QBQ! https://qbq.com Be Outstanding Through Personal Accountability Wed, 25 Apr 2018 14:34:17 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.5 Cynicism Is a Choice: Take The High Road Instead https://qbq.com/cynicism-choice/ https://qbq.com/cynicism-choice/#respond Tue, 24 Apr 2018 17:24:22 +0000 https://qbq.com/?p=15473 When we at QBQ, Inc. work with client teams, we help them understand the danger of possessing a cynical attitude. What is cynicism? Cynicism: Doubting the intentions, motives, and sincerity of others. Thinking the worst of people—coworkers, management, neighbors, friends, family—is an awful way to work and live. It’s something I have to be careful…

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racism

When we at QBQ, Inc. work with client teams, we help them understand the danger of possessing a cynical attitude. What is cynicism?

Cynicism: Doubting the intentions, motives, and sincerity of others.

Thinking the worst of people—coworkers, management, neighbors, friends, family—is an awful way to work and live. It’s something I have to be careful to avoid. When I fall prey to cynicism, I play the victim asking Incorrect Questions (IQs) like, “Why is life so unfair?” “Who’s doing this to me?” and “When will people treat me right?”

Bad questions, for sure. (For more on IQs vs. accountable QBQs, click here)

The Millers Are Black and White

I turned 10 in the horrible year of 1968. All I recall is war protests, assassinations, marches, riots, and nation-wide anger and angst.

Much of the conversation was centered on racism.

Five decades later, racism is still a problem in the world—and often a topic in the Miller family. You see, Karen and I are white and our three youngest-of-7 children are black.

And they’re all in the workforce now, serving at fine places like Olive Garden, AMC Theaters, and our local county library here in Colorado.

It’s Not Always Black and White

Recently, one of our girls was treated quite badly by a library patron, who happened to be white. The woman was demanding, demeaning, and dismissive. At one point, she said, “And you call yourself a librarian!”

As a father, I’d like to punch the lady in the nose. Especially since the book she was insisting our daughter find … doesn’t even exist.

Oops.

Another daughter arrived home with her own story. Again, the customer was white—and could not understand why she wasn’t getting a $1 off her popcorn and soda as a “Premier” customer. Turned out her rewards card had expired.

Oops.

I could share other negative customer interactions our girls have had, and if I asked each daughter for greater detail, I’d learn that the patrons were white, black, Asian, Mexican … in other words—all Americans and all people.

People who are demanding, impatient, rude—and have been spoiled in a world where customer expectations are so high, no supplier of services can ever have a “human moment” without being ripped apart in person or on Social Media.

Sad.

Choices and Chill Pills

Our parental coaching of our daughters is never, “You’re a victim!” Just as it would not have been of our four (grown) biological children. Karen, my wife and the co-author of Raising Accountable Kids, and I always want to help our offspring choose that “High Road”—the one where there is no castigation or criticism of others or cynical thinking.

To believe every bad interaction is based on color, race, and heritage would be the ultimate in cynicism—and who wants to live life like that?

When our Gen Z daughters share lousy customer experiences, we provide these choices as our counsel:

1. Smile and take care of the customer.

2. If needed, pleasantly assert yourself with words like, “M’am, I am doing my best right now to solve your problem.”

3. Ask a manager or colleague for help with a difficult customer.

We were proud of our Olive Garden daughter when she dealt with a difficult customer and summed it up with, “He was just a crabby guy who needed to take a chill pill!”

In a world full of racial tension, we’d all be better off taking a chill pill because living a life of cynicism is not good living at all. Agreed? 😎

Comments welcome!

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Crystal Clear Picture of “Employee Engagement” https://qbq.com/employee-engagement/ https://qbq.com/employee-engagement/#comments Wed, 18 Apr 2018 20:07:38 +0000 https://qbq.com/?p=15406 GIVEAWAY!!! Leave a comment on this blog and we’ll enter your name into our April 24, 2018, drawing for an autographed hardcover 5th edition QBQ! book! Is your organization striving for high-level “employee engagement”? If so, here’s a story from Anna, a superintendent of schools in Virginia, presenting a crystal clear picture of an engaged team member. Good…

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GIVEAWAY!!! Leave a comment on this blog and we’ll enter your name into our April 24, 2018, drawing for an autographed hardcover 5th edition QBQ! book!

employee engagement, customer service, dumpster, outstanding service

Is your organization striving for high-level “employee engagement”?

