Don’t Get Fired … Be Outstanding!

Happy 2015 to all! Our first blog of the year is longer than usual, but worth reading and applying. So grab a cup of coffee and enjoy!

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“Do people fire companies? Yes, they do!”

That was the beginning of an email sent to me by Steve Chamberlin, an executive with Husqvarna. The statement became the theme of our Outstanding! book.

Essentially, we maintain that people fire organizations—but they don’t fire the outstanding ones.

When we wrote the book, we used lots of stories, never knowing that later we’d stumble across one of the clearest examples ever of what happens when organizations are not outstanding.

Our story comes from Michael Miller and his wife, Casey, who run their own business—SunPrairieFilms.com—where being outstanding is imperative for success.

Here is their email to a credit union they left after only a couple weeks. As you read it, ask yourself—and discuss with your team—this critical question:

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All That Glitters Is Not Effective

accountability is not a fad

As we wind down this year and look toward the next, let’s keep in mind this thought from the QBQ! book:

The old stuff is the good stuff.

I had a colleague years ago who often said this:

“That idea worked so well I stopped using it.”

It was his tongue-in-cheek way of chastising himself for letting good ideas, practices, and habits fall out of his life. Essentially, he was asking this question:

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15 Reasons To Ask Questions

Do you know that I ask a lot of questions? 🙂

And there’s nothing wrong with that, since I’m a salesperson in all ways, and this is still true: Telling ain’t selling!

The essence of effective selling, of course, is asking. And I don’t mean asking for the order—though that’s critical—I mean asking questions.

But this blog is not about selling. It’s about why we ask questions, no matter our role.

But first, a story:

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13 “Holiday Traditions” to Lose – NOW!

Beyond some super bad holiday portraits taken in some families (we’ve all seen them!, there are some other holiday traditions that we might want to lose. Read on … enjoy and share!

Whether we plan to travel or not for the holidays, it’s likely we’ll have luggage. Yes, luggage in the form of the baggage of old habits—ones that reduce the quality of this wonderful season.

Are any of the following 13 holiday traditions—or “baggage”—familiar to you?

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The Simplicity of Being Outstanding

Lie: The customer is always right.

Truth: The customer is always the customer.

 

In Outstanding! we included a chapter titled, Never Forget Who Pays the Bills. The story below is a perfect picture of that fundamental yet powerful—and sometimes still forgotten—principle.

From Matthew, in Dublin, Ohio …

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8 Dumb Proclamations I’ve Made

Being-Wrong-blog-blueIn 1973, just weeks into 10th grade, I came home and made this wise and prophetic (NOT!) statement to my mother:

“Mom, I’m quitting typing class. I’ll never need it.

Forty years later, as I create this blog using only my middle fingers—can you say “clumsy, awkward, and slow”?—I will now share 7 additional amazingly dumb proclamations I’ve made:

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How QBQ! Is Helping One Man Face Cancer

An email from a reader of our QBQ! QuickNote blogs …

Hey, John!

I just read your blog titled “Why I’ll Never Go Into the Woods Again!” You wrote, “Sometimes our fears hold us back from ‘climbing that mountain,’ ‘reaching the summit,’ and ‘being our best.’”

Prior to getting into my “fear” story, I should tell you that wherever I go, I carry your QBQ! book. A little tattered and torn now, but by reading a chapter each day, I am able to stay on track. I’ve learned that personal accountability is what I need to practice at work and at home.

My story is about a “fear” that just became part of my life in the last few weeks and how I am managing it.

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Why I’ll Never Go Into the Woods Again!

Poison Ivy 2

Got fear?

I do.

Or maybe I should say fears.

Like any parent—and now grandparent—I do fear the danger our children face “out there” in the world, especially on the road. It’s not stifling, but I’ve expressed it often enough to our kids over the years (now ages 31, 29, 26, 24, 19, 17, and 16) as they’ve reached for the car keys, that they have all nicknamed our residence “WSH”:

Warm Safe Home.

Because, more than once, I’ve been known to say, “Don’t go out! Stay home! It’s safe and warm!”

So now they make fun of me.

Kids.

On a much less serious note, but still terrifying to me, is this:

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21 Doable Life #CHOICES

Choices food final

Choices. We hear all about them. We’re told motivational “fluff stuff” like, WE MAKE OUR CHOICES AND THEN OUR CHOICES MAKE US! We tell our teens: MAKE GOOD CHOICES!!!

All well and good. Just not very practical. And not specific enough to be doable.

As I began to lose weight—full story here—people would ask me what I was doing to burn calories and I’d say, “Walking.” Many would respond with, “But what are you doing to build muscle?” or “That’s it? Walking!?!”

I’d respond with, “Well, I figure if I’m walking around the block, I’m not on the couch watching ‘Everybody Loves Raymond’ reruns.”

That’s when I realized the whole concept of choices comes down to this:

Engaging in—or selecting—a better action over a not-as-good action.

Said another way, if I am doing X then I cannot be doing Y.

Here are 21 #CHOICES anyone can make:

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