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!
Every time we visit our friend’s Colorado Alpaca ranch, I note these animals do a lot of standing around, as if they’re waiting for someone to tell them what to do. Look at the photo above that I shot. Don’t you agree they could be thinking, What should we do now?
To me, they appear to be slightly odd, inaction-prone creatures who probably don’t get much done each day.
I suppose that’s fine for an Alpaca herd. We just wouldn’t want it happening—or should I say, not happening—in our organizations.
Can you imagine people getting paid to work X hours but spending some of that paid time asking Incorrect Questions (IQs … quick tutorial) like these?
Thanks to Dave Ramsey’s EntreLeadership team for a new QBQ! interview!
Click & scroll
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 …
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?
I 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?
1) Managers, with whom we share this truth:
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:
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.
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 …
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!
“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: