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 …

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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:

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Accountability: Be Good Enough To Beat The Ref

Ref shirt2The photo above is of the actual shirt I wore when officiating high school wrestling matches in the Southern Tier of New York State from 1978-1980. As a Cornell student, it was a fun and meaningful way to make money. Recently discovering it, I am reminded daily of what my dad taught me—and many others—about personal accountability. An idea so powerful it became a chapter in QBQ! The Question Behind the Question.

With NFL playoff football ahead, this message couldn’t be more timely. So, share on!

“Beat the Ref” (Ch. 16 of QBQ!)

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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?

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Parenting: Loving The Job Is The Best Approach

PQW 2Skimming the internet, I stopped on a parenting article which began with a fairly common statement: “Parenting is one of the toughest jobs around.” 

Karen and I understand that many will defend this thought—vigorously.

But what causes moms and dads to say it? Parenting is a job we chose. It’s a job we asked for. It’s the job we sought. For many, it’s the job they love, knowing it’s THE greatest opportunity to leave a legacy.

Yet, so often parents seem to need to yell, “PARENTING IS HARD WORK!!!” But …

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Accountability Avoidance and the 3 Words That Solve No Problems

Wizard pic

Meet “Wizard the Lizard,” an Australian Red Ackie Monitor. Having him as part of my reptile collection has reminded me why it is so easy for humans to avoid PERSONAL ACCOUNTABILITY.

Wizard is my first Ackie. After he arrived from a Las Vegas reptile store, I learned online that good Ackie care involves keeping their environment moist and hot. When kept dry and cool, there is a permanent consequence:

Their toes fall off—forever. :-(

So, a little worried I’d get busy and distracted and do it wrong, I worked hard keeping Wizard warm and wet.

I never did count his toes when I got him, though.

Two weeks into owning him, as he relaxed on his fav log, I noticed something …

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Goal-Setting: Most Advice Is Wrong

Tower2A mentor of mine—W.Steven Brown—taught me a goal-setting concept that would challenge the modern-day over-achiever. 

A true goal is not the mountain I hope to climb, an image of a new Mercedes on my fridge, or the weight I claim I’ll lose. We say those are goals, but they’re not.

A real goal is this:

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21 Ingredients for Holiday Stress

flexible

The holidays are a special time … until they’re not. They can be quickly ruined when we choose to engage in stress-inducing behaviors. So, this year, let’s each commit to not serving up this joy-killing dish!

Recipe for Holiday Stress: 21 Ingredients to Avoid!

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A QBQ! Essay On Being Offended

offendedI am trying to comprehend exactly how I would feel throughout a day if I were offended all the time.

Perpetually feeling slighted, hurt, bruised, misunderstood, and under-appreciated.

Would I wake up feeling undervalued? By mid-morning would I feel bewildered because nobody has yet told me how great and special I am?

By noon, am I livid because I’m so put upon?

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Powerful Mentoring: What Mentors Really Do

Mentee John Miller — Mentor Jim Strutton

Mentee John Miller — Mentor Jim Strutton

On a frigid Minnesota January eve, I sat on the edge of the hotel suite couch. Leaning forward, I was working to make a good impression.

It was 1986 and was 27.

When the interview ended, the 6’ 3” sales manager from Atlanta looked down at 5’ 6” me and said, “John, you will make someone a fine sales rep.”

As the door closed behind me, I thought …

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