If so, here’s a story from Anna, a superintendent of schools in Virginia, presenting a crystal clear picture of an engaged team member. Good stuff. Enjoy and … share on!

Anna’s Story Is Howard’s Story

John, I’ve listened to “QBQ!,” “Flipping the Switch,” and “Outstanding!” several times on audio. I love how such practical content can change a life so much and make my world a happier place. I now look for examples to share. Here’s one …

I rented a large garbage dumpster to be delivered to my house. When the truck driver, Howard, called me at work, I left to meet him. I’d told the phone rep that I have two large columns on each side of my driveway that could be a problem, so I wanted to be there.

When I arrived home, I saw a huge truck sitting on the street in front of my house. I instantly knew there was no way that vehicle was getting past those columns.

So I exited my car to begin my “walk of shame” toward the driver, expecting to be told I’d wasted his time.

Instead, Howard cheerfully informed me he would turn his vehicle around to get a better angle and try again. I had little hope as I couldn’t see how that truck and dumpster would ever fit through my driveway opening.

I got back in my car while he made the second attempt.

Bummer. No go.

Howard then pulled up next to me, lowered his window and here’s what he didn’t do:

He did not tell me it wasn’t going to work.

He did not say he was leaving and would still get paid for his time.

He did not make fun of the lady who thought such a massive truck could fit through such a narrow opening.

He did not quit on me!

What Howard said was, “Look, I have a smaller truck back at the shop. I really think I can get this to fit. You go back to work and I’ll have the dumpster sitting next to your garage when you get home tonight.”

I couldn’t believe it. This delivery was using a ton of his time—and it wasn’t like he was getting paid extra for the extra effort. 

I went back to work.

Later, when I got home, that dumpster was sitting right where it needed to be. The next morning I called C&S Disposal to tell them they have the most AMAZING worker on the planet and his name is Howard!

Be Outstanding, Be Like Howard

When I read Anna’s story, it occurred to me that organizations work hard on “employee engagement”—and Howard’s actions and attitude constitute exactly what can be achieved,

Here’s our QBQ, Inc. definition of Employee Engagement:

The emotional commitment team members possess that drives them to care deeply about their work, results, organization, and customers.

Thanks to Anna and Howard, we now know exactly what high-level employee engagement looks like. We hope it’s happening in your organization! 😎

Discussion:

Are you a Howard? Do you know a Howard? Share a story or a comment now! 

GIVEAWAY!!! Leave a comment on this blog and we’ll enter your name into our April 24, 2018, drawing for an autographed hardcover 5th edition QBQ! book!

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4 Customer Service Lessons From … An Airline?! https://qbq.com/qbq-customer-service-airline-industry/ https://qbq.com/qbq-customer-service-airline-industry/#comments Wed, 11 Apr 2018 15:08:19 +0000 https://qbq.com/?p=15348 When it comes to the airline industry, there is so much negative stuff. How ’bout we share a positive airline piece on customer service and commitment? 😎 Enjoy this outstanding customer service story from QBQ! reader, Spencer Werness, of the Twin Cities, Minnesota airport … Spencer Is All About The Customer John, I’m an agent for…

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When it comes to the airline industry, there is so much negative stuff. How ’bout we share a positive airline piece on customer service and commitment? 😎

Enjoy this outstanding customer service story from QBQ! reader, Spencer Werness, of the Twin Cities, Minnesota airport …

customer service, commitment, qbq, accountability, delta airlines

Spencer Is All About The Customer

John, I’m an agent for Delta Air Lines in Baggage Service, where few people tell you what a great job you’re doing. It’s the place where customers come to inform us their bag has been delayed, damaged, or taken by another passenger.

Recently, a “Medallion” frequent flier gentleman came to me during a busy evening to say his luggage was not on the carousel. When I looked it up I saw it was arriving on a flight after midnight. He said he had business at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, 75 miles south of the airport.

I handled his claim and apologized. Then he said, “Spencer, I need assurance from you that my bag is going to be at my hotel in Rochester tonight. What can you provide me?”

I replied, “You are looking at your assurance, Sir. Me.

“If your bag is still here at the airport when I get off work at 12:30 am, I will drive it down to you as I have for passengers before.”

The look on his face was a Kodak Moment. He said, “Well, okay then. Thank you.”

So, it turned out that his bag was still at the airport when my shift ended.

When I arrived at his hotel at 3:15 am, the front desk person said, “You must be Spencer! Mr. Newport said you’d be bringing his bag. He asked to be called when you arrived.”

At 3:15 in the morning?

Minutes later, my customer came down to thank me for being—in his words—“a man of my word.” I told him I grew up in a family that owned a successful funeral home and it was instilled into me that you only get one chance to do it right, so do it right the first time. A commitment made is a commitment met!

John, my joy in this job comes from being a servant to my customers. They are the ones who write my paycheck.

4 Outstanding Customer Service Lessons

Mr. Newport’s decision to get out of bed at that time of day to thank Spencer for his outstanding customer service speaks volumes about what Spencer’s actions meant to his customer, doesn’t it?

Let’s see, what exactly did Spencer teach us all?

  • Do the right thing the first time.
  • Honor commitments and promises.
  • Possess a servant’s heart.
  • Know who pays our bills.

These are the principles of outstanding customer service—and what the Outstanding! and QBQ! books are all about. Thanks to Spencer, it’s easy to see it is just this simple.

Comments always welcome. Do you have an outstanding customer service story to share? If so, post it here!

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Harmony Happens With Personal Accountability https://qbq.com/personal-accountability-harmony-relationships/ https://qbq.com/personal-accountability-harmony-relationships/#comments Tue, 27 Mar 2018 16:57:47 +0000 https://qbq.com/?p=15301 Spencer Werness of Delta Airlines—you won the “stash” of 6 FREE QBQ! books! Congratulations! News Flash #1: Relationships Can Be Healthy The Miller marriage is healthy—and I have proof! We cleaned our garage over the weekend with NO disagreements over when to do it, how to do it, and where stuff should go. No tension, no…

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Spencer Werness of Delta Airlines—you won the “stash” of 6 FREE QBQ! books! Congratulations!

marriage, harmony, relationships, divorce

News Flash #1: Relationships Can Be Healthy

The Miller marriage is healthy—and I have proof!

We cleaned our garage over the weekend with NO disagreements over when to do it, how to do it, and where stuff should go.

No tension, no arguing, no fighting. We were not the Bickersons on Saturday, but rather the harmonious Millers.

Miraculous.

For many years our 7 children wanted to “run for the hills” whenever Mom and Dad said, “Kids, we’ll be cleaning the garage today.”

Not anymore, though. And … I feel I need to add this clarification:

This isn’t a case of the worn-out man joke about “Happy wife, happy life” or “My wife and I are in complete agreement: I do whatever she tells me!”

Married in 1980, Karen and I have finally come to a place of collaboration on <almost> all things. 🙂

It’s amazing what time can do to help people learn, grow, change—and discover that many battles (most?) are not worth fighting.

The reality, though, is we humans are not old till we’re old, wise till we’re wise, and experienced till we’ve had, well—experience.

Just the other day, Karen and I met with a Millennial whose marriage is a “rocky road” right now. Though we’re not counselors, we have learned many things and shared a few thoughts.

However, no matter what we said, what we heard from this young person was a really big need to …

Be right

Prove the other person wrong

Apply logic

Defend

Make excuses

All mixed with a lack of humility, contrition, and self-reflection.

In different words, many times over, Karen and I heard, “If only the other person would change!”

When my wife and I were alone again, I said, “Wow, that was me in my younger days.”

She said, “Yep.”

Oh. 🙂

Then, musing out loud, I added, “No wonder the QBQ! book remains so relevant. The all-too-human desire to change others will never go away.”

News Flash #2: Accountability Drives Harmony

Harmony is not created by two or more people. Harmony is driven by individuals who practice personal accountability. Asking QBQs (tutorial here) like, “What can I do to change me?” and “How can I improve this relationship?” is how harmony happens.

