Personal Accountability: Doing Beats Thinking

I’ve been to a bunch of corporate conferences in my 20 years of keynote speaking on “Personal Accountability and the QBQ!” Usually, I can be found standing in the back of the ballroom waiting to present.

So I’ve heard lots of executives talk. Mostly, it’s industry and company specific info and technical in nature. READ: Dry and dull.

Or it is “‘rah rah’ you can succeed!!!” stuff. READ: Waste of time.

But once in a while, while admittedly half-listening, an alarm goes off in my brain.

Like yesterday.

I was waiting to deliver my accountability message to 600 Walmart managers in Arkansas when one of the execs quoted the CEO of Walmart U.S.—Greg Foran—who has said:

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Blame Game: 1961 Song Might Be the Fix We Need

Enjoy a QBQ! interview with host Mandy Connell on Denver 850KOA

blame

The King performing “Put the Blame On Me”

Imagine a world of no finger-pointing, culprit-seeking, excuse-making, and blame.

You’re probably thinking, No way, John! No blame at all? It’ll never happen!

You could be right. I mean, just watch the news, see what’s trending on social media, and listen to what is espoused daily by our political “leaders” …

What are we witnessing?

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Remembering To Be Thankful: #ItsTheLittleThings

Click below to enjoy a QBQ! interview on “The Mandy Connell Show” on 850KOA

 

For me, it’s often a small thing that speaks this big message:

BE THANKFUL!

Karen and I, along with two daughters, loitered at the mall recently, spending money on ABSOLUTELY NOTHING ANYONE NEEDED.

Back-to-school clothes for teens. Walking shoes for me. Fall decorations for Mom. A couple Frisbees, just for fun. Starbucks and “Doc” popcorn for all.

Like I said, nothing we had to have. Important question:

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Outstanding People Know How To Beat The System

beat the system1Sears has a problem: A completely non-consumer-friendly “appliance repair” system.

Systems aren’t perfect—we all know that. In the QBQ! book, we teach this idea: 

Don’t ask the lousy question, “When are we going to get better systems?”

Instead, ask “The Question Behind the Question” (QBQ), “What can I do to succeed with the systems I have?”

Now, back to Sears …

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WARNING: ACCOUNTABILITY IS PAINFUL!

personal accountability in the mirrorFine. I’ll admit it here publicly:

When I walk 3+ miles each day, I often take Kelly Clarkson along. I’ve aways enjoyed her energetic and creatively written 2004 album “Breakaway.”

And every time I hear her belt out the song “I Hate Myself For Losing You,” I wonder, What would our world look like if we all lived like that?

Here are her challenging, accountability-themed words that could’ve come straight from the QBQ! book on PERSONAL ACCOUNTABILITY …

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Searching for Random Acts of QBQ!

Candlewood Suites qbq! finalHave you witnessed a “Random Act of QBQ!” recently? My brother-in-law, Tom, ran across this one. Enjoy!

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John, I have a QBQ! story for you!

While at a conference in Chicago, my laptop mouse died. I wasn’t sure if it was broken or just needed a new battery.

So I went to the Candlewood Suites store in the lobby, but they didn’t have any “mice” or the battery I needed.

At the front desk, I asked Julie if they possibly had a spare mouse that another guest had left behind. She looked in their little “lost and found” cardboard box, but there weren’t any.

I thanked Julie and headed out to the conference center next door.

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Stay Out Of The Ditch: Confront Today’s Values

If you grew up in snow country like I did, you were told that when driving on snow and ice, never turn away from the skid, run from the skid, or ignore the skid. Rather, we were taught to confront a skid aggressively with swift action.

car in ditch final

If your vehicle’s back-end is skidding in the snow to the right, turn the steering wheel hard to the right. If it slides to the left, turn hard left.

When we confront the skid or slide directly like this, we kill our vehicle’s momentum and win back control.

Otherwise, we end up in the ditch.

A Metaphor for Confronting Society’s Values?

This safe driving maneuver is an apt picture for those frustrated by what might be seen as a slide in our world’s values.

Possibly, each of us could directly confront the “skid” we see taking placenot by lecturing, shaming and criticizing othersbut through our own actions.

Our own choices.

In other words, through personal accountability …

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