QBQ! The Question behind the Question: Practicing Personal Accountability at Work and in Life
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QBQ! The Question behind the Question: Practicing Personal Accountability at Work and in Life

3.7 58
by John G. Miller
     
 

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The lack of personal accountability is a problem that has resulted in an epidemic of blame, victim thinking, complaining, and procrastination. No organization—or individual—can successfully compete in the marketplace, achieve goals and objectives, provide outstanding service, engage in exceptional teamwork, or develop people without personal

Overview

The lack of personal accountability is a problem that has resulted in an epidemic of blame, victim thinking, complaining, and procrastination. No organization—or individual—can successfully compete in the marketplace, achieve goals and objectives, provide outstanding service, engage in exceptional teamwork, or develop people without personal accountability.  

John G. Miller believes that the troubles that plague organizations cannot be solved by pointing fingers and blaming others. Rather, the real solutions are found when each of us recognizes the power of personal accountability. In QBQ! The Question Behind the Question®, Miller explains how negative, ill-focused questions like “Why do we have to go through all this change?” and “Who dropped the ball?” represent a lack of personal accountability. Conversely, when we ask better questions—QBQs—such as “What can I do to contribute?” or “How can I help solve the problem?” our lives and our organizations are transformed.

THE QBQ! PROMISE

This remarkable and timely book provides a practical method for putting personal accountability into daily actions, with astonishing results: problems are solved, internal barriers come down, service improves, teams thrive, and people adapt to change more quickly. QBQ! is an invaluable resource for anyone seeking to learn, grow, and change. Using this tool, each of us can add tremendous worth to our organizations and to our lives by eliminating blame, victim-thinking, and procrastination.

                                                                                                 
QBQ! was written more than a decade ago and has helped countless readers practice personal accountability at work and at home. This version features a new foreword, revisions and new material throughout, and a section of  FAQs that the author has received over the years.

Editorial Reviews

Every work team has an unhealthy share of Monday morning quarterbacks. As whispered accusations of "you dropped the ball" accumulate, progress is stifled and cooperation wanes. John G. Miller, the founder of the QBQ organizational development firm, thinks that personal accountability is the answer to pervasive blame-game problems. In this delightfully succinct book, he explains how managers and workers can create a business culture in which everybody walks their talk.
Publishers Weekly
This is a quick but deep book that explores the role of personal accountability in one's work and personal life. In his own work experience, Miller found that many people look for others to blame their problems and conflicts on. He proposes that instead of asking who is to blame for the situation, we should ask, "What can I do to improve the situation?" Only by being able to ask this "question behind the question" can we take ownership of the problem and start working toward a solution. Throughout the book, Miller (who has consulted for major corporations with his firm, QBQ, Inc.) recounts real-world situations in customer service, retail sales, personal relationships and the corporate boardroom and the positive and not-so-positive ways they were handled. Each example reinforces the message that personal accountability and ownership of a problem not only leads to a resolution but also lifts people willing to take ownership and action above those looking to play the "blame game." From responsibility, says the author, comes leadership and greater career opportunities. In one's personal life, Miller says, ownership of conflict can also lead to enhanced relationships and greater enjoyment of daily life. Agent, Barret Neville. (Sept. 13) Forecast: According to Putnam, this book sold 250,000 copies when Miller self-published it, and Putnam is positioning it as the next Who Moved My Cheese? Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
A rather simple tool that encourages personal accountability, the QBQ (question behind the question) drives Miller's organizational development firm of the same name. Rephrasing issues is the trick: begin with what or how, personalize with I, and focus on action. Thus, "When will they take care of the problem?" turns into "What can I do?" The advice here is admirable (e.g., stop procrastinating, change oneself) though hardly revelatory. The brief, breezy chapters crackle with energy, but, as they lack coherence and linear structure, the resultant zap dies out. Occasional lectures and corniness are forgivable; recycling material from Miller's previous Personal Accountability: Powerful and Practical Ideas for You and Your Organization (1999) is not. Stick with the prior title if you have it; otherwise, order on demand. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780399152337
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
09/09/2004
Pages:
160
Sales rank:
21,508
Product dimensions:
5.81(w) x 8.56(h) x 0.75(d)
Age Range:
18 - 14 Years

Meet the Author

John G. Miller is the founder of QBQ, Inc., a development company that has worked with hundreds of Fortune 500 and other companies and government and nongovernment organizations internationally. Miller is also the bestselling author of Flipping the Switch: Five Keys to Success at Work and in Life and Outstanding! 47 Ways to Make Your Organization Exceptional. He lives in Denver. Learn more at http://qbq.com.

