Stay Out Of The Ditch: Confront Today’s Values

If you grew up in snow country like I did, you were told that when driving on snow and ice, never turn away from the skid, run from the skid, or ignore the skid. Rather, we were taught to confront a skid aggressively with swift action.

car in ditch final

If your vehicle’s back-end is skidding in the snow to the right, turn the steering wheel hard to the right. If it slides to the left, turn hard left.

When we confront the skid or slide directly like this, we kill our vehicle’s momentum and win back control.

Otherwise, we end up in the ditch.

A Metaphor for Confronting Society’s Values?

This safe driving maneuver is an apt picture for those frustrated by what might be seen as a slide in our world’s values.

Possibly, each of us could directly confront the “skid” we see taking placenot by lecturing, shaming and criticizing othersbut through our own actions.

Our own choices.

In other words, through personal accountability …

The #1 Difference Between Success and Failure

tree success-failurePlanted in the same environment with equal resources and opportunity, one tree thrives (succeeds) while one dies (fails).

Since I’m not a treeologist, I can’t explain it. However, when I walk by these starkly contrasting Colorado pines (still keeping those 43 pounds off!), I’m reminded of the difference between people who find success and those who find failure—even when immersed in the same environment.

It’s this:

People who succeed do the things people who fail won’t and don’t do.

Said another way, success is born of engaging repetitively in the right actions. We call them “good habits”—like these:

The Rough Road Leads to 15 Pearls of Wisdom

Road of wisdom

The expression “You can’t get there from here” is apt for the Miller’s Colorado residence. Sort of.

Though we live on a paved street, it’s impossible to get to our home without driving over a completely neglected, poorly maintained, incredibly lumpy and bumpy dirt and mud road. There’s just no getting around it.

Of course, it’s worth traveling because home is a good place to be.

It occurs to me that our unavoidable patch of rough road is much like growing up—and I don’t mean the obvious growing up that takes place from birth to 20-years-old.

I mean the maturation of our thoughts, emotions, behaviors, beliefs, desires, and needs, as well as our reactions and responses to people and events, that <hopefully> happens from age 20 to, say, 40.

It’s said that youth is wasted on the young, but what about this?:

10 Weight Loss Tips From The Once Fat QBQ! Guy

weight loss

Four years ago today, something yuge happened in my life. Carrying a whopping 195 pounds on my 5’ 6” frame, I walked around the block.

Allow me to define “whopping”: In 1976, as a high school senior, I wrestled in the 132-pound weight class. (a photo and some powerful personal accountability content here)

The reality is, I’d become fat. Yes, fat.

Sadly, the top right April 2012 picture confirms I looked like Elvis in his final days.

But, the day after my walk around the block, I walked to a nearby intersection and back.

Two miles!

I then walked 2 miles the next day, then 3, then 4, and then 5 on some days. Before I knew it, I’d lost 43 pounds—and have kept it off.

I feel a hashtag coming on …

5 Lessons On Achieving Goals You Can Apply Today

goals, goal setting, success

Over the weekend, while watching the NCAA wrestling tourney on TV, I was reminded of my dad, coach Jimmy MillerServing as Cornell’s head wrestling coach for more than 25 years, he oversaw many young men with intense goals. And many of them found success. During those years, he frequently made two comments about semifinal versus final matches.

One interesting, one wise.

17 “If Onlys” and How To Chase Them Away

If onlyIf only I was taller I could reach that cupboard above the fridge!

At 5 1/2 feet, “If only I was taller!” could be a frequent lament for me. But since it’s something I can’t change, I can get around this limitation by grabbing a nearby stool or chair.

Bemoaning, griping, and complaining won’t add a single inch to my stature.

Not to mention any joy to my life.

I also used to whine, “If only I was thinner!” Of course, this was something I could change so … I lost weight.

And this:

“If only my mom hadn’t died when I was a teen.”

No fixing that one.

There are three ways to handle an If Only:

1. Find a workaround (the handy stool)

2. Solve it (walk more, eat less)

3. Let. It. Go. (grieve and move on)

Left unattended, any and all If Onlys waste time, talent, and energy.

Agreed?

Yet, they’re so common. Here are 17 If Onlys:

Humble vs. Haughty—The 5 Truths of Humility

IMG_8188A very fine line exists between humility and haughtiness.

I recently posted this picture of Central Park on our QBQ! Facebook page and wrote this:

Not a bad way to spend a morning, walking Central Park. In Manhattan to teach QBQ! at NBC at “30 Rock” Mon morn.

I knew from experience that posting where I was and why I was there was risky. In 1996, as a young speaker, I was hired to present on the same platform as Lou Holtz, the renowned Notre Dame football coach. Totally excited and enthused, I faxed—yes, faxed—an announcement to my clients.

The next day, a training manager told me that her VP of Sales boss had privately remarked, “There goes Miller grandstanding.”

Ouch.

I suppose I should’ve known better since I’d been taught better …

Accountability: 13 New Year’s Questions For Personal Growth

Answers in questions - Playfair fontHere are 13 questions that challenge me to think hard, which can lead to learning, growth, and change. Each laced with an underlying QBQ! book message of PERSONAL ACCOUNTABILITY, these questions can help to make 2016 outstanding!

1. In 2015, what did I learn about myself that helped me mature?

2. What relationship did I make better and what relationship must I strive to improve?

3. How good am I at helping others feel special and who needs more of this from me?

4. When do I let victim thinking into my life and what are the consequences?

5 Management Mindsets That Kill Training

Learning 2

Allow me to give a “shout out” to some QBQ! training clients. Please bear with me, there’s an important message coming.

Dave Field of Interprint, Inc. in Massachusetts—2005

Debbie Slocum of Husqvarna Construction Products in Missouri—2006

Jeff Clark of Toshiba America Business Solutions in South Dakota—2012

Don Burstow of Burstows Funeral Care in Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia—2015

The dates shown denote when each client began using “Personal Accountability and the QBQ!” training.

I mention these executives because they do what most management folks don’t: