Do You Want To Be Right — or Successful?

Have you stubbed your toe on a chair and in pain yelled, “Who put that stupid chair there?!”

If so, your reaction was due to an innate, intense need to not be responsible. This is typical of the human race: we readily look outside of ourselves for anything or anyone to blame.

It’s a lousy way to live life and makes success in any endeavor elusive.

Why We Blame

We blame because “pain avoidance” is Job One for the human race. We shun mental, physical, and emotional pain. In the feelings realm, negative emotions like shame, embarrassment, frustration, fear, and anger cause us to lash out, point fingers, and deflect responsibility.

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The QBQ! Essence: Serving People

A meaningful moment for us is when a reader of QBQ! The Question Behind the Question applies our message of Personal Accountability in ways we’d not dreamed of when we first penned and published the book—and shares it with us.

This powerful and touching story (and application of our material) comes from a friend and colleague, Renee.

When I emailed her to ask how she was, with grace and humility she responded with this note. I always knew she’s special, but this story confirms it. Enjoy!

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Accountable People Dig Deep — Have You?

WARNING: Content ahead that makes us think. That’s good, since Ben Franklin said, “If it hurts, it instructs.”

That Important Day

It was 1991 when I told Terry, a marital counselor, about my Upstate New York “home of origin” and family system dysfunction. In that first session, after sharing great detail, I confidently (and foolishly) concluded, “But Karen and I left all that behind when we moved to Minnesota in 1980.”

The truth of Terry’s response still stings:

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Diet Coke or Diet Dr. Pepper—It’s All QBQ! Service

Readers of the QBQ! book have sent us many great customer service stories. They do this when they experience a moment that brings them right back to the book’s content, specifically Chapter One titled, “A Picture of Personal Accountability.” This is where Jacob, my server at the Rockbottom Restaurant, sent his manager to grab me a Diet Coke from a nearby grocery store. I was more than delighted!

Oh, you don’t know that story? Well, pick up a QBQ! book today! 😎

Meanwhile, here is the most recent story to come to us. Enjoy!

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Seeking and Giving Help — 9/11 or Today

It may not be the time of year we normally think about 9/11—not that we will ever forget—but here’s a story from that awful day I will always remember. Share if you’d like!

John G. Miller, author of these books

Asking a Lousy Question

Hours after the terrorist attacks, I was asking the whiny question, “Why do I have to do everything myself?” Looking back, I was mindlessly rearranging my garage, doing my best to not feel the pain.

I was also avoiding what sat on the back of my pickup truck: a new natural gas-powered furnace/heater for our above-ground pool—which I knew I could never lift off alone. My plan was to levitate it to the ground with sheer mind control.

Not feeling very good about anything, I was suddenly interrupted by a pleasant, “Afternoon, Sir. How ‘ya doing?”

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6 Truths of Self-Pity and the Dangers of Victim Thinking

When does compassion for people become the enabling of victim thinking?

Here’s a phenomenon I’ve noticed: Some people who love the QBQ! book’s message of Personal Accountabilityand refuse to suffer from victim thinking themselveswill support other people’s tendency to play the victim. Even though they agree with this statement:

When I play the victim, I serve no one—not even myself.

Why some go out of their way to paint certain groups of people as victims—seeking to create a “fairer and more just world,” they’d say—is beyond me. PLEASE don’t get me wrong, we should desire to serve those who are less fortunate, but …

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The Workplace: Do People Want To Work?

From Steve, a business owner:

“What’s peculiar about today’s workforce—and perplexes me to no end—is people ask to earn more money, but when we give them additional work and hours, they go home. Hence, our recruiting job never ends.”

In this QBQ! QuickNote, instead of a big story or profound lesson on Personal Accountability or outstanding QBQ!-esque customer service, we’ll dive into the world of work, mostly because, like Steve, I’m confused.

I’ll share several examples of what I see happening, and ask you to assess and comment. Here we go!

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5 Ways to Evaluate Your Openness to Feedback

feedback-growth-management-leadership

Feedback is good. Without it, how do I improve?

“So, all I have to do, Beth, is push this button to evaluate you?” I asked incredulously.

“Yep. That’s right,” said Beth, an outstanding Colorado State government team member. Smiling, she handed me new license plates for a car we’d just bought.

My first thought as I pressed the EXCELLENT button: Glad my wife doesn’t have one of these for me at home!

My next thought:

19 CommentsLeadership, Management