it.

The QBQ! training came at a perfect time. Not only has it given me a tool to use at work, but at home as a mom.

As most parents know, communication with a teenager is a very challenging mountain to climb—and I was not sure I would ever “reach the top.”

While sitting in the QBQ! session, I received this text from our 17-year-old:

“Mom, there’s no way I can get to the school by 3:15 today to get Johnny.”

My initial reaction was essentially this:

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pedestals

I’ve always enjoyed my laptops, getting a new one every couple years. All PC’s, too. Sony, Toshiba, Panasonic, HP, and Asus.

During that time, though, many people close to me (you know who you are!) have been Apple fans.

Correction:

Raving Apple Maniacs.

Diehard members of The Cult of Mac, all of them.

I’ve never understood it. I mean, I like my laptops, but Mac owners seem to worship theirs.

But, last year I broke down and bought my first Apple machine: an 11” MacBook Air.

I like it—a lot—but I don’t bow down to it. I actually miss some things about my PCs. To me, my MacBook is just another computer.

Sorry, Apple fanatics, I just cannot put my new laptop on a pedestal—any more than I’d put a human being there.

Last week, I got an email from a twentysomething at Dave Ramsey’s organization in Nashville …

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Happy 2015 to all! Our first blog of the year is longer than usual, but worth reading and applying. So grab a cup of coffee and enjoy!

3D Fired Button Click Here Block Text over white background

“Do people fire companies? Yes, they do!”

That was the beginning of an email sent to me by Steve Chamberlin, an executive with Husqvarna. The statement became the theme of our Outstanding! book.

Essentially, we maintain that people fire organizations—but they don’t fire the outstanding ones.

When we wrote the book, we used lots of stories, never knowing that later we’d stumble across one of the clearest examples ever of what happens when organizations are not outstanding.

Our story comes from Michael Miller and his wife, Casey, who run their own business—SunPrairieFilms.com—where being outstanding is imperative for success.

Here is their email to a credit union they left after only a couple weeks. As you read it, ask yourself—and discuss with your team—this critical question:

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accountability is not a fad

As we wind down this year and look toward the next, let’s keep in mind this thought from the QBQ! book:

The old stuff is the good stuff.

I had a colleague years ago who often said this:

“That idea worked so well I stopped using it.”

It was his tongue-in-cheek way of chastising himself for letting good ideas, practices, and habits fall out of his life. Essentially, he was asking this question:

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Do you know that I ask a lot of questions? :-)

And there’s nothing wrong with that, since I’m a salesperson in all ways, and this is still true: Telling ain’t selling!

The essence of effective selling, of course, is asking. And I don’t mean asking for the order—though that’s critical—I mean asking questions.

But this blog is not about selling. It’s about why we ask questions, no matter our role.

But first, a story:

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Beyond some super bad holiday portraits taken in some families (we’ve all seen them!, there are some other holiday traditions that we might want to lose. Read on … enjoy and share!

Whether we plan to travel or not for the holidays, it’s likely we’ll have luggage. Yes, luggage in the form of the baggage of old habits—ones that reduce the quality of this wonderful season.

Are any of the following 13 holiday traditions—or “baggage”—familiar to you?

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