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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:
So what if others reject the power of practicing personal accountability?
So what if we live in a culture rife with destructive and childish blame? (Yes, I said “childish” since it’s no stretch to picture our political leaders as 5-year-olds engaging in He started it! Did not. Did, too! behavior.)
So what if some people have their hand out?
So what if those we know (or hear about in the news) don’t take responsibility for their lives?
Since when does the behavior of others shape mine?
Since when does being in the world cause me to become of the world, affecting what I think, do, or become?
Since when does the foolishness of people cause me to play the fool?
Since when do we worry about the actions of co-workers, friends, and family?
Sadly, since the dawn of humankind—and since the day each of us arrived in this world.
Remember Mom who wisely asked, “If your friends jumped into the lake, would you?”
Translation: Don’t worry about what others do.
Mom knew what she was talking about. She knew that when some people choose the wrong path, it’s our job to choose our own path—a better path—by asking QBQs (The Question Behind the Question) such as:
“What can I do to do the right thing?”
“How can I act in accordance with my values?”
“What action can I take to move my life forward?”
Questions like these not only keep me on the “straight and narrow”—not a bad place to live—but keep me from overly concerning myself with others.
Much less allow their actions to influence mine.
Imagine teaching our youth to withstand the pressure of peers. Of course, character like that doesn’t begin with young people. It begins with me.
Just like practicing personal accountability doesn’t start with my boss, colleagues, spouse, kids, neighbors, or friends.
The truth is, successful people know that if they’re only going to live a life of personal accountability when those around them do, they might as well go jump in the lake.
Said differently, successful people worry about themselves.
Being totally honest, whose actions do you worry about more than you should? What will you now do differently?