Want Success? Raise Your Inner Game!

mindfulness, raise inner game, david levin

My wrestling coach dad, Jimmy Miller, had a poem hanging on the Cornell University grappling room wall in the 1960s. Still burned into my brain, here’s an excerpt from “The Man Who Thinks He Can”:

If you think you are beaten, you are;

If you think you dare not, you don’t.

If you’d like to win, but think you can’t

It’s almost a cinch you won’t.

If you think you’ll lose, you’ve lost.

For out in the world we find

Success begins with a person’s will,

It’s all in your state of mind.

Powerful stuff, for sure. If that’s not a poem about mindfulness, I’m not sure what is. And “mindfulness” is a hot topic! 

In the QBQ! book we write, “The old stuff is the good stuff”—so in line with that poem, here’s an old idea that is forever good:

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Crucial Question: When is a customer an inconvenience?

customer service, service, accountability, qbq

The Philosophy

In Flipping the Switch (the companion to the QBQ! book), we write this:

“Organizations don’t serve people, individuals serve people. In the customers’ eyes the institution is only as good as the person they are interacting with at that moment. In other words, the individual is the organization.”

The Set-up

Though I was driving farm tractors and pick-up trucks by age 13, not to mention replacing my 1970 Plymouth Valiant’s water pump and radiator at 20, I’ve never felt super comfortable in auto parts stores. I’m probably not alone.

If there is ever a time to help me feel welcome, it’s in an auto parts store.

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The Challenge of Change: Four Roadblocks


As you explore the four roadblocks we face when attempting to change, ask yourself, “Which of these do I struggle with?” If you’re not sure, share this blog with a trusted partner and request a reality check. You might learn something—about you!

Four Roadblocks to Change

Roadblock #1: Deny 

Minding my own business in the Dubai Grand Hyatt, a knock on my door startled me. Through the peephole, I saw three serious-looking men. Opening the door, I was greeted by an English-speaking gent with a Middle Eastern accent:

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Busting the Blame: It’s Not Complicated

blame, costs of blame, team, team building, accountability training

The Conversation

Prospect: “John, we have a problem.”

Me: “Uh oh. What happened?”

Prospect: “You know I believe QBQ! training is needed at Lockheed Martin, but after our SVP read the QBQ! book, she decided it’s ‘too simple.’”

Me: ”Well, yeah, it’s not rocket science!”

Pause …

Me: ”Um, what’s her background?”

Prospect: ”She’s a rocket scientist.”

I’ll never forget that conversation. Yes, I missed that sale but the SVP was right: The QBQ! message of PERSONAL ACCOUNTABILITY is simple.

But not too simple. Eradicating the cancer of blame from our world, not to mention our organizations, politics, and families, is exactly what’s needed—and not complicated.

Blame Is Spelled “b-lame”

Have you witnessed blame? If so, you’ve not only seen blame, you’ve seen lame. I mean, what could be more lame than when …

9 CommentsLeadership, Personal Accountability

Relationships: Success Is All About Me Changing Me

On the evening of July 3, 1979, Karen and I sat on the grass at Stewart Park in Ithaca, New York. I had just handed her my softball mitt. When she opened it and spotted the microscopic $395 “diamond” ring, I said, “You’re a great catch!”

It was her turn:

“Nope.”

“Uh-uh.”

“I’m not marrying you.”

Hmm, this was not going according to plan. Denied thrice by my 18-year-old quasi-girlfriend.

I say “quasi” because just weeks before, I’d broken up with her, which hurt her and her mom. I later learned that my kids’ future grandma uttered these words:

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Interviewing: 3 Ridiculously Obvious Traits to Hire

The content below works for those interviewing and those being interviewed. Enjoy!

If you recruit, interview, and select people, here’s our counsel: Hire CHARACTER over CREDENTIALS.

In the Outstanding! book, we share a client’s response to this philosophy:

“You know, John, we do hire based on perceived skills, background, and education, but come to think of it, we almost always fire on the basis of character, or should I say, the lack of it. We have it backward.

Yep. Most organizations do.

So let’s explore three ridiculously obvious—but often overlooked—character traits to bring into your organization …

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John G. Miller: A Biography

John G. Miller John was born in 1958 in Ithaca, N.Y. His dad, Jimmy Miller, was the Cornell University wrestling coach and a small-town pastor. This is probably why John finds it so natural to coach and teach! At 18, John asked 16-year-old, Karen, to a movie and a few short years later they married in June…

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The #1 Mistake Managers Just Keep On Making!

Have The QBQ! Workbook yet? Practical, powerful, and personal!

There might be a million mistakes managers make, but the one we’re covering today is #1. First, let’s look at an example of sound judgment and skilled people management.

Good Managers Grow

I’ve watched Judy grow from a 23-year-old business newbie to a vice-president. She’s gone from vendor to friend to family over 20 years. I call her “Daughter #8,” with only six Miller girls and a daughter-in-law coming before her.

She didn’t begin her career to become an “executive”—but that’s what she is today. Her demeanor is sweet, kind, sensitive, helpful. I can make her giggle easily with my brilliant wit and charm.

This leader is no “meanie poo,” that’s for sure. But she did fire someone recently. If you think that makes her a meanie poo, you should not be in management.

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Repeat After Me: “I can only change ______ !”

Leave a comment below to possibly win a brand new The QBQ! Workbook

If Just ONE …

During this Dave Ramsey Show interview, Dave asked me, “If people only get one idea from QBQ! what do you want it to be?”

I responded, “Well, Dave, it’s this: I can only change … me.”

Some of you right now are thinking, That’s not new, John, not new at all!

Right. But remember what we teach in the QBQ! book:

Repetition is the motor of learning!

So, let’s repeat the truth that I can only change me—a cornerstone of PERSONAL ACCOUNTABILITY—using a story shared by QBQ! reader, Annetta:

5 CommentsManagement, Personal Accountability

QBQ Workbook

Change happens when we think deeply, reflect personally, and engage with content frequently—all leading to action. When true, accountable study occurs, the QBQ! ideas and methods come to life. Personal Accountability, as a guiding value, makes great things happen! This is what The QBQ! Workbook will do for you! More here: Our new personal accountability…

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