“Black and white” Defined:
Involving one idea that is clearly right and another that is clearly wrong, so it is not difficult to make a moral decision. (Source: MacMillan Dictionary)
I posted a question on our QBQ! Facebook page and received some surprising responses—at least to me.
In your opinion, are employees responsible for the organization’s profit or is profit a management job?
Readers, can you help us solve a problem???
I received this email from Betty:
“John, the 10 questions for better communication in your blog titled Why don’t THEY communicate better? is Just More Blame really helped me. They also made me reflect on a communication problem we’re having: People who interrupt. Two team members in our department frequently interrupt colleagues during meetings, including the director, who is our boss.”
After reading the rest of Betty’s email (below), essentially describing four scenarios, I couldn’t resist titling them. So the headings are mine, while the descriptions are hers.
Let’s continue with her email:
I bet the maker of this Rice Lake, Minnesota sign was not really saying, “Enjoy your visit to our Port-a-John in the woods!”
But that’s what the sign said to me when I read it.
That doesn’t make me dumb. Nor does it make the sign’s author stupid.
We simply were not communicating.
Communication—it’s a problem … everywhere.
This scene has played out many times in my 29 years of training:
David, an AutoTrader executive, made a very cool statement.
After reading QBQ!, attending a QBQ! keynote at a national conference, and implementing the QBQ! training system with his team—in other words, after he’d been exposed to our message of Personal Accountability in several ways—he said:
“John, QBQ! brings english muffins to mind.”
Chuckling, I responded, “Oh, wow, David, that’s a new one. In what way?”
“Well, the more I immerse myself in the material, the more I find there’s not a ‘nook and cranny’ in my life where I cannot apply QBQ!”
Like melted butter on a warm english muffin, Personal Accountability seeps into every area of my life—if I let it. If “nooks and crannies” represent the roles we play and moments we experience in a lifetime, there just might be 1,000,000 chances to practice Personal Accountability.
My list, like yours, begins with my obvious roles:
Have you heard this?
“If you don’t like the weather, just wait five minutes!”
Sorry to offend those who think their weather is “all that,” but Karen and I have lived in Montana, Missouri, Minnesota, and Colorado since 1980, and in each locale that claim has been made.
Not sure why people think their weather is unique. Maybe it’s a result of growing up in one region of the country and never moving from there. I don’t know.
It’s not a bad thing to say, of course. It’s just … “uninformed.” (Yes, I know, that will offend some. Sorry!)
But there is another uninformed statement people make that is a bad thing to say. I’ve heard it in the computer industry, oil and gas field, funeral home business, faith-based world, and the restaurant market. It’s this:
Every time I think the corporate world has a handle on this “customer service” thing, I hear an anecdote like the one below.
When we wrote Outstanding!—which Dave Ramsey endorsed because he knows how critical it is to not be mediocre—we included at least five chapters that today’s story could have fit into:
Never Forget Who Pays the Bills
Put People Before Policies
Management Sets the Cultural Tone
Keep “The Mission” Top of Mind
Get Actions in Line with Values
But, since Outstanding! is already written, we’ll use it in this QBQ! QuickNote.
In response to our Outstanding Customer Service: Seize the Moment! blog published recently, Paul sent us his story …
1973: At 15, future @QBQGuy – Johnny “the mascot” – doing his job making sister, Lucy, and bro-in-law, Tom, laugh.
There are parallel, if not competing, truths existing in my life:
The alcoholic home I grew up in shaped me in every way.
I am accountable for all of my thoughts, emotions, words, actions, and results.
Recently, on our Raising Accountable Kids Facebook page, a follower posted this question:
As dinner wound down at the well-known steakhouse, our server, Joey, brought dessert and coffee. Now, just so you know, each of us in our party of four loves coffee, preferring it black and DARK.
As Joey walked away, though, we peered into our cups and expressed a collective, “Yuck!”
Have you heard the “hot water with a brown crayon dipped into it” phrase? That’s what we’d just been served.
At $2.95 per cup!
I waved Joey over to express some disappointment and get our small problem solved, but it wasn’t long before I realized I wasn’t going to get what I wanted.
Was he rude, snippy, or combative? No, not at all …
I checked in on Twitter (@QBQGuy) and saw that someone had posted a photo of the QBQ! book, saying, “My next read!”
I was honored.
Then I noticed the rest of the Tweet: “QBQ! is about holding people accountable!”
So I hung my head and sighed.
Don’t get me wrong … I was thrilled for the social media plug. What hit me, though, was this thought:
Nothing has changed.
What hasn’t changed? This myth:
How do some people manage to change while others never do?
Good question! But here’s a better one: How can I change me?
Every human wrestles with change, so to help us find victory in this arena, we’ll share some key questions that can create change in one’s life. But first, a cautionary note.
We’re not going to beat ourselves up. There won’t be any shaming going on here. Change never begins with negative thoughts like, Why don’t I ever change? and What a lousy person I am!
Rather, change happens when I do a “calm, cool, and collected” self evaluation, so I can decide what to do today to change. Let’s get to it!