Inspired by last week’s Ansel @ Alamo piece, Dan of Hubbard Family Swim shares this story about two Millennials, Erin and Erin:

John, I witnessed a QBQ! moment at our swim school … 

Our child check-in system—an important tool that enables us to deliver swim lessons in a safe, non-chaotic environment—sometimes fails due to internet or software glitches.

Knowing our system was down, I visited our front desk customer service reps, Erin (18) and Erin (23), and noted they’d printed the names of all of that day’s customers. With highlighter pens and big smiles, they were diligently checking everyone in manually.

Our “service delivery” didn’t miss a beat! Not one parent noticed the computers were offline.  

Nor was there any complaining or blame from the “Erins” such as:

“Really, the computers are down again?”

“Sorry, Mrs. Adam’s, they can’t seem to get it right.”

“When are we going to get better systems around here?”


Dan, excellent example of outstanding service driven by personal accountability.

It’s commonly accepted that management creates an organization’s culture, but in Parenting the QBQ Way we write, “Our children are a product of our parenting.” So, one question regarding young Erin and Erin:

Are the attitudes and actions of these Millennials a result of good management or good parenting?

Comment below!

PS: Do you happen to know a Millennial or two? Send this on to them!
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The day after a three-day weekend can be tough. It’s easy to feel, you know, not real peppy.

Possibly I’m not peppy because I’m pooped.

Did you build a deck, cut down trees, plant rose bushes, clean your house top to bottom, entertain? If so, nothing wrong with being tired today.

But maybe the lack of pep is really those I-don’t-love-what-I-do blues. Been there—in a past life. 

Now I do love what I do—speaking, training, selling, helping people—but I can still feel that, Ugh, not sure I can get going on this day after a long weekend! feeling.

But then I remember:


I wrote this blog on PERSPECTIVE when beautiful Becca “Boo” was born to daughter, Kristin, in September 2012. We sure were scared there for a few days, but she’s perfect. If you missed it or need some PERSPECTIVE again, read it here.

PERSPECTIVE is a critical thing, and often needed the morning after a holiday weekend. So here’s a dose … for me:

Continue Reading…


Michael Pemberton is president of UNIQUE Paving Materials. UNIQUE employs 40+ people and has been adding value to our economy since I was a one-year-old. That’s 55 years!

Like others who carry his title, Mike has spent a night or two worrying about the success or failure of the organization. He knows that if UNIQUE goes under, not only would it be a disservice to its paying customers, but more than 40 people would be unable to feed their kids, pay their bills, and build their life savings.

So when a guy like Mike sends us a story about serving customers that’s meaningful to him, we think it can be meaningful to all. Enjoy!

Continue Reading…

QBQ! webinar Wed, May 14 at 1pm eastern. Register now!


This training inquiry made me chuckle—and wince:

“We have 200 employees, but just one who needs QBQ! training.”

One person blames, complains, procrastinates, plays victim, and has become entitled.

One individual lacks accountability.

One employee is the problem.

Funny and sad—but not new …

In 1989 an executive bought management training from me for thirty supervisors. Later, I was told why:

“To fix Ed.”

Poor Ed.

You’d think 25 years later organizations would use the tool of training for the right reason:

To positively impact the culture, system, and environment where people work.

Don’t train to fix people.

Does your organization train for the right reason?
Please tell us about the best or worst training you’ve experienced!
The QBQ! webinar on Wed, May 14 at 1pm eastern is a tool to develop self! 
But have you registered???

Final hair.jpg

June 1973. Long hair is trendy. At 15, I’m hot (the sweaty kind).

“Mom, shave my head?”

She did.

Friends laughed. Neighbors pointed. Uncle Bob: “Well, this proves that the hair makes the man.”


But, I was cool (lower temp kind). 

And, I must say, it felt outstanding to stand out—by not conforming. 

Which, 40 years later, is a pretty cool thing to do.

Commonplace: Blame. Victim mentality. Entitlement. I deserve! thinking.

Not. Going. There.

Better path?

Striving. Sweating. Producing. Serving. Contributing.


Be in the world, not of the world. Instead of conforming, choose personal accountability.

Discussion Questions:

In what way have you and/or your family conformed to the world and wish you hadn’t? What/how will you now change? Please share!

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QBQ! reader:

My friend quit his job because his supervisor was so controlling. Several more employees left, too.

The supervisor’s still there.

Controlling people—at work and home—don’t know the damage they cause …

Emotional connections are severed. Hurts are hardened. Colleagues, friends, siblings, and offspring drift away. Relationships die.


Solution: emotional maturity.

Mature people—accountable people—ask The Ultimate QBQ: “How can I let go of what I cannot control?”

Controlling people—immature people—never ask that question.

There’s no looking in the mirror.

That’s sad, too. Life is so much better when I let go.

Do you need to ask that all-important QBQ today?

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I love those conflicting two-word phrases called oxymorons …

“pretty ugly”

“legal brief”

“old news”

“committee decision”

And, “country music.” :-)


Adult learning

We’re not good at learning because we’ve “mis-learned” what learning is.

Learning is not about showing up.

Learning is not about going to class, memorizing content, passing a test. That’s called “college.”

Learning is not attending a seminar, listening to a speaker, reading a book.

As written in QBQ! and Parenting the QBQ Way


A learner’s self-talk:

If I’ve not changed, I’ve not learned. 

Simple. Powerful. True.

Have I learned—changed—today?

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David, a Rockwall, Texas Costco photo customer, shares the secret to winning him over forever:

My posters were done when promised. They took the time to retouch the images, removing every blemish. They did it without any request from me. No extra charge! The final product was beautiful. Guess who gets all of my photo business now?

So, is the secret … ?

  • “when promised”
  • “removed every blemish“
  • “no charge”
  • “beautiful”



“They did it without any request from me.”

Service, as defined in Outstanding!:

Doing something for another I didn’t have to do.

And who can’t do that?


Where have you received service like this?

Comment below!

Written to be read in under a minute, JUST99WORDS is a fast and snappy ”mini blog” by QBQ! author, John G. Miller. Sometimes practical, sometimes inspirational—and always worth sending on to colleagues, friends, and family!
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 John Karen

John, Karen, three active grandkids—and a 34 year, work-in-progress marriage.


In 1991, eleven years married, Karen said, “John, I’m going to marriage counseling. You coming?!”

I went because this relationship is my most important relationship.

I also hoped counseling would … fix Karen. :-)

Instead, I learned this truth—and have learned it again and again:

I can only change me.

That’s really what personal accountability is about, though difficult to get straight in our heads since most believe accountability is for others.

But relationships are also about me …

Me changing me.

Our QBQ! poll results here reveal relationships are on people’s minds.

Now we just need accountability in our actions.

Who’ve you been trying to fix? How’s that been working for ‘ya?!

Comment below!

Written to be read in under a minute, JUST99WORDS is a fast and snappy ”mini blog” by QBQ! author, John G. Miller. Sometimes practical, sometimes inspirational—and always worth sending on to colleagues, friends, and family!
If you’re not subscribed, join us FREE!