Tutorial: What are IQs and QBQs? We’ve discovered there are certain questions people ask that are unproductive, maybe even a bit dangerous! We call them “Incorrect Questions” or “IQs.” IQs tend to begin with the outwardly focused words “Why,” “When,” and “Who”: “Why is this happening to me?” and “Why don’t I ever get a…Continue Reading By John G. Miller
“Complacency is a state of satisfaction combined with an unawareness of potential danger, and it’s often characterized by one word: smug. Outstanding organizations know that “smug” doesn’t work. They understand the need to beat back complacency again and again.” Outstanding! Chapter 43: “Stay Alarmed”
In the late 1980s, early in my career selling management training, a mentor would say this after a client meeting that didn’t go as well as I’d planned: “Remember, just because they deny they have problems doesn’t mean they don’t have any.”
Denial. It’s a dangerous place to live.
Whenever any of us on the QBQ, Inc. team comes in to teach “Personal Accountability and the QBQ!” we always provide a pre-session questionnaire. Here is one of the questions we ask:10 CommentsBy John G. Miller
Kristin, the oldest of our seven children and a member of the QBQ, Inc. team, knowing my “salesy” personality, coined a phrase a decade ago that still makes me chuckle. She said, “Just bump into my dad at any airport and pretend you don’t know him and he’ll give you a free book!”
So, a month ago I landed at her airport in Madison, Wisconsin where she and her two little ones greeted me. She immediately asked, “Do you have a copy of the parenting book on you!?” When I pulled one from my bag, she grabbed it and ran off to give it to a mom she’d just met five minutes earlier!
Like dad, like daughter. Call me proud.
Since the book came out, Karen and I have been interacting with moms and dads by email, growing our “Parenting the QBQ Way” Facebook page, selling books, and, of course, giving some away. It’s been fun!10 CommentsBy John G. Miller
At QBQ, Inc. we are blessed to speak on personal accountability at a time when our world truly needs it. Teaching QBQ! is fun—and relevant. Relevant to the people I work with, and most importantly—relevant to me!
Because guess what? Want to know a secret?
I am entitled.
Or, said correctly, I find myself feeling entitled. Often. Regularly. And it makes me sick.
I am writing this as a “millennial.” I shudder to even use the term, as our generation has been dragged through the mud a bit. As the oldest of the millennials (“millennials” were born 1980-2000; I was born in 1983), I have struggled to identify with much of my generation. However, no matter how I feel about it, I am a millennial.
In the past three days alone, I’ve read two articles about millennials—my narcissistic, entitled, lazy, self-absorbed generation. I’ve read about our lack of professionalism, our inability to hold a decent conversation without checking our smart phones, and our inadequate understanding of or respect for the establishment. And, of course, our sorely entitled attitudes.
As I read these articles, I found myself scoffing. “Oh, those millennials. Aren’t they so cute—self-absorbed, unwilling to work hard and put the time in …” Oh wait … that’s me!24 CommentsBy Kristin Lindeen
QBQ! fans know that accountable folks don’t ask Incorrect Questions (IQs) such as:
“Why don’t I ever get a break?”
“When will they communicate better?”
“Who dropped the ball?”
QBQ! believers know that IQs like these lead to Victim Thinking, Procrastination, and Blame. They also know that asking The Question Behind the Question (QBQ) is the way to eliminate these traps. QBQs such as, “What can I do to solve the problem?” and “How can I contribute?” make the difference. This is all good.
But once a person takes QBQ! to heart and begins to practice personal accountability, there are a few outward signs—traits and characteristics—she or he will exhibit. Here are just three:17 CommentsBy John G. Miller
Even in a difficult economy, organizations must hire. And though “recruiting, interviewing, and selecting” is always important, it’s even more so when times are lean, mostly because the available margin of selection error is slimmer.
Said differently: We just can’t afford any hiring mistakes!
So here’s a recommendation from us on improving the odds of finding a “good hire”:12 CommentsBy John G. Miller
Blame, it’s a bad thing—and it takes on many forms. Here’s a humorous one:
An executive at a medical products distribution organization told me, “So, yeah, we’ve got some problems, like our field salespeople calling our headquarters the ‘sales prevention club’!”
Hey, a new acronym—the SPC!
If we didn’t have the home office getting in our way, we could make more sales!
Blame can also take on the dangerous form of culprit-seeking questions like:21 CommentsBy John G. Miller
Well, author’s prerogative—I’m adding a 48th:
Be Like Mike.
Our Colorado land-line and Internet provider is CenturyLink. They do a fine job for us, but I don’t go around raving about them. I have better things to do. However, I will take the time to extol the virtues of Mike, because people like him are the key to organizations being outstanding.
In the summer of 2012, Karen and I bought a “second home.” Yeah, I know, sounds snooty and uppity all at the same time. We didn’t plan to do it, but when we rented a house in Fraser, CO for a three day June get-away and saw that it was for sale, we asked, “Do we want to invest in this?”
So, we did. Overall, it’s been great, except for one thing: the DSL. Yes, even up in the mountains—I. Want. My. Internet!3 CommentsBy John G. Miller
“If I agreed with you, we’d both be wrong.”
Conversations. We have them all the time. With family, colleagues, friends, our dog—even ourselves. They’ve been taking place since the dawn of time. Conversing with others probably began like this:
Adam: “Why did you do that!? I told you not to eat from the forbidden tree! I can’t believe you would listen to that serpent’s lies! If you’d had a mother, you’d probably be just like her!!!”
Eve: “You did it, too! And why didn’t you kill that snake? You told me weeks ago you’d handle it. It wasn’t my fault. Why can’t you be more like your father???”
Sound familiar?22 CommentsBy John G. Miller