During this week, one does not need to be of the Christian faith to know that Easter is about forgiveness. So, here’s a question:

What if we brought greater forgiveness—along with humility and personal accountability—into our relationships? Father and son, mother and daughter, husband and wife, friend and friend, neighbor and neighbor.

Life truly is too short to travel the rocky relationship road. Create some harmony today!

How will you apply this message and what relationship will you focus on? Please share!

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Outstanding Customer Service Is ALWAYS Fun https://qbq.com/outstanding-customer-service-is-always-fun/ https://qbq.com/outstanding-customer-service-is-always-fun/#comments Wed, 21 Mar 2018 12:23:50 +0000 http://qbq.com/?p=15290 GIVEAWAY!!! Comment to possibly win 6 (yes, six!) FREE QBQ! books! There are many terrific aspects of being an author/speaker. One is when people have an outstanding experience, they think of your message. Honoring! In this case, it’s about QBQ!-esque customer service. Enjoy this story from Travis, a true believer in the QBQ! book and its message of…

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GIVEAWAY!!! Comment to possibly win 6 (yes, six!) FREE QBQ! books!

customer service, customer service training, QBQ

There are many terrific aspects of being an author/speaker. One is when people have an outstanding experience, they think of your message. Honoring!

In this case, it’s about QBQ!-esque customer service. Enjoy this story from Travis, a true believer in the QBQ! book and its message of Personal Accountability.

The Story

John, I have an amazing “QBQ! moment” to share with you!

My wife, Tammy, and I went to dinner in downtown Denver to a newish restaurant with our great friends, Tony and Robin. The place is the Blue Agave Grill and totally worth it! They are known not only for great food but for their margarita selections. None of us drink much but we thought, Well, when in Rome, so we each ordered a margarita to suit our own tastes. Tammy and our friend, Tony, asked for the identical cocktail which requires mint as an ingredient and garnish. 

Soon after ordering, the server brought our beverages and delivered margaritas to Tammy and Tony that were not what they’d requested. It seemed the restaurant was all out of fresh mint so these were now “on the house.”

We all reacted the same way. Okay, no big deal. Thanks for the freebies. 

But then, not five minutes later, the manager, Robert Duran, arrived with two new margaritas—and each contained mint. We were baffled.

Robert proceeded to tell us a team member had run next door to the Cheesecake Factory to borrow some mint leaves to make the drinks that Tammy and Tony had requested. He said he really wanted us to have “the true experience of our restaurant.” And … the new cocktails were also on the house! 

What a fun moment.

I pulled Robert aside and asked if he knew the QBQ! book and if he didn’t, I would send him a copy from my stash (I always have some on hand to give away)—because he and his team had exemplified the QBQ! message.

John, his book went in the mail today! 

Travis Pocock
SVP of LSQ

The Giveaway

Travis is right—this was and is QBQ! all the way, in every way.

For those who know QBQ!, this marvelous and fun Blue Agave Grill moment is a mini-version of Chapter One where we share our “Jacob and the Diet Coke” Rockbottom Restaurant story, one very few readers forget.

Have you read QBQ!? If so, great! But, do you have a stash like Travis? I mean, unless one has a stash, how can one give them away to deserving people?!

Thanks to Travis for knowing QBQ! content, recognizing QBQ! in action, and rewarding QBQ! behavior. What a good guy!

Meanwhile, do you need a stash of QBQ! books? If so …

Post a comment here on our Blue Agave story or what QBQ! has meant to you and we’ll enter your name into our drawing to win 6 FREE QBQ! books!

Drawing closes Monday, March 26, 2018 at 5 pm Eastern time.

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Family Breakdown: 12 Mistakes to Avoid https://qbq.com/family-mistakes-avoid-breakdown/ https://qbq.com/family-mistakes-avoid-breakdown/#comments Wed, 07 Mar 2018 16:32:08 +0000 http://qbq.com/?p=15272 It is often said our world’s woes can be traced to a “breakdown of the family.” So I got thinking, What exactly breaks a family down? What damages relationships, drives people apart, and creates estrangement? I believe exploring what we might do wrong is as healthy a learning process as studying the right things to…

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It is often said our world’s woes can be traced to a “breakdown of the family.” So I got thinking, What exactly breaks a family down? What damages relationships, drives people apart, and creates estrangement?