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QBQ! The Question Behind the Question 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 58 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book has some interesting ideas, but in my mind fails to answer the most important question which is why is one worker doing the work of others and not getting credit? The author speaks of examples in which a worker helps out a customer because no one else is helping the customer. The worker is thereby practicing the author's idea of 'what can I do to help in this situation'. HOWEVER, they are not asking why the worker who was supposed to be helping the customer in the first place was not doing their job. It seems grossly unfair to the worker that ends up doing the other person's job. Why does the lazy worker get away with this? Why is the author promoting doing someone else's work. Maybe some people feel good about themselves when they help a customer who isn't getting attention from the worker who is supposed to be helping them, but I think most people would feel annoyed at the worker, irritated with management, and stressed out if the worker simply wasn't doing their job without a good reason. I think this book has a lot of problems, but that they are easily over-looked by the author's upbeat attitude of accomplishing everything.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book makes one accountable for oneself. An easy read, and highly recommended for anyone who wants to change themselves and stop blaming others for their problems. Especially appropriate in the professional environment.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a simple-minded book for the simple-minded manager. It is perhaps the most frustrating and definitely the worst book I've ever read. This book would receive an A+ from a communist, but in this capitalist society, it deserves an F. The notion that a worker should do someone else's job when that person is failing to do it themselves for reasons that are never told to us is ludicrous. This author is succeeding only by appealing to management in corporate America - management that wants a quick fix to unhappy employees within their company, but doesn't want to actually figure out the root of the problem with their company. Terrible ideas-- terrible book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Very simple but positive method to improving your outlook and approach to people which in turn will change their approach to you. A must for managers and boses.
Guest More than 1 year ago
These questions are excellent to explore your level of personal responsibility. You won't be let down. To optimize business and personal decisions, I recommend Optimal Thinking: How to Be Your Best Self.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
QBQ provides a good foundation for young managers and for teams that are struggling to work together. It is an easy read. It offers insight on ownership and accountability for employees and managers. It would not be my recommendation for a senior level team.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
OnPurposeLeadership More than 1 year ago
The Question Behind the Question tackles an issue that is too often ignored in many workplaces. Most employees will advocate for accountability, but, only if it applies to other people. This book requires you to look introspectively to identify how you can change the culture of your organization by ceasing to seek to pass blame. A simple concept that can have dramatic results!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a mandatory read for the managers of the company for which I am employed.  The only problem is that the theory of personal responsibility was morphed by the executives to be that we should do what we wish to make things "better", What is holding us back? In the meantime, to Hell with the Laws and regulations that have developed from unfair practices in this country.  Now, if someone wants to do what they want to do, the Mantra is well "QBQ".  I am not sure that this is what the author intended, but is the reality of what is happening in Corporate America when the message is to do whatever you wish if you think it will make life better.  After all, What's holding you back??
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My manager asked my entire department to read this. If he was trying to answer the question "How can I make sure my department knows that I think they are a whiny, unimpressive group of people?", he found it. We have all read it and the discussions we have had about it in front of him are grossly different than the discussions we've had amongst ourselves. To us, he has made it clear how he feels about us by asking us to read this book, so we certainly no longer have enough faith in him to be candid in our discussions with him. This book had definitely done more harm than good for this corporate group. Be careful with this book, it can be pretty insulting.
BoiseGal More than 1 year ago
Talk about a thought provoking book. It is a quick read and I will have to read it several times as I enjoyed it so much the first time. Enjoy!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a huge disappointment. Quickly summerized, What can I do to make things better in this situation?, Believe or Leave, live with integrity. A paragraph does not a chapter make. Mr. Miller fails to practice integrity by padding three bullet size pieces of information in one paragraph chapters and marketing for $16.95.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
All leaders and employees must read!
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this book in an hour and a half. I was not impressed. There was never a moment in the book or a writing that made me think about something it was saying. I feel that this is a book that maybe some corporate people would give to an employee who was upset they weren't getting help from other employees and just wanted to shut them up. There was no research done by the writer when he wrote the book due to there not being any references from other writings. It was simply written by opinion.
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