The One Thing Accountable People Know

That 1 ThingProspecting by phone for many years, I learned that sometimes executives answer their own line. However, upon hearing me ask for a moment of their time, they’d bark, “I’M IN A MEETING!”

I learned to handle that objection, but it baffled me. My unspoken thought was—THEN DON’T ANSWER YOUR PHONE!

Not unlike someone complaining just the other day, “Your text woke me from my nap!”

THEN TURN OFF YOUR PHONE!

These small but real scenarios actually demonstrate the value in learning to ask “The Question Behind the Question” (QBQ) and bringing greater PERSONAL ACCOUNTABILITY into one’s life.

The one thing accountable people know is this:

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Do RIGHTS Trump RESPONSIBILITIES?

Cardenas
As the Denver Seminary leaders handed well-earned degrees to countless grads yesterday, with only one grad important to the Millers—son-in-law, Ricardo, who received a Master of Divinity. Congrats, Ricky!—my mind wandered.
 
But after a while, I picked up on a phrase employed repetitively:
 
“We now confer this degree upon you and with it all of the RIGHTS and RESPONSIBILITIES … ”
 
Hearing these words, questions filled my mind: Have we lost the second “R” word? Do RIGHTS trump RESPONSIBILITIES?
 
For the privilege of living in the greatest country in the world, aren’t there some things I am RESPONSIBLE for?
 
You know, stuff like:

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Victim Thinking Serves Nobody!

whiny

Ever made statements like these?

  • My kids don’t listen to me. It’s not fair. (Read: Parenting the QBQ Way)
  • The bank sold us a mortgage we couldn’t afford. It’s not fair.
  • I didn’t get the promotion/raise I expected. It’s not fair.
  • Others don’t work as hard as I do. It’s not fair.
  • My boss doesn’t communicate very well. It’s not fair.
  • They cut our benefits. It’s not fair.
  • My staff isn’t motivated. It’s not fair.
  • My co-workers are difficult. It’s not fair.
  • We can’t find people who want to work. It’s not fair.
  • I’m buried in student loans. It’s not fair.
  • The neighbors have a new boat/car/pool. It’s not fair.
  • The referees were awful and we lost the game. It’s not fair.

The truth is, no one is promised “fairness.” Humans make hurtful comments, accidents occur, events take a turn we don’t expect, others are blessed with talents we lack, things happen out of our control.

Sometimes WAY out of our control—like on May 20, 1975 …

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Master Money Manager Millennial Molly

MollyDid you hear our Broncos won Super Bowl 50? Well, the next day there was a scramble for championship jerseys here in Denver. Miller daughter Molly—Child #4 of 7—ran to Dick’s Sporting Goods and grabbed one for hubby, Ricardo.

But it was too small. When she returned it, the jerseys were gone.

So just the other day Molly popped onto eBay and found one. She bid, waited—and got it! Whoo hoo! Her real excitement, though, was evident when she said this:

“And, Dad, I made a profit of $9!”

I chuckled. “Profit”—that’s funny.

Most people might say, “And on eBay it was $9 less”—or something like that. But not Master Money Manager Millennial Molly … Cardenas.

Originally the youngest of four till Karen and I adopted three girls below her in age, and the child who NEVER got a joke growing up, we NEVER thought she’d be the one to someday:

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10 Weight Loss Tips From The Once Fat QBQ! Guy

weight loss

Four years ago today, something yuge happened in my life. Carrying a whopping 195 pounds on my 5’ 6” frame, I walked around the block.

Allow me to define “whopping”: In 1976, as a high school senior, I wrestled in the 132-pound weight class. (a photo and some powerful personal accountability content here)

The reality is, I’d become fat. Yes, fat.

Sadly, the top right April 2012 picture confirms I looked like Elvis in his final days.

But, the day after my walk around the block, I walked to a nearby intersection and back.

Two miles!

I then walked 2 miles the next day, then 3, then 4, and then 5 on some days. Before I knew it, I’d lost 43 pounds—and have kept it off.

I feel a hashtag coming on …

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12 Thoughts Achievers Think

Rock John2

As the SunPraireFilms.com photographer—also the only QBQ! daughter-in-law, Casey Mae—prepared to snap the next shot of this author/speaker, she wryly said, “Okay, John, pretend you’re thinking.”

So I did.

While feigning the act of thought, I had one:

Henry Ford.

The famous inventor and businessman made a profound statement:

“Thinking is the hardest work there is, which is probably the reason why so few engage in it.”

Love that.

Of course, any strength taken to an extreme becomes a weakness, so even thinking can be overdone. As we all know, it’s called “paralysis by analysis.”

However, I would posit this:

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17 “If Onlys” and How To Chase Them Away

If onlyIf only I was taller I could reach that cupboard above the fridge!

At 5 1/2 feet, “If only I was taller!” could be a frequent lament for me. But since it’s something I can’t change, I can get around this limitation by grabbing a nearby stool or chair.

Bemoaning, griping, and complaining won’t add a single inch to my stature.

Not to mention any joy to my life.

I also used to whine, “If only I was thinner!” Of course, this was something I could change so … I lost weight.

And this:

“If only my mom hadn’t died when I was a teen.”

No fixing that one.

There are three ways to handle an If Only:

1. Find a workaround (the handy stool)

2. Solve it (walk more, eat less)

3. Let. It. Go. (grieve and move on)

Left unattended, any and all If Onlys waste time, talent, and energy.

Agreed?

Yet, they’re so common. Here are 17 If Onlys:

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Humble vs. Haughty—The 5 Truths of Humility

IMG_8188A very fine line exists between humility and haughtiness.

I recently posted this picture of Central Park on our QBQ! Facebook page and wrote this:

Not a bad way to spend a morning, walking Central Park. In Manhattan to teach QBQ! at NBC at “30 Rock” Mon morn.

I knew from experience that posting where I was and why I was there was risky. In 1996, as a young speaker, I was hired to present on the same platform as Lou Holtz, the renowned Notre Dame football coach. Totally excited and enthused, I faxed—yes, faxed—an announcement to my clients.

The next day, a training manager told me that her VP of Sales boss had privately remarked, “There goes Miller grandstanding.”

Ouch.

I suppose I should’ve known better since I’d been taught better …

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