9 Shortcuts That Take Us Nowhere

peach

I used a sharp-beyond-belief CutCo brand pearl-handle serrated knife to bang on and loosen the top of a jar of canned peaches. I removed the lid, thinking Mmm … delicious! That’s when I made a really big mistake.

Not because I’m dumb. I’m actually an Ivy League grad, though I admit to having majored in low B’s.

Not because I’m lazy. I may be slowing down at 57, but I’m no sloth.

Not because I historically have made a ton of mistakes. My life “track record” isn’t all that bad.

Actually, I committed this grievous error because I fell into an all-too-human trap:

Accountability: 9 Questions to Help Me Change Me

How do some people manage to change while others never do?

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Accountability to Change Me

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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!

Pedestals Are For Dead People

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 …

15 Reasons To Ask Questions

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:

Why I’ll Never Go Into the Woods Again!

Poison Ivy 2

Got fear?

I do.

Or maybe I should say fears.

Like any parent—and now grandparent—I do fear the danger our children face “out there” in the world, especially on the road. It’s not stifling, but I’ve expressed it often enough to our kids over the years (now ages 31, 29, 26, 24, 19, 17, and 16) as they’ve reached for the car keys, that they have all nicknamed our residence “WSH”:

Warm Safe Home.

Because, more than once, I’ve been known to say, “Don’t go out! Stay home! It’s safe and warm!”

So now they make fun of me.

Kids.

On a much less serious note, but still terrifying to me, is this:

The Cafeteria COO: How to Lead

“Hello, how are ‘ya?”

“Good to see you!”

“Hey, it’s been a while.”

That’s how lunch went in the dining establishment that was so fancy, so ritzy, that even the napkins were flecked with gold.

As I dined with the top officer of a blue chip insurance firm you would surely know by name (um, if you’re curious, they’re “on your side”), it seemed everyone around us knew him.

We were chatting about the “Personal Accountability and the QBQ!” presentation I’d just completed, and where to take the message of the QBQ! book next inside the organization.

When it was time to leave, we stood, turned toward the front door, stepped slightly to the right, and ….

The 13 Costs of Blame

fire

Organizations that don’t eliminate blame right now are burning money.

That’s my conclusion from working with a bunch of organizations since 1986. In fact, The Question Behind the Question (QBQ!)—a tool for practicing PERSONAL ACCOUNTABILITY—was born as an antidote to blame. Only when individuals engage in accountability, responsibility, and on-the-job ownership will the very real dragons of finger-pointing, culprit-seeking, and blame be slain.

This is when organizations become … outstanding.

But why bother? Does it really matter, this blame thing?

Well, you decide after exploring our itemized list titled …