Powerful Mentoring: What Mentors Really Do

Mentee John Miller — Mentor Jim Strutton

Mentee John Miller — Mentor Jim Strutton

On a frigid Minnesota January eve, I sat on the edge of the hotel suite couch. Leaning forward, I was working to make a good impression.

It was 1986 and was 27.

When the interview ended, the 6’ 3” sales manager from Atlanta looked down at 5’ 6” me and said, “John, you will make someone a fine sales rep.”

As the door closed behind me, I thought …

“My boss isn’t perfect! What should I do?”

businessman screaming with flames coming out of his mouth

Last month we published this piece: It’s a NO EXCUSES Moment For Management

Some of you asked, “How should Mandy have handled it?”

Well, here’s what you do when you don’t have the perfect boss.

Our story is about a subordinate/boss or, if you prefer, associate/team leader relationship. If you’re in one of those roles, or ever plan to be, read on …

From Rob, a reader of the QBQ! book:

5 Questions Only People With Careers Can Answer YES!

Watch John G. Miller teach this blog on Periscope here!

Follow QBQ! on Periscope using @QBQGuy


A tall, white-haired fella stopped, smiled, and pointed at the center seat to my left. As I looked up at him—way up—I decided Tall Man was my inverse. I’m 5’ 6” and he had to be 6’ 5”.

Someone else may have offered this gent the roomier seat. However, with a 4-hour flight on the horizon, I decided to maintain ownership of my exit-row, aisle spot. Selfish me.

Tall Man signaled me to stay put and then stepped over me with ease. Moments later, the “Why were you in NYC?” conversation began …

9 Shortcuts That Take Us Nowhere


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?


Accountability to Change Me


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


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 …

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.


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