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Denver Press
QBQ! The Question behind the Question: Practicing Personal Accountability at Work and in Life / Edition 1

QBQ! The Question behind the Question: Practicing Personal Accountability at Work and in Life / Edition 1

by John G. Miller


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QBQ! The Question behind the Question: Practicing Personal Accountability at Work and in Life / Edition 1

The lack of personal accountability is a problem that has resulted in an epidemic of blame, complaining, and procrastination. No organization-or individual-can achieve goals, compete in the marketplace, fulfill a vision, or develop people and teams without personal accountability.

John G. Miller believes that pointing fingers and blaming others cannot solve the troubles that plague organizations. 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, inappropriate 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 gives a practical method for putting personal accountability into daily action, with astonishing results: problems are solved, internal barriers come down, service improves, teamwork grows, 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, complaining, and procrastination.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 2900966583297
Publisher: Denver Press
Publication date: 09/28/2001
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 115
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 1.25(h) x 9.00(d)

About the Author

John G. Miller is the founder of QBQ, Inc., an organizational-development firm dedicated to making personal accountability a core value for organizations and individuals. Together with a nationwide network of QBQ!-certified consultants, Miller has brought his message to countless corporations as well as academic, nonprofit, and government groups, including American Express, American Cancer Society, Royal Bank of Canada, and Merck. A graduate of Cornell, he lives in Denver with his wife, Karen, and their seven children.

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Excerpted from "QBQ! The Question Behind the Question"
by .
Copyright © 2004 John G. Miller.
Excerpted by permission of Penguin Publishing Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Introduction: What Ever Happened to...

1. A Picture of Personal Accountability
2. Making Better Choices
3. QBQ! The Question Behind the Question
4. Don't Ask "Why?"
5. The Victim
6. "Why Is This Happening to Me?"
7. "Why Do We Have to Go Through All This Change?"
8. "Why Don't They Communicate Better?"
9. Don't Ask "When?"
10. Procrastination: The Friend of Failure
11. "When Will We Get More Tools and Better Systems?"
12. "When Are We Going to Hear Something New?"
13. Don't Ask "Who?"
14. A Poor Sailor Blames the Wind
15. Silos
16. Beat the Ref
17. "Who Dropped the Ball?"
18. Ownership
19. The Foundation of Teamwork
20. Making Accountability Personal: All QBQs Contain an "I"
21. I Can Only Change Me
22. "He Didn't, I Did"
23. "When Will Others Walk Their Talk?"
24. An Integrity Test
25. The Power of One
26. A QBQ Twist
27. Will the Real Role Models Please Stand Up!
28. Practicing Personal Accountability: All QBQs Focus on Action
29. The Risk of Doing Nothing
30. "Thanks for Shopping at the Home Depot!"
31. Leaders at All Levels
32. The Cornerstone of Leadership
33. Accountability and Boundaries
34. A Great List of Lousy Questions
35. The Spirit of the QBQ
36. Wisdom
37. We Buy Too Many Books
38. A Final Picture
39. The Motor of Learning

Getting More OUt of the QBQ

Customer Reviews

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QBQ! The Question Behind the Question 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 61 reviews.
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 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
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
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
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 10 months ago
This book has a very important concept that could be explained clearly in about five pages. It is essential and a really great insight, but not quite book worthy...
GuyWithGoals More than 1 year ago
Might sound trivial, but QBQ! really did change my life. I'm into fitness and used to make excuses. Not anymore. The QBQ! message of accountability and taking ownership for my life was/is so convicting, I am on the path - the right path - now to my goals. Better health and lost weight! Also, as a husband and dad, using QBQ! made everything better at home. I picked up the "Parenting the QBQ Way" book too. Just as practical, just as effective. Now my wife is reading it! Good stuff, all around.
ExecReader More than 1 year ago
QBQ! is by far the most practical book on the market to learn how to live the principle of personal accountability. We use this in our company to help people stop playing the blame game. Miller teaches how to avoid questions like "Who made the mistake?" and "Why do we have to go through all this change?" and "When will that department do its job right?" and turn them around to ask The Question BEHIND the Question (QBQ). QBQ! like "How can I make a difference?" and "What can I do to help solve the problem?" are very effective. The QBQ! is fun, humorous, and life-changing all at once. And only about an hour long read. We are now getting quantities of the new "The QBQ! Workbook" to help us all continue our journey of accountability.
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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