5 Things You Should Know About Leaders

5-2Since we all love a good list, let’s get right to it! Leaders are …

ACCOUNTABLE

Funny thing about leaders and living accountably—they don’t talk about it, they do it. Just as the truly humble don’t boast about how self-effacing they are, leaders don’t run around proclaiming that they take total ownership for their actions, results, and life. They simply live life sans blame, whining, victim and entitlement thinking, being offended all the time, or making excuses. Now that is leadership!

Have you achieved accountable living?

The One Thing Accountable People Know

That 1 ThingProspecting by phone for many years, I learned that sometimes executives answer their own line. However, upon hearing me ask for a moment of their time, they’d bark, “I’M IN A MEETING!”

I learned to handle that objection, but it baffled me. My unspoken thought was—THEN DON’T ANSWER YOUR PHONE!

Not unlike someone complaining just the other day, “Your text woke me from my nap!”

THEN TURN OFF YOUR PHONE!

These small but real scenarios actually demonstrate the value in learning to ask “The Question Behind the Question” (QBQ) and bringing greater PERSONAL ACCOUNTABILITY into one’s life.

The one thing accountable people know is this:

Do RIGHTS Trump RESPONSIBILITIES?

Cardenas
As the Denver Seminary leaders handed well-earned degrees to countless grads yesterday, with only one grad important to the Millers—son-in-law, Ricardo, who received a Master of Divinity. Congrats, Ricky!—my mind wandered.
 
But after a while, I picked up on a phrase employed repetitively:
 
“We now confer this degree upon you and with it all of the RIGHTS and RESPONSIBILITIES … ”
 
Hearing these words, questions filled my mind: Have we lost the second “R” word? Do RIGHTS trump RESPONSIBILITIES?
 
For the privilege of living in the greatest country in the world, aren’t there some things I am RESPONSIBLE for?
 
You know, stuff like:

Victim Thinking Serves Nobody!

whiny

Ever made statements like these?

  • My kids don’t listen to me. It’s not fair. (Read: Parenting the QBQ Way)
  • The bank sold us a mortgage we couldn’t afford. It’s not fair.
  • I didn’t get the promotion/raise I expected. It’s not fair.
  • Others don’t work as hard as I do. It’s not fair.
  • My boss doesn’t communicate very well. It’s not fair.
  • They cut our benefits. It’s not fair.
  • My staff isn’t motivated. It’s not fair.
  • My co-workers are difficult. It’s not fair.
  • We can’t find people who want to work. It’s not fair.
  • I’m buried in student loans. It’s not fair.
  • The neighbors have a new boat/car/pool. It’s not fair.
  • The referees were awful and we lost the game. It’s not fair.

The truth is, no one is promised “fairness.” Humans make hurtful comments, accidents occur, events take a turn we don’t expect, others are blessed with talents we lack, things happen out of our control.

Sometimes WAY out of our control—like on May 20, 1975 …

Master Money Manager Millennial Molly

MollyDid you hear our Broncos won Super Bowl 50? Well, the next day there was a scramble for championship jerseys here in Denver. Miller daughter Molly—Child #4 of 7—ran to Dick’s Sporting Goods and grabbed one for hubby, Ricardo.

But it was too small. When she returned it, the jerseys were gone.

So just the other day Molly popped onto eBay and found one. She bid, waited—and got it! Whoo hoo! Her real excitement, though, was evident when she said this:

“And, Dad, I made a profit of $9!”

I chuckled. “Profit”—that’s funny.

Most people might say, “And on eBay it was $9 less”—or something like that. But not Master Money Manager Millennial Molly … Cardenas.

Originally the youngest of four till Karen and I adopted three girls below her in age, and the child who NEVER got a joke growing up, we NEVER thought she’d be the one to someday:

Work: Still the Right Thing to Do

Easter 2016We had a plan: All 13 Colorado Millers would head to downtown Denver for a special Easter brunch at The Capital Grille. We even thought ahead, securing reservations weeks ago!

On Thursday night, however, child #6 of our seven—age 18—learned she was scheduled to work at King Soopers Marketplace on Easter afternoon. Employed since June, she has worked there throughout her entire high school senior year.

Bummer, though—because nobody wanted her to miss out. We all felt crummy about it.

But, she worked. While the rest of this crazy clan enjoyed food, fellowship, and fun, she did her job.

That’s life.

Sound harsh?

Personal Accountability: Doing My Job

Do-you-job2I asked our twentysomething daughter, Molly, who has served as captain of soccer and basketball teams, “Molly, in your opinion, what makes an effective team?” I was honestly just curious what she’d say; it wasn’t like I was doing book research! But I loved her answer: “Everyone taking care of their own stuff, Dad. Everybody working hard at doing their job.”

Perfect. So her outstanding thought went into Outstanding! in the “Work!” chapter.

Can you imagine responding to Incorrect Questions (“IQ” vs. “QBQ” tutorial) with Molly’s simple message? A message that is succinctly stated in the photo above, taken by her thirtysomething sister, Kristin, when in New Orleans to speak on QBQ!

These three words may not seem very “politically correct” to you; maybe they even seem harsh, cold, and callous. But let me paint a picture that might help:

12 Thoughts Achievers Think

Rock John2

As the SunPraireFilms.com photographer—also the only QBQ! daughter-in-law, Casey Mae—prepared to snap the next shot of this author/speaker, she wryly said, “Okay, John, pretend you’re thinking.”

So I did.

While feigning the act of thought, I had one:

Henry Ford.

The famous inventor and businessman made a profound statement:

“Thinking is the hardest work there is, which is probably the reason why so few engage in it.”

Love that.

Of course, any strength taken to an extreme becomes a weakness, so even thinking can be overdone. As we all know, it’s called “paralysis by analysis.”

However, I would posit this:

She’s One Impressive Manager – You’ll Never Guess Her Age!

office depot amanda

Amanda’s Place – Office Depot Store #2657

After reading her Office Depot “Store Manager” badge, I asked the delightful young woman, “Really? The top top manager?”

Amanda replied, “Yep, that’s me.”

“You’re not the weekend manager?”

“Nope. I really am the Store Manager.”

Sincerely surprised, I jested, “Wow, the GM of an Office Depot at 29.”

She corrected me …

Personal Accountability: My 5 Anti-Victim Thinking Commitments

“Victim thinking” happens, and it looks a lot like this:

  • I’m a victim because my friends don’t understand me.
  • I’m a victim because my spouse doesn’t help out around the house.
  • I’m a victim because raising great kids is really hard work.
  • I’m a victim because I didn’t get a raise, promotion, or enough training.
  • I’m a victim because the referee made a bad call.
  • I’m a victim because someone said something that I decided is offensive.
  • I’m a victim because others make more money than I do.
  • I’m a victim because my teacher gave me a bad grade.

And this—victim thinking taken one step further: