As lunch ended, the HR executive of a well-known, Denver-based “fast casual” restaurant chain looked me dead in the eye and said, “John, I promise to read QBQ! and call you in two weeks.”
Didn’t read the book, or make the call.
So I followed up. It’s what salespeople do—and I’ve done it since 1986.
During the process of hiring me to speak at his banking institution’s August event in Minneapolis, my client shared this:
“John, I know your QBQ! message of personal accountability is perfect for our organization because so much comes down to one’s personal brand.”
When I asked Pat (an executive who saw me speak in 2012) to expand, he offered this scenario:
I learned this in my Cornell psychology class: A child’s play is her work.
So 11-month-old granddaughter, McKenna, is hard at work above.
Curious, when you are at work, do you “play”?
Outstanding people have careers not “jobs” because they find joy in work. They feel happiness as they toil. They don’t …
“Hello, how are ‘ya?”
“Good to see you!”
“Hey, it’s been a while.”
That’s how lunch went in the dining establishment that was so fancy, so ritzy, that even the napkins were flecked with gold.
As I dined with the top officer of a blue chip insurance firm you would surely know by name (um, if you’re curious, they’re “on your side”), it seemed everyone around us knew him.
We were chatting about the “Personal Accountability and the QBQ!” presentation I’d just completed, and where to take the message of the QBQ! book next inside the organization.
When it was time to leave, we stood, turned toward the front door, stepped slightly to the right, and ….
Don’t miss our give-away below of 3 autographed QBQ! books!
Organizations that don’t eliminate blame are burning money.
That’s my conclusion from working with more than 1,000 organizations since 1986. In fact, The Question Behind the Question (QBQ!)—a tool for practicing PERSONAL ACCOUNTABILITY—was born as an antidote to blame. Only when individuals engage in accountability, responsibility, and on-the-job ownership will the very real dragons of finger-pointing, culprit-seeking, and blame be slain.
This is when organizations become … outstanding.
But why bother? Does it really matter, this blame thing?
Well, you decide after exploring our itemized list titled …
Jump over to QBQ! on Facebook and say hello!
I’ve been asked:
“What if my organization’s culture doesn’t embrace personal accountability?”
“What if my supervisor won’t use QBQ!?” (This one actually became an FAQ in the newly rewritten QBQ! book!)
“What if the people I work and live with point fingers and blame?”
“What if our entire society becomes engulfed in entitlement thinking?!?”
Okay, I haven’t been asked that last one exactly—but that doesn’t mean the concern isn’t real for many.
Anyway, the answer to each of these questions is this:
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?
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:
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!
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.”
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!