“But … it wasn’t my fault!”

“To DEFLECT is human, to REFLECT is accountability.”


Got spam? I sure do. Sadly, I’ve learned to tolerate it much of it, hoping it goes straight into my “trash” folder. But yesterday, I got a “spammy” email that looked and felt somewhat legit. From a firm selling phone services, the sender was Matthew and it started like this:

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How to Succeed!

In spite of the precious child pictured below, this message is not about QBQ! parenting (but this was). Also, be forewarned: We will be mixing our metaphors today! Lastly, stick around till the end where we apply the content. I mean, isn’t that what it’s all about? Enjoy!

Becca walkingRebecca “Becca Boo” Elizabeth Lindeen – born 9/21/12

Metaphor #1:

After Kristin, our firstborn, arrived in 1983, I began carrying a Canon AE-1 camera everywhere I went, exclaiming, “That’s a picture!” Drove my wife, Karen, nuts.

But it’s what new dads do.

Thirty years later, with an ever-present smart phone in my pocket, I see stuff everywhere and exclaim, “That’s a blog!”

It’s what old authors do.

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Accountability: The First Brick of Success

I love this brick. I paid $10 for it in 1982.


It came from the Anaconda Mining Company smokestack in Great Falls, Montana. The “Great Stack,” as it was called, was built in 1908 and was 585 feet tall—quite a feat for the times. Karen and I were lucky enough to be living in Great Falls in September 1982 when a demolition crew detonated charges to bring it down while the whole city watched.

But it didn’t go quite as planned. This is how the Great Falls Tribune described the moment:

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Relationships: Being Different is Okay

WeddingJohn (age 22) and Karen (19) on June 21, 1980

Karen Elizabeth Giles Miller has many roles …

  • “Best friend” to John since 1976
  • “Mrs. Miller” since 1980.
  • “Mom” to seven children (four from the stork and three by adoption)
  • “Grandma Nonnie” to Joshua, Becca Boo, and McKenna
  • “Girlfriend” to many women; “mentor/teacher” to several
  • “Co-author” of Parenting the QBQ Way
  • “Birthday girl” on Oct 20th 

And one other title that fits her well:

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Personal Accountability: Doing My Job

Do you job

I asked Molly, our twentysomething daughter, who has served as captain of soccer and basketball teams, “Molly, in your opinion, what makes an effective team?” I was honestly just curious what she’d say; it wasn’t like I was doing book research! But I loved her answer: “Everyone taking care of their own stuff, Dad. Everybody working hard at doing their job.” I appreciated her thought so much, it went into Outstanding! under the chapter titled, “Work!”

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Want Change? Lose the Consultants, Ask QBQs

After 28 years of calling on senior executives, I want to scream …


I just returned from speaking on “Personal Accountability and the QBQ!” in Europe. In my travels, I met several people who told me their employer currently has “change management” consultants* (Old joke: A consultant is someone who borrows my watch and tells me what time it is!) roaming their hallways, holding small employee meetings, and leading executives to and through mountaintop retreats.

And my guess is, the consultants are working from a definition of “organizational culture” that sounds something like this:

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