Leadership: How To Win In Today’s Marketplace

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When you chat with the COO of a 7,000-person retail chain, along with its VP of Ops leading 70+ locations, you listen.

Visiting with Steve Black and Clint Adams of Rouses Markets, I discovered that rumors of the death of “brick & mortar” retailers are greatly exaggerated. This thriving southern U.S. grocery chain founded in 1923 plans to be around for a long, long time.

Here’s what Steve, Clint, and the Rouses leadership team are doing right:

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Helping People Play Victim Does NOT Help People

helping, hand, helping hand, serve others, victim thinking

Humans seem hardwired to play victim, making us susceptible to asking victim-oriented questions:

Why is this happening to me?

Why can’t I get a break?

Why don’t I have what others have?

Why don’t people do more for me?

Pity Parties are instinctual, natural — and harmful. What do they accomplish? Know this:

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JUST 225 WORDS: Do I Play The Blame Game?

No matter how well we think we know and practice the QBQ! book’s message of Personal Accountability— blame can creep into our lives. We must remain vigilant! Enjoy!

A popular 1970’s meme (before memes existed) was —The Devil Made Me Do It.

Today, we hear this popular media-driven phrase: ”There’s plenty of blame to go around!”

It’s our nature to ask Whodunnit? when the unplanned, painful, disappointing, or embarrassing occurs. When stuff happens, it’s so easy to spread the blame —

“Well, yes, I did that, but, you see, they made me do it.”

“I accept 65% of the blame, but he’s 35% responsible, too!”

Or simply, “Not my fault!”

It’s difficult for humans to state …

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199 WORDS: The Simplicity of Being Outstanding!

outstanding, home depot

Is providing outstanding customer service complicated? Let’s hear from Antonio, reader of Outstanding!

John, we gutted and remodeled our kitchen. Almost complete, it looked amazing! We only needed a backsplash. Our in-demand contractor said he could do the install the next weekend.

We found the perfect tile online at Home Depot. However, arriving at the store to purchase it, we learned the product in stock didn’t match the computer inventory.

Two cartons short! And we had a deadline.

That’s when department manager, Jake, really impressed. He could’ve said, “Sorry.” Instead —

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199 WORDS: The Power In NOT Responding

Recently, a person’s sarcastic, harsh words wounded me. Key people in my life were indignant for me and encouraged me to respond.

I didn’t.

Trust me, I’ve never shied away from “retaliating.” On this day, though, I chose to not be the guy my dad often railed against:

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199 WORDS: What Would YOU Have Said?

I spoke in Ithaca, NY on “Personal Accountability” in Warren Hall to 100 Cornell University students. It was … surreal.

I took classes in Warren, graduating in 1980—and had never been back.

Afterward, student Joseph lamented, “Mr. Miller, it’d be difficult to use your ideas here because of ‘moral dependency’ … .”

Not knowing that phrase, I showed complete confusion, but he continued with a vocabulary 5x mine.

Finally, my old brain needed clarity like lungs need oxygen. I interjected, “Joseph, you’re saying you don’t want to play the victim but friends, peers, and the campus culture say you are a victim?”

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Do You Want To Be Right — or Successful?

Have you stubbed your toe on a chair and in pain yelled, “Who put that stupid chair there?!”

If so, your reaction was due to an innate, intense need to not be responsible. This is typical of the human race: we readily look outside of ourselves for anything or anyone to blame.

It’s a lousy way to live life and makes success in any endeavor elusive.

Why We Blame

We blame because “pain avoidance” is Job One for the human race. We shun mental, physical, and emotional pain. In the feelings realm, negative emotions like shame, embarrassment, frustration, fear, and anger cause us to lash out, point fingers, and deflect responsibility.

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The QBQ! Essence: Serving People

A meaningful moment for us is when a reader of QBQ! The Question Behind the Question applies our message of Personal Accountability in ways we’d not dreamed of when we first penned and published the book—and shares it with us.

This powerful and touching story (and application of our material) comes from a friend and colleague, Renee.

When I emailed her to ask how she was, with grace and humility she responded with this note. I always knew she’s special, but this story confirms it. Enjoy!

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