I believe exploring what we might do wrong is as healthy a learning process as studying the right things to do. So let’s look at one dozen mistakes that when made truly hurt families.

12 Attitudes, Approaches, and Actions That Damage Family Relationships

1. Poor parenting

From allowing kids to become entitled to shaming a child for spilling milk to not setting boundaries to skipping the whole discipline thing, lousy parenting has an everlasting and harmful impact. As is taught in Raising Accountable Kids, my child is a “product of my parenting.” Not only is that a statement of personal accountability, it drives me to be the best parent possible. Parenting is a learned skill, so the best moms and dads commit to becoming more skillful every day.

2. Striving to fix others

I’ve heard managers say this many times over: “I need to motivate my people!” Well, Dear Manager/Leader, don’t waste your time. You can improve your skills but you cannot infuse motivation into your staff—just as a dad cannot make his son who desires to be a musician into a physician. Spouses, parents, and siblings waste a ton of time and energy trying to fix others, usually doing more harm than good. Our advice? Stop now!

3. Denying feelings

Ever felt intense emotion and when you shared it, someone told you to “take a deep breath,” “just chill” or “calm down”? Frustrating! The secret sauce for any relationship is to allow people to feel how they feel. Do not dismiss another family member’s emotions. “Feelings just are” may be an over-used phrase, but that doesn’t make it untrue.

4. Triangling

When Person A is upset with Person B but only Talks to Person C about Person B, then Person A has introduced a terrible relational cancer into the family. Please hear this: A, talk to B yourself and leave C out of it! This is a far healthier approach to life.

5. Lack of forgiveness

I love the phrase, “There but for the grace of God go I.” If this is my attitude when humans around me make mistakes, I will forgive far more quickly than if I believe that I never blow it. Forgiveness is good for all.

6. Pride

The QBQ! book says, “Humility is the cornerstone of leadership.” We draw people to us with a humble and contrite spirit. Arrogance repels, humility is a magnet. The best way to defeat human pride is 2 1/2 words: “I’m sorry.”

7. Poor listening

While listening to a Paul Doiron novel I noted he described a character like this: “She has a way of hearing you with her complete attention and total eye contact that makes you believe you’re simply fascinating.” What would happen if we did this at home for our loved ones? Stop multi-tasking now!

8. Finger-pointing and blame

This, of course, is our focus at QBQ, Inc. Blame inflicts pain, creates fear, builds walls, and solves no problems. For the sake of the family, bust the blame today.

9. “The grass is greener” syndrome

“Sadly, our marriage failed. A year later, he wanted to get back together but I’d moved on,” said one Flipping the Switch reader. Her hubby thought it’d be better somewhere else—but it wasn’t. Marriage is a permanent promise requiring hard work. It is sometimes messy and never perfect. The good news is, it’s not perfect anywhere. Stick around and work it out.

10. Self-pity and victim thinking

Ever held a “Pity Party” to which you were the only guest invited? Feeling sorry for oneself and playing the victim strains relationships. Work to be a victor over unforeseen circumstances and life’s disappointments. You’ll be easier to live with.

11. Lack of purpose

“I have seen all the things that are done under the sun, but they are meaningless, a chasing after the wind,” states the Bible’s King Solomon. In today’s world, the next iPhone, vehicle, Aruba vacation, or pay raise are but fleeting pleasures. When I discover my life calling, I add value to my family. Boredom, depression, anger, and fear are all chased away by purpose. When individuals find purpose, the family finds strength.

12. Inability to let go

The most life-changing of all QBQs—named The Ultimate QBQ!—is this: “How can I let go of what I cannot control?” Without this powerful question, we’ll likely succumb to grudge-holding, passive/aggressive behaviors, and a need to control others. Ask this QBQ now to strengthen your family.

— — — — — —

The breakdown of any family is a serious matter—and it happens when we make mistakes. Which of the 12 mistakes is critical to you right now and why? Share your thoughts!

