“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!

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An Update on “Becca Boo”

In September 2012 we published this QBQ QuickNote after our daughter, Kristin, gave birth to little “Becca Boo”: Perspective: It’s Everything “Becca Boo” Lindeenm 7 1/2 months Well, all these months later I am here to tell you she’s the happiest, most smiling, engaging baby this grandpa has ever seen! And with seven kids, I’ve seen a…

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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:

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5 Consequences of Victim Thinking

Have you heard something like, “It’s better to give someone a hand up than a handout”? Well, contrary to societal opinion, it’s not a mean or cruel statement. It’s wisdom because it strikes at the heart of human nature.

Sure, there are times to give freely to people in need because we’ve been so blessed. I believe we’re called do so and I bet you do just that.

But, when I put my hand out—feeling entitled, deserving, and play the victim—there are clear consequences:

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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”:

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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:

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Ownership Is Outstanding!

If you’ve read Outstanding!, then you know all about the “47 ways to make your organization exceptional.” If you haven’t, here’s the list.

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?”

YES!

So, we did. Overall, it’s been great, except for one thing: the DSL. Yes, even up in the mountains—I. Want. My. Internet!

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8 Truths of Accountability

Since this post was first published, due to”popular demand,” we turned it into a wall poster for your organization!

I’ve been speaking on or writing about personal accountability since 1995—and I’ve come to believe there are eight truths that do exist, but are often rejected:

1. Everybody wants everybody else to practice personal accountability. Enough said.

2. Individuals make exceptions for themselves when it comes to the principles of accountability and responsibility:

Example:

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Accountability: Flying Higher Is MY Job!

I always enjoy speaking at a client event, partly because I love to sometimes be a contrarian.

Okay, who am I kidding—I love being “contrary” a lot. Karen and I even love to raise contrarians! I mean, who wants to be a lemming?

Truth be told, when any of our QBQ! speakers arrive at an event, they already have “contrarian” stamped on their forehead because our sessions are titled “Personal Accountability and the QBQ!” And I think Kristin, at age 30, is especially contrary. How much more of an upstream-swimming salmon can one be than to be a Millennial and teach PERSONAL ACCOUNTABILITY in this blame infested and entitlement laden society?

But enough about us, really. What about the QBQ! material? What does it do for people and where does it apply?

QBQ! changes the way we view others and ourselves. And, it applies to all aspects of our professional and home lives. Let’s just glance at a slice of our work life:

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How to Hold Accountable Conversations

“If I agreed with you, we’d both be wrong.”

Anonymous

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?

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