Every time we visit our friend’s Colorado Alpaca ranch, I note these animals do a lot of standing around, as if they’re waiting for someone to tell them what to do. Look at the photo above that I shot. Don’t you agree they could be thinking, What should we do now?
To me, they appear to be slightly odd, inaction-prone creatures who probably don’t get much done each day.
I suppose that’s fine for an Alpaca herd. We just wouldn’t want it happening—or should I say, not happening—in our organizations.
Can you imagine people getting paid to work X hours but spending some of that paid time asking Incorrect Questions (IQs … quick tutorial) like these?
“When will he give us the vision?”
“Why don’t they tell us what’s going on?”
“When is someone going to clarify my job?”
“Who’s going to give me more training and coaching?”
“When am I going to get the guidance I need to succeed?”
“Who will tell me what to do next?”
Those IQs are serious time wasters!
I’ve discovered there are some phrases in the QBQ! book on PERSONAL ACCOUNTABILITY that readers like to quote. Here are three:
It’s better to be one who is told to wait than one who waits to be told.
Lack of initiative today may guarantee lack of employment tomorrow.
Taking action may seem risky, but doing nothing is a bigger risk.
If you buy into any of those statements, then ask QBQs (The Question Behind the Question) like these:
“What action can I take today to contribute?”
“How can I help solve the problem?”
“What risk can I engage in that will lead me to personal growth?”
“How can I do my job today in the best possible way?”
And, one of my personal favs—casual but effective:
“What good stuff can I get done … before lunch?!”
Last week, Dave Ramsey’s @EntreLeadership team Tweeted a line from our most recent QBQ! interview:
Decide what to do and get it done—now. If it doesn’t work out perfectly, decide what to do next and get it done—now.
I may not always do the right thing right—and might even do the wrong thing—but as long as I don’t “wait to be told,” I’ll never be accused of being an Alpaca.
And that’s a good thing.
Plus, I’ll get a lot more done!
Now, some important questions for comment …
Which IQ will I stop asking?
Which QBQ will I begin asking?
What action will I take today?