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Teamwork: No Cool Kids, Every Player Counts https://qbq.com/every-team-player/ https://qbq.com/every-team-player/#respond Wed, 28 Feb 2018 19:31:46 +0000 http://qbq.com/?p=15261 I’ve always loved this question: “What’s the most important leg of a 3-legged stool?” The answer is, of course, obvious. How about this question, though: “Who’s the most important member of a team?” Isn’t the answer also—all of them? I’ve had some Big Bad Voodoo Daddy music for years and often jump right into it…

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I’ve always loved this question: “What’s the most important leg of a 3-legged stool?” The answer is, of course, obvious.

How about this question, though: “Who’s the most important member of a team?” Isn’t the answer also—all of them?

I’ve had some Big Bad Voodoo Daddy music for years and often jump right into it when exercising. Today, though, I decided to watch this terrific group here:

Big Bad Voodoo

I was mesmerized. Not just by the musical talent, of which I have none, but the TEAMWORK.

Go ahead, watch the super fun 4-minute video of the timeless, “I Wanna Be Just Like You” from the 1967 classic Disney movie, Jungle Book. Trust me—YOU. WILL. LOVE. IT.

As you watch, ask yourself this: Who is the most important Voodoo team member?

Pianist? Lead singer with a guitar? Drummer? Trombone player? Saxophone gents? Bongo man? Trumpet peeps? Super cool, bass-playing dude?

The audience???

(Every performer knows that you must have an on-fire crowd to be your best!)

Personally, I think the teamwork in this video—a high level of synchronization of all moving parts critical for success to happen—is stellar. Maybe even … Outstanding!

Effective Team Formula

When we were writing Outstanding! I asked Molly, our twentysomething daughter, who loves soccer and basketball and has served as a captain in both sports, “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 serious research for a book or anything. But I loved her answer:

“Everyone taking care of their own stuff, Dad. Everybody working hard at doing their job well.”

And, may I add, every team member using his or her God-given talent to shine—so the team can perform at the highest level possible.

Outstanding Team Members

We say this in the QBQ! book:

Would you watch a bald eagle soar and say, “I wish he could swim the seas like a dolphin”? Would you look at a dolphin and hope it someday might reach the heavens like a giraffe? Would you think, Why can’t the lion run as fast as the cheetah? No, of course not. How ridiculous.

Are you on teams with people who are different from you? Of course. And each person is needed. Period.

Every person in an organization plays an essential role in that organization’s success. And even though some have more responsibilities, grander titles, and bigger offices, there are no “cool kids.”

Who Matters Most on the Team?

Picture high-level executives with broad and far-reaching positions trying to do their jobs without everyone else doing theirs. Whether it is the receptionist managing phone calls, the IT person keeping the systems running, or the maintenance crew maintaining the building’s air conditioning and heating, that exec fails without these people doing their cornerstone jobs.

So, returning to our Voodoo gents, I ask this:

If the lead singer is the CEO, could he alone create a musical performance like you witnessed in the video?

Nope. Because the truth is this: Every player counts.

Is this true in your organization?

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Playing the Victim: Why Go There? https://qbq.com/playing-the-victim-why-go-there/ https://qbq.com/playing-the-victim-why-go-there/#comments Mon, 12 Feb 2018 16:41:50 +0000 http://qbq.com/?p=15248 In our blog, The Solution Is Right In Front of Me, I stated, “My life can and will be better when I choose to make it better. Anything else is blame, whining, procrastination, and victim thinking.” Many Amen!-type comments arrived, but Alicia objected by email: “John, self-effort will get a person off the couch and can improve a life (compared to…

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In our blog, The Solution Is Right In Front of Me, I stated, “My life can and will be better when I choose to make it better. Anything else is blame, whining, procrastination, and victim thinking.”

Many Amen!-type comments arrived, but Alicia objected by email:

“John, self-effort will get a person off the couch and can improve a life (compared to being a slug), but self-effort alone is not the determining factor in achieving success. There are many other factors. To believe that is not ‘victim thinking.’”

That’s okay. Nice people can disagree nicely.

But then Lori sent a comment. Well, more of a story that we’ll share now.

The Lori Story

John, I was married to a passive/aggressive, negative, and angry man who complained constantly. I did my best to remain positive and be the best mom possible. But, our marriage did not last.

Post-divorce, he wanted to get back together, but I didn’t believe he’d changed. So I told him, “No, thanks. I’m good.”

