“John, you cannot speak and train on ‘ personal accountability.’ It’s not a topic.” I was told that in April 1995. After a decade of selling and implementing leadership and sales training systems in the corporate world, though, I knew this:
Personal accountability is the foundation of all success.
So I began marketing myself as a speaker on “Personal Accountability and the QBQ!” What is QBQ!? Well, it’s a book that’s sold 1.5 million copies, but more critically, it’s a methodology for eliminating some very human traps:
- Victim and entitlement thinking
- Blame and finger-pointing
- Procrastination and inertia
What QBQ! is all about is helping people turn an Incorrect Question (IQ) like, “When will that department do its job right?” into an accountable question—The Question Behind the Question (QBQ)—“How can I be my best today?”
IQ: “Why do we have to go through all this change?”
QBQ!: “What can I do to adapt to the changing world?”
IQ: “Who’s going to solve the problem?”
QBQ!: “How can I contribute today?”
IQ: “Why is this happening to me?”
QBQ!: “What can I do to make a difference?”
So, the next question is this: Does my organization—and do I—need this QBQ!? Well, let’s determine that right now.
Our mission at QBQ, Inc. is Making Personal Accountability a Core Value, so this is our question for you:
Is personal accountability a core and guiding value in your world?
Let’s do a quick “needs assessment” for our workplace and ourselves. We’ll begin with the individual …
Quiz #1: The Individual
Ten introspective questions:
- Do I spend more time whining or working?
- Do I more often procrastinate or push forward?
- Am I envious of others’ achievements or eager to emulate them and learn?
- Do I live an entitled life or am I excited to earn my own way?
- Do I tend to point fingers or problem-solve?
- When life doesn’t go my way, do I play the victim or become a victor?
- Do I encourage/praise my family, friends, and coworkers or tear them down?
- Which matters most, others’ opinion of me or my opinion of me?
- How often do I complain versus offer constructive ideas?
- Am I wasting energy trying to change others instead of choosing to change myself?
How’d you do? If you need an infusion of accountability, responsibility, and ownership, we suggest The QBQ! Workbook—our newest tool enabling individuals to make personal accountability a core value.
Quiz #2: The Organization
Now, the workplace. Let’s find out if personal accountability is alive and well in your division, region, district, branch, department, or team.
Ten questions for your organization:
- Has organizational/market/industry change caused fear, anxiety, and complaining?
- Have I heard staff ask, “When is someone going to train me?”
- Do supervisors lament the difficulty in finding “good people”?
- Are people hiding behind (blaming) the team when objectives aren’t reached?
- Has an interdepartmental us versus them created an organization of “silos”?
- When mistakes happen, do people ask, “Who dropped the ball?”
- Is poor communication always someone else’s fault?
- When problems develop, do employees run and hide or attack the problem?
- Do staff members make excuses when goals are not met?
- Is there a drumbeat of negativity regarding the lack of new systems and products?
In your opinion, did Quiz #2 reveal a lack of personal accountability in your organization? If so and if you want help Making Personal Accountability a Core value—please reach out to Kristin@QBQ.com or visit us at QBQ.com.
Bear in mind, everything begins and ends with PERSONAL ACCOUNTABILITY. It’s as simple as that!
About John G. Miller:
John G. Miller wrote the best-selling QBQ! The Question Behind the Question, as well as Flipping the Switch … Unleash the Power of Personal Accountability, Outstanding! … 47 Ways to Make Your Organization Exceptional, and is the co-author of Raising Accountable Kids.
John invested a decade selling leadership and sales management training. His message of “Personal Accountability and the QBQ!” was developed facilitating over 10,000 hours of training inside corporations from all industries. A 1980 graduate of Cornell University, John lives in Denver, CO with his wife of 38 years, Karen. The Millers have six daughters, one son, and eight grandchildren! He serves on the Board of Directors of the Denver Rescue Mission, an organization founded in 1892 dedicated to feeding the homeless.
To learn more about QBQ! and John, visit QBQ.com today!
Please leave your comments, feedback or questions you may have on personal accountability.
To your success,
Anthony Fasano, PE, LEED AP
Engineering Management Institute
Author of Engineer Your Own Success