3 Excuses Accountable People Never Make

If you came of age in the 1970s like I did, you heard this all-encompassing excuse more times than you could count:

The devil made me do it!

It’s a good thing that the “me decade” with its embarrassing clothing, disco music, and blame-the-devil-for-all-things excuse is long gone, eh?

Yet, though disco may be dead, I’m not sure the whole excuse-making thing is. Ever heard stuff like this?:

17 CommentsPersonal Accountability

Being Accountable: Living Above the Fray

above the fray I snapped this picture flying from Denver to Los Angeles this week. Though it appears that I was above the Colorado Rockies, or above the clouds, I was actually above the fray.

And it was wonderful to be there.

I believe in free speech and, like you, I’d defend someone’s right to speak freely even if what they say is contrary to my beliefs. But I fear that sometimes, in this great land of ours, we have taken “free speech” to an extreme place, where people—can you imagine!?!—share opinions without knowledge.

It might be best to just stay above the fray.

Here’s what I know:

20 CommentsPersonal Accountability

Tutorial: IQs and QBQs

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

Outstanding Organizations: No Denial Allowed

“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 CommentsLeadership, Management

3 Powerful Principles of QBQ! Parenting

MillersThe Millers

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.

Well, that “Wisconsin Hockey Mom,” Meg Goss, just posted this review of Parenting the QBQ Way (PQW)—and we’re totally honored!

Parenting Advice I Can Actually Use and Put Into Practice!

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 CommentsParenting

“Me? Entitled? Definitely!” A Message from Millennial Me

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 CommentsPersonal Accountability

3 Traits of Accountable People

Character Traits of Accountable People

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 CommentsParenting, Personal Accountability

Building a QBQ! Culture: Hiring Right

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 CommentsLeadership, Management

7 Costs of Blame

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 CommentsLeadership, Personal Accountability