Bluntly, I chose to not be his enabler anymore while he emotionally and mentally abused me. 

He’s now married to wife #4, while I am happily enjoying a fulfilling life and career. Every day I make a difference in the lives of people by providing outstanding customer service in the workplace—and love doing it.

It’s true, life is what we make it—so make it wonderful! And, yes, you may quote me.

We just did! Thanks, Lori!

Don’t Go There

There’s a viral video out there attempting to demonstrate how the family we were born into, our heritage, and the opportunities available to us affect how far we might go in life. All very interesting. But …

In my humble opinion, when we start believing in caveats, exceptions, and extenuating circumstances, we slip into victim thinking. To lament where/how I began life and what I did/didn’t have doesn’t help me move forward. I mean, why go there? What’s the point?

Truth: For every person who struggles because the deck was stacked against him or her, there’s another who was dealt the same deck and yet achieves great things. How? By staying away from finger-pointing, blame, and victim/entitlement thinking.

I want to be like that person—the one who chooses the path of Personal Accountability. Don’t you?

Furthermore, as much as I dislike victim thinking, I detest the efforts of those who strive to cause others to play the victim. AKA politiciansbut that’s another blog. 🙂

Let’s close with a comment from Dan of Hubbard Family Swim. It says it all:

“John, I am only a victim if I think and act like one. Everyone on this planet could find a reason to play the victim, but some CHOOSE not to—and it is those people who rise above.”

Amen.

Comment away! 

 

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The Solution Is Right In Front of Me! https://qbq.com/accountability-solution-simplicity/ https://qbq.com/accountability-solution-simplicity/#comments Tue, 30 Jan 2018 22:44:40 +0000 http://qbq.com/?p=15230 Leave a comment on this blog and your name will be entered into our drawing for a signed Raising Accountable Kids book. So, jump right in! On our QBQ! Facebook page, I posted, “My success begins and ends with my choices.” Many folks said, “Amen!” Except for one guy. He wrote … “How luck and random…

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Leave a comment on this blog and your name will be entered into our drawing for a signed Raising Accountable Kids book. So, jump right in!

On our QBQ! Facebook page, I posted, “My success begins and ends with my choices.” Many folks said, “Amen!”

Except for one guy. He wrote …

“How luck and random events play into the affairs of humankind must be considered. It’s surely fortunate to be born in the U.S., have the name of Trump, be healthy, and so on—but making good choices isn’t easy when the options are opaque, incomprehensible, or too numerous to master.”

Huh?

To be honest, this type of “rationale” exhausts me. Call me simple-minded, but I believe this:

My life can and will be better when I choose to make it better. Anything else is blame, procrastination, whining, and victim thinking.

So sorry if that offends—it’s simply how I choose to view the world.

The Solution Was Right In Front of Me

The Millers have an intercom system in our Colorado house, installed before we bought the home. With many levels, stairs, and steps, it’s a handy tool. Press a button in any room to locate or ask someone a question! We’ve loved it.

Until it quit. Ugh.

I knew finding a vendor would be a hassle—and costly. So I opened the main console (pictured), tinkered with the wires, surfed the web for solutions, and emailed potential suppliers. I got nowhere.

Then I remembered—I know a guy!

I contacted Brennan, a friend of our daughter, Tara’s, and an A/V expert. A week later, he drove the 20 miles to our home. What a guy.

After looking at the console, Brennan asked where our electrical wires converge. I directed him to the basement.

Joining him moments later, I found Brennan in our water heater closet, grinning out at me. With great anticipation, I exclaimed, “You fixed it?!?”

He pointed. That’s when I saw a dangling UNPLUGGED electrical cord (also pictured).

You have got to be kidding me.

Brennan then reached for the cord, inserted it into the outlet, and declared, “Problem solved!”

Believe me, we had a good laugh. As “payment,” I gave him six Flipping the Switch books for his team at work and he left. Brennan’s visit lasted … 7 minutes. 🙂

Are You a Complicator Or a Simplifier?

Problem: Intercom not working.

Solution: Plug it in.

Humans have an innate ability to overcomplicate life and exacerbate its daily challenges by not seeing and reaching for the obvious solution. Yet we’re far more apt to “live successfully” when we grab the answer right in front of us. You know, this one:

Making better choices. Taking ownership. Practicing personal accountability and responsibility.

