3 Powerful Principles of QBQ! Parenting

MillersThe Millers

Kristin, the oldest of our seven children and a member of the QBQ, Inc. team, knowing my “salesy” personality, coined a phrase a decade ago that still makes me chuckle. She said, “Just bump into my dad at any airport and pretend you don’t know him and he’ll give you a free book!”

So, a month ago I landed at her airport in Madison, Wisconsin where she and her two little ones greeted me. She immediately asked, “Do you have a copy of the parenting book on you!?” When I pulled one from my bag, she grabbed it and ran off to give it to a mom she’d just met five minutes earlier!

Like dad, like daughter. Call me proud.

Well, that “Wisconsin Hockey Mom,” Meg Goss, just posted this review of Parenting the QBQ Way (PQW)—and we’re totally honored!

Parenting Advice I Can Actually Use and Put Into Practice!

Since the book came out, Karen and I have been interacting with moms and dads by email, growing our “Parenting the QBQ Way” Facebook page, selling books, and, of course, giving some away. It’s been fun!

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Choices: My Decisions Define My Destination


I sat next to 24-year-old Rachel on the plane who shared that her dad was a fan of QBQ! Just a complete coincidence—if there are coincidences, that is.

When QBQ! came up and she exclaimed, “Really? Wow, my dad talks about ‘the QBQ’ all the time!” I naturally stayed as humble as possible. I responded, “That’s terrific. Thanks for saying that. I’m honored.”

And, I meant it.

But I wonder if it was really a “coincidence” because it turned out she needed to hear something from me that I needed to hear when I was a twentysomething.

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“Me? Entitled? Definitely!” A Message from Millennial Me

At QBQ, Inc. we are blessed to speak on personal accountability at a time when our world truly needs it. Teaching QBQ! is fun—and relevant. Relevant to the people I work with, and most importantly—relevant to me!

Because guess what? Want to know a secret?

I am entitled.

Or, said correctly, I find myself feeling entitled. Often. Regularly. And it makes me sick.

I am writing this as a “millennial.” I shudder to even use the term, as our generation has been dragged through the mud a bit. As the oldest of the millennials (“millennials” were born 1980-2000; I was born in 1983), I have struggled to identify with much of my generation. However, no matter how I feel about it, I am a millennial.

In the past three days alone, I’ve read two articles about millennials—my narcissistic, entitled, lazy, self-absorbed generation. I’ve read about our lack of professionalism, our inability to hold a decent conversation without checking our smart phones, and our inadequate understanding of or respect for the establishment. And, of course, our sorely entitled attitudes.

As I read these articles, I found myself scoffing. “Oh, those millennials. Aren’t they so cute—self-absorbed, unwilling to work hard and put the time in …” Oh wait … that’s me!

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An Update on “Becca Boo”

In September 2012 we published this QBQ QuickNote after our daughter, Kristin, gave birth to little “Becca Boo”: Perspective: It’s Everything “Becca Boo” Lindeenm 7 1/2 months Well, all these months later I am here to tell you she’s the happiest, most smiling, engaging baby this grandpa has ever seen! And with seven kids, I’ve seen a…

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3 Traits of Accountable People

Character Traits of Accountable People

QBQ! fans know that accountable folks don’t ask Incorrect Questions (IQs) such as:

“Why don’t I ever get a break?”

“When will they communicate better?”

“Who dropped the ball?”

QBQ! believers know that IQs like these lead to Victim Thinking, Procrastination, and Blame. They also know that asking The Question Behind the Question (QBQ) is the way to eliminate these traps. QBQs such as, “What can I do to solve the problem?” and “How can I contribute?” make the difference. This is all good.

But once a person takes QBQ! to heart and begins to practice personal accountability, there are a few outward signs—traits and characteristics—she or he will exhibit. Here are just three:

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5 Consequences of Victim Thinking

Have you heard something like, “It’s better to give someone a hand up than a handout”? Well, contrary to societal opinion, it’s not a mean or cruel statement. It’s wisdom because it strikes at the heart of human nature.

Sure, there are times to give freely to people in need because we’ve been so blessed. I believe we’re called do so and I bet you do just that.

But, when I put my hand out—feeling entitled, deserving, and play the victim—there are clear consequences:

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Building a QBQ! Culture: Hiring Right

Even in a difficult economy, organizations must hire. And though “recruiting, interviewing, and selecting” is always important, it’s even more so when times are lean, mostly because the available margin of selection error is slimmer.

Said differently: We just can’t afford any hiring mistakes!

So here’s a recommendation from us on improving the odds of finding a “good hire”:

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7 Costs of Blame

Blame, it’s a bad thing—and it takes on many forms. Here’s a humorous one:

An executive at a medical products distribution organization told me, “So, yeah, we’ve got some problems, like our field salespeople calling our headquarters the ‘sales prevention club’!”

Hey, a new acronym—the SPC!

If we didn’t have the home office getting in our way, we could make more sales!

Blame can also take on the dangerous form of culprit-seeking questions like:

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Ownership Is Outstanding!

If you’ve read Outstanding!, then you know all about the “47 ways to make your organization exceptional.” If you haven’t, here’s the list.

Well, author’s prerogative—I’m adding a 48th:

Be Like Mike.

Our Colorado land-line and Internet provider is CenturyLink. They do a fine job for us, but I don’t go around raving about them. I have better things to do. However, I will take the time to extol the virtues of Mike, because people like him are the key to organizations being outstanding.

In the summer of 2012, Karen and I bought a “second home.” Yeah, I know, sounds snooty and uppity all at the same time. We didn’t plan to do it, but when we rented a house in Fraser, CO for a three day June get-away and saw that it was for sale, we asked, “Do we want to invest in this?”


So, we did. Overall, it’s been great, except for one thing: the DSL. Yes, even up in the mountains—I. Want. My. Internet!

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8 Truths of Accountability

Since this post was first published, due to”popular demand,” we turned it into a wall poster for your organization!

I’ve been speaking on or writing about personal accountability since 1995—and I’ve come to believe there are eight truths that do exist, but are often rejected:

1. Everybody wants everybody else to practice personal accountability. Enough said.

2. Individuals make exceptions for themselves when it comes to the principles of accountability and responsibility:


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