6 Costs of a Dangerous Way of Thinking

Nucla Sunset

Have you heard this?

“If you don’t like the weather, just wait five minutes!”

Sorry to offend those who think their weather is “all that,” but Karen and I have lived in Montana, Missouri, Minnesota, and Colorado since 1980, and in each locale that claim has been made.

Not sure why people think their weather is unique. Maybe it’s a result of growing up in one region of the country and never moving from there. I don’t know.

It’s not a bad thing to say, of course. It’s just … “uninformed.” (Yes, I know, that will offend some. Sorry!)

But there is another uninformed statement people make that is a bad thing to say. I’ve heard it in the computer industry, oil and gas field, funeral home business, faith-based world, and the restaurant market. It’s this:

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Lousy Customer Service Starts At The Top

O book

Silly me.

Every time I think the corporate world has a handle on this “customer service” thing, I hear an anecdote like the one below.

When we wrote Outstanding!—which Dave Ramsey endorsed because he knows how critical it is to not be mediocre—we included at least five chapters that today’s story could have fit into:

Never Forget Who Pays the Bills

Put People Before Policies

Management Sets the Cultural Tone

Keep “The Mission” Top of Mind

Get Actions in Line with Values

But, since Outstanding! is already written, we’ll use it in this QBQ! QuickNote.

In response to our Outstanding Customer Service: Seize the Moment! blog published recently, Paul sent us his story …

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Outstanding Customer Service: Seize the Moment!

outstanding customer service happens in moments

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 …

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Personal Accountability Is For … ?!?

Personal Accountability QBQ

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:

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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!

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Accountability: Be An Achiever, Not An Alpaca

Alpacas

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?

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4 Questions: Finding a Career You Believe In

Thanks to Dave Ramsey’s EntreLeadership team for a new QBQ! interview!

Click & scroll

watch with text

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 …

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The Secret to No Complaining Is …

happiness perspective life

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?

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Who REALLY Is Accountable for Training?

Who is Really Accountable for Training?

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?

Two parties.

1) Managers, with whom we share this truth:

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