See that face? It’s not just the face of a Millennial, it’s the face of our future. Ally and I had a LinkedIn (link with me here) chat the other day, and at least three messages came from it: The foundation of success is personal accountability. Outstanding organizations hire character over credentials. The “older” generation must…Continue Reading
Brand new Facebook page. Join us and Be Outstanding! The Outstanding! book explores what it means for an organization to be outstanding. But what exactly makes a co-worker outstanding? People described as “outstanding” by on-the-job colleagues have many attributes. After we provide 5 below, please add to our list! 1. HUMBLE: Self-deprecating humor, takes no credit…Continue Reading
Jimmy Miller (1921-2002)—who lived all of his 80 years in the rolling hills of Upstate NY—was a teacher.
The Cornell wrestling coach and pastor in our home, the man with the Big Smile people still talk about today, was always “preaching”—in a good way.
Through stories, parables, analogies, and metaphors, he imparted wisdom—constantly.
Little did I know that his teachings would become part of every book written by his youngest.
QBQ! Coach Jimmy’s metaphor about “being good enough to beat the ref” has helped many understand both the danger —and the “wrongness”—of blaming what we can’t control.
Flipping the Switch Here he pops up twice. One time by sharing the truth that driving is a NO EXCUSES endeavor—just like life—and another when he went the extra mile for this 17-year-old just days after “Mom” died so unexpectedly at 51.Continue Reading
Would you dump everything, including the kitchen sink (look at the picture carefully), into the world? Probably not.
Yet, without knowing it, many of us do litter by dumping verbal garbage into the minds of co-workers, friends, and family.
In early 1986, after five years with Cargill Inc., I was recruited by a small, unknown training company to sell video-based management development programs to executives. When I announced I’d be leaving Cargill to office from my house, negative garbage was dumped into my mind:Continue Reading
Funny thing about leaders and living accountably—they don’t talk about it, they do it. Just as the truly humble don’t boast about how self-effacing they are, leaders don’t run around proclaiming that they take total ownership for their actions, results, and life. They simply live life sans blame, whining, victim and entitlement thinking, being offended all the time, or making excuses. Now that is leadership!
Have you achieved accountable living?Continue Reading
I learned to handle that objection, but it baffled me. My unspoken thought was—THEN DON’T ANSWER YOUR PHONE!
Not unlike someone complaining just the other day, “Your text woke me from my nap!”
THEN TURN OFF YOUR PHONE!
These small but real scenarios actually demonstrate the value in learning to ask “The Question Behind the Question” (QBQ) and bringing greater PERSONAL ACCOUNTABILITY into one’s life.
The one thing accountable people know is this:Continue Reading
Since I’m not a treeologist, I can’t explain it. However, when I walk by these starkly contrasting Colorado pines (still keeping those 43 pounds off!), I’m reminded of the difference between people who find success and those who find failure—even when immersed in the same environment.
People who succeed do the things people who fail won’t and don’t do.
Said another way, success is born of engaging repetitively in the right actions. We call them “good habits”—like these:Continue Reading
The expression “You can’t get there from here” is apt for the Miller’s Colorado residence. Sort of.
Though we live on a paved street, it’s impossible to get to our home without driving over a completely neglected, poorly maintained, incredibly lumpy and bumpy dirt and mud road. There’s just no getting around it.
Of course, it’s worth traveling because home is a good place to be.
It occurs to me that our unavoidable patch of rough road is much like growing up—and I don’t mean the obvious growing up that takes place from birth to 20-years-old.
I mean the maturation of our thoughts, emotions, behaviors, beliefs, desires, and needs, as well as our reactions and responses to people and events, that <hopefully> happens from age 20 to, say, 40.
It’s said that youth is wasted on the young, but what about this?:Continue Reading
Ever made statements like these?
- My kids don’t listen to me. It’s not fair. (Read: Parenting the QBQ Way)
- The bank sold us a mortgage we couldn’t afford. It’s not fair.
- I didn’t get the promotion/raise I expected. It’s not fair.
- Others don’t work as hard as I do. It’s not fair.
- My boss doesn’t communicate very well. It’s not fair.
- They cut our benefits. It’s not fair.
- My staff isn’t motivated. It’s not fair.
- My co-workers are difficult. It’s not fair.
- We can’t find people who want to work. It’s not fair.
- I’m buried in student loans. It’s not fair.
- The neighbors have a new boat/car/pool. It’s not fair.
- The referees were awful and we lost the game. It’s not fair.
The truth is, no one is promised “fairness.” Humans make hurtful comments, accidents occur, events take a turn we don’t expect, others are blessed with talents we lack, things happen out of our control.
Sometimes WAY out of our control—like on May 20, 1975 …Continue Reading