15 Things You Don’t Need College To Learn

We want you written on a chalkboard at the office

I make one statement in my “How to Be An Outstanding Organization!” speaking engagements that generates spontaneous applause—and it’s this:

“Outstanding organizations hire and promote character over credentials and college degrees.”

I suspect those who clap have been passed over for a pay increase and bigger title—or didn’t get hired somewhere—because they skipped college or didn’t attend the “right” school. Sadly, they’ve felt the pain of watching someone else win the opportunity they sought. Also sadly, the employer possibly missed out on the person of character desperately needed.

You know, the person who does crazy, unusual, and abnormal stuff like this:

10 CommentsUncategorized

The Accountable Person’s Bill of 39 Rights

Grab the new QBQ! Workbook here. Personal, powerful, and practical!

Bill of Rights ... iStock_000007427085_Large

If you know what we do here at QBQ, Inc., it’s no surprise to you that we think about PERSONAL ACCOUNTABILITY—a lot.

What does personal accountability mean? How is it manifested in a person’s life? What does practicing it do for us? What is the “why” behind living accountably? How do we make it a core value in our organizations?

All good questions, along with this one: What would an “Accountable Person’s Bill of Rights” look like?

So began the creation of the following list. As you peruse them, if you believe any are worth incorporating into your life, go right ahead!

21 CommentsPersonal Accountability

Printers Are Disposable. Marriages Are Not!

printer

Way back in the 1990s, someone said to me, “If your home office printer isn’t working, just throw it out and go buy another. Nobody fixes them anymore.”

Ain’t that the truth? I buy a “4-in-1” printer for about $100 and when it stops working, into the dumpster (or recycling) it goes!

Too bad, actually, to waste all those plastic parts and metal pieces. But, it’s the “way of the world.”

Sadly, the world seems to view marriages as home office printers. 

Not working? Get a new one! Too hard to deal with? Dump it! Not running smoothly? Upgrade!

Recently, our oldest offspring, Kristin, my co-speaker at QBQ, Inc. and a mom of three—posted a 2005 wedding photo on her 10th wedding anniversary.

I immediately left this comment:

33 CommentsPersonal Accountability

Blame: The Spreadable Sin

no_more_excuses_posters-rfce8dec611e145f2821101b863684f0c_wvk_8byvr_512

So often people say, “There’s plenty of blame to go around!”—a favorite phrase of the media. It seems to be our human nature to immediately ask Whodunnit?! when something happens that was unplanned, disappointing, or embarrassing.

When it all goes wrong—even if we know in our heart that what we did was stupid—it’s tempting to spread the blame around saying, “Well, yeah, I did do that, but, you see, that person over there made me do it!”

Or this: “I accept 65% of the blame, but he/she is 35% responsible, too!”

In the ’70s, a common phrase that adorned car bumpers was this:

Leave a commentUncategorized

Courtesy, Rudeness, Meetings, and Teamwork

Readers, can you help us solve a problem???

Int3

I received this email from Betty:

“John, the 10 questions for better communication in your blog titled Why don’t THEY communicate better? is Just More Blame really helped me. They also made me reflect on a communication problem we’re having: People who interrupt. Two team members in our department frequently interrupt colleagues during meetings, including the director, who is our boss.”

After reading the rest of Betty’s email (below), essentially describing four scenarios, I couldn’t resist titling them. So the headings are mine, while the descriptions are hers.

Let’s continue with her email:

27 CommentsUncategorized

“Why don’t THEY communicate better?” is Just More Blame

IMG_4549I bet the maker of this Rice Lake, Minnesota sign was not really saying, “Enjoy your visit to our Port-a-John in the woods!”

But that’s what the sign said to me when I read it.

That doesn’t make me dumb. Nor does it make the sign’s author stupid.

We simply were not communicating.

Communication—it’s a problem … everywhere.

This scene has played out many times in my 29 years of training:

12 CommentsUncategorized

6 Costs of a Dangerous Way of Thinking

Nucla Sunset

Have you heard this?

“If you don’t like the weather, just wait five minutes!”

Sorry to offend those who think their weather is “all that,” but Karen and I have lived in Montana, Missouri, Minnesota, and Colorado since 1980, and in each locale that claim has been made.

Not sure why people think their weather is unique. Maybe it’s a result of growing up in one region of the country and never moving from there. I don’t know.

It’s not a bad thing to say, of course. It’s just … “uninformed.” (Yes, I know, that will offend some. Sorry!)

But there is another uninformed statement people make that is a bad thing to say. I’ve heard it in the computer industry, oil and gas field, funeral home business, faith-based world, and the restaurant market. It’s this:

10 CommentsUncategorized

Lousy Customer Service Starts At The Top

O book

Silly me.

Every time I think the corporate world has a handle on this “customer service” thing, I hear an anecdote like the one below.

When we wrote Outstanding!—which Dave Ramsey endorsed because he knows how critical it is to not be mediocre—we included at least five chapters that today’s story could have fit into:

Never Forget Who Pays the Bills

Put People Before Policies

Management Sets the Cultural Tone

Keep “The Mission” Top of Mind

Get Actions in Line with Values

But, since Outstanding! is already written, we’ll use it in this QBQ! QuickNote.

In response to our Outstanding Customer Service: Seize the Moment! blog published recently, Paul sent us his story …

21 CommentsCustomer Service

Outstanding Customer Service: Seize the Moment!

outstanding customer service happens in moments

As dinner wound down at the well-known steakhouse, our server, Joey, brought dessert and coffee. Now, just so you know, each of us in our party of four loves coffee, preferring it black and DARK.

As Joey walked away, though, we peered into our cups and expressed a collective, “Yuck!”

Have you heard the “hot water with a brown crayon dipped into it” phrase? That’s what we’d just been served.

At $2.95 per cup!

I waved Joey over to express some disappointment and get our small problem solved, but it wasn’t long before I realized I wasn’t going to get what I wanted.

Was he rude, snippy, or combative? No, not at all …

29 CommentsCustomer Service