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:

Personal Development

A couple common Incorrect Questions—IQs—are (IQ Tutorial):

IQ: “When is someone going to train me?” and “Why don’t I get more coaching?”

For those who know QBQ!, you know the better, more accountable questions are:

QBQ: “What can I do to develop myself?” and “How can I continue to grow?”

These IQs and QBQs are core content in any QBQ! presentation, but, I admit, after years of sharing these diametrically opposed questions, I can lose sight of their power. Then I’ll go speak somewhere and explain to an audience that, yes, managers do have an obligation to ask, “How can I best develop my people?” because that’s their primary job. But, people at all levels have an equal responsibility to develop themselves.

Trust me, in every organization there is someone somewhere right now complaining and griping about the lack of coaching and training. At 55, though, I have no hesitation telling client groups bluntly …


Here’s a key rhetorical question I always ask when I teach QBQ!:

They’re your talents, gifts, and potential—why hide them under a bushel basket or bury them in the ground while lamenting about what others are not doing for you?!?

It’s then I can hear—and feel—the change of thought going on in the room. It’s at that moment I see this in people’s eyes:

Yes, yes! Why am I waiting for others? It’s my job to learn, change, and grow!

It even seems they want to shout, “Amen, Brother!”—but that’s not politically correct in some organizations, so they just nod, reflect, and reconsider.

And what they’re reconsidering, that is, changing their view of, is who’s truly responsible for their personal development, future, and—dare I say—destiny. Now they’re thinking …

I am.

Goal setting

What about you? Have goals? Would you like to become more? Want to win a promotion, earn a raise, or simply contribute at a higher level and feel better about yourself? Then start asking the outstanding QBQ, “What can I do today to develop myself?”

Because it’s always my job to fly higher.

For Discussion:
What training have I been waiting for? How will I now personally jump-start my own learning, growing, and changing?

Please share below!

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5 Responses

  1. I am sending this to the cross-country teams I coach. So much of these reflexions echo my communications with my athletes. Thanks, John. I am wondering how much your Dad impacted these thoughts. He was a great coach at Cornell. He was a great wrestling partner for my Dad.

  2. I see the role of the Manager as someone to help a person recognize the path they need to take to reach their goal. And to help them stay on that path. For the person to be truly trained they have to have the desire and attitude that says I am going to learn and I am never going to stop learning. Much like it is said about change, that only the person can change themselves. Only the person can train themselves. Managers, Teachers and Trainers can only give directions on how to get there.

  3. One of the standard questions on employee engagement surveys is, “Someone in the organization cares about my development.” I’ve always found this to be an odd question. If “I” rank it low, then it means “I” don’t even care about my own development because “I am someone in our organization.” To quote Lily Tomlin, “I always wondered why somebody didn’t do something about that. Then I realized I was somebody.” From a life-long trainer, thanks John for the reinforcing message!

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