1,000,000 Chances to Practice Personal Accountability


David, an AutoTrader executive, made a very cool statement.

After reading QBQ!, attending a QBQ! keynote at a national conference, and implementing the QBQ! training system with his team—in other words, after he’d been exposed to our message of Personal Accountability in several ways—he said:

“John, QBQ! brings English muffins to mind.”

Chuckling, I responded, “Oh, wow, David, that’s a new one. In what way?”

“Well, the more I immerse myself in the material, the more I find there’s not a ‘nook and cranny’ in my life where I cannot apply QBQ!

Like melted butter on a warm English muffin, Personal Accountability seeps into every area of my life—if I let it. If “nooks and crannies” represent the roles we play and moments we experience in a lifetime, there just might be 1,000,000 chances to practice Personal Accountability.

My list, like yours, begins with my obvious roles:

  • Husband
  • Father
  • Author/Speaker
  • Friend
  • Neighbor

But wait—how about being “Grandpa Bop” to four, with more on the way? And “Uncle John” to a bunch? Or a homeowner with the responsibility of keeping his property visually pleasing to others? Or a salesperson who still calls on clients? A parent with teens attending high school? Member of a church? Sibling? Director on the board of the Denver Rescue Mission?

What about as a driver on our roads and highways??? (Share 13 QBQ Rules for the Road with your young drivers)

And those are just roles. How about moments?

There are countless infinitesimal stretches of time when I can avoid the traps of Blame, Finger-Pointing, Whining, Complaining, Griping, Bemoaning, Victim Thinking, Entitlement, and Procrastination. 🙂

Recently, I was on the radio with Angie Austin to chat about Parenting the QBQ Way. Angie began by asking me to “review what ‘QBQ’ means” for her listeners who hadn’t heard our first interview two weeks earlier.

I said, “Angie, let’s not just cover that for new listeners, but for the ones who did hear last month’s interview—because we must never forget that …

  • Repetition is the motor of learning.
  • Repetition is the motor of learning.
  • Repetition is the motor of learning!

It’s only through repetition that an idea—any idea—can become part of our daily walk.

Of course, we all know this when it comes to learning to drive a car, improving our golf game, or transferring our values to our children. Yet, we don’t seem to know it when it comes to training in our organizations.

“OK, people, the seminar’s over, so get back to your desks and get back to work!” seems to be the norm. A month or a year later, the people wonder, What was that training all about, anyway? and Why did we even do that training?!

So, there are two messages in this blog that become one:

1. Personal Accountability is needed in every area of my life.

2. Repetition is required to ingrain Personal Accountability into every area of my life!

So, here are some practical suggestions. My apologies if this feels like a “sales pitch”—oh, wait, it is! I am selling the power of REPETITION!

  • Reread the QBQ! book, underlining and highlighting as you go.
  • Host a “Lunch & Learn” for your team, after all have read QBQ!
  • Return to our training system tools, if you’ve been through the QBQ! program.
  • Review our blogs at QBQ.com—share with others to create dialogue.
  • Listen to a QBQ! keynote on audio here
  • Read Flipping the Switch, the companion book to QBQ!
  • Invest in 10 Truths of Accountability posters—a terrific visual tool for the office.

By taking actions like these, the life-changing principle of Personal Accountability will find its way into every nook and cranny of your life.

And, for a million reasons, you’ll be glad it did.

Your observations, insights, and stories are always welcome. Comment below!

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2 Responses

  1. Very nice post John and I heartily agree that personal responsibility is a way of life best learned by constant application, not something we do just at work to impress our boss or being kind and helpful at home because family comes first. These are worthwhile applications of personal responsibility but they are the easier ones that focus on serving those parts of our lives that are very valuable to us. The more challenging applications of personal responsibility and self-control involve maintaining our composure with a nasty boss, remaining kind to others when we feel ill, seeing past the occasional condescending outbursts from various colleagues, or finding ways to work effectively with people who have a constant chip on their shoulder. These applications of personal responsibility require greater skills and knowledge to subordinate our impulse to lash out and instead we must develop our character to see the great potential in life versus the easy exercise of pointing our what is wrong in life. Living personal responsibility 24-7 requires a significant retooling of how we respond to life and its challenges.

  2. I recently had a nook and cranny experience – I went to a restaurant in San Diego where the initial service experience was already outstanding. When dinner was served, 7 out of 8 plates came … just not mine. Shortly after the waiter came over and explained my steak had been overcooked and they were fixing a new one – although I protested that I would take the well done meal, he smiled and assured me they would be quick, and asked if I would like a soup or salad while I waited. Several minutes later the most perfectly cooked, delicious looking steak arrived (on a plate that was warm and quite obviously not the original). I immediately dug in, hungry and wanting to catch up with my friends’ progress. About 30 seconds into my first bite my tablemate leaned over and whispered “He’s standing over there watching you to make sure you like your steak.” Sure enough, 10 feet away the server was politely smiling and watching me to make sure I was happy with what had been delivered. I gave him a huge thumbs up and a big smile in return. That touch alone made my evening and my entire dining experience – he cared … he really cared :)! After that, he brought a dessert big enough for all 8 of us, as an apology for my wait … a dessert that did not show up on our bill. Having grown up outside of San Francisco, I’ve come to appreciate some of the greatest dining experiences available – this experience topped them all (and I’m 50!).

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