Too simple? Maybe, but here’s my view: Life is hard enough, why make it harder by —

  • Playing the victim
  • Conjuring up excuses
  • Holding a “Pity Party of One”
  • Living with entitlement thinking
  • Engaging in “If Only” and “What If”
  • Blaming others for my results/outcomes
  • Searching for “extenuating circumstances”

Doesn’t that all just sound … draining?

It does to me.

Do you desire greater energy, focus, happiness, and personal growth? Want to solve more problems, move forward faster, and achieve bigger goals? Then un-complicate life by reaching for the solution staring each of us in the face: Personal Accountability.

It’s just as simple as that.

Oh, how did that intercom cord get unplugged? Well, that’s another story.

Are you a Complicator or a Simplifier? Comments welcome!

Leave a comment and your name will be entered into our drawing for a signed Raising Accountable Kids book. So, jump right in!

(Drawing deadline: Tuesday, February 6, 2018)

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3 Ways To Grate On Others: COMPLAIN! COMPLAIN! COMPLAIN! https://qbq.com/complaining/ https://qbq.com/complaining/#comments Wed, 17 Jan 2018 13:36:20 +0000 http://qbq.com/?p=15214 Comment on this post and be entered into our drawing* to win an autographed set of QBQ! and Flipping the Switch books! As Karen and I dined at a Denver-based restaurant chain, the manager, Nate, stopped by our table to see how we were doing. One thing led to another, and—as is my wont—I mentioned the…

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Comment on this post and be entered into our drawing* to win an autographed set of QBQ! and Flipping the Switch books!

qbq, personal accountability, no complaining

As Karen and I dined at a Denver-based restaurant chain, the manager, Nate, stopped by our table to see how we were doing. One thing led to another, and—as is my wont—I mentioned the QBQ! book to him and gave my usual 15-second book summary. It goes like this:

“Yep, QBQ! is an easy one-hour read about personal accountability and how to deliver outstanding customer service while eliminating blame, finger-pointing, whining, procrastination, and complaining.”

When I hit that last word, he was all over it like a cheap suit. 🙂

Shaking his head, Nate declared, “Man, we’re always working on that around here. We held a team meeting just this morning on the topic of complaining and how it hurts the team.”

That’s when my wife chimed in with a QBQ! book story I hadn’t heard yet. Earlier that day, she’d visited our local UPS store. The manager there has a QBQ! book because I gave it to him last Fall.

During this visit, the UPS gent said to Karen, “Ah, so you’re Mrs. QBQ! Let me tell you what we do with your husband’s book: When team members start complaining, I tell them to go to the backroom and read three chapters of QBQ! They always return with a better attitude!”

Whatever works.

ComplainingWe All Do It.

In Raising Accountable Kids, my wife of 37+ years actually wrote this:

John wears a sign around his neck at home that screams “CHIEF COMPLAINER.” Being a verbal guy who likes to express every thought as declaratory statements, candid observations, and unsolicited counsel, John often sounds like he’s complaining. Sometimes, he is.

The problem with complaining is, well, everything. It wastes energy and time while bringing down the “mood” of teams, departments, and homes. It rarely adds value.

Sure, once in a while complaining can initiate problem-solving and something might be made better as a result. Mostly, though, complaining is just victim thinking in the form of a lousy verbal habit that grates on others.

Knowing his propensity to complain and the impact it has on others, John sometimes asks this fairly odd but critical-for-him QBQ (tutorial on QBQs):

“What can I do right now to keep my big mouth shut?!” 🙂

Of course, better QBQs would be:

“How can I be more positive?”

“What can I do to find the good?”

“How can I offer a solution to the problem?”

Those are outstanding questions and anyone can ask them, whether she/he works at a shipping store, restaurantor your organization.

Enter Our Drawing!

Answer either or both questions below to be entered into our drawing* to win a set of autographed QBQ! and Flipping the Switch books.

If you don’t win, though, pleaseNO COMPLAINING.

What is the #1 consequence of complaining?

When do you tend to complain the most?

*Contest/drawing ends Monday, Jan 22, 2018, at noon Eastern time.

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