QBQ! The Question Behind the Question: Practicing Personal Accountability at Work and in Life with John G. Miller, Keynote Speaker and Author

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John G. Miller is the author of QBQ! The Question Behind the Question, Flipping the Switch: Unleash the Power of Personal Accountability, Outstanding! 47 Ways to Make Your Organization Exceptional and co-author of Raising Accountable Kids. He is founder of QBQ, Inc., an organizational development firm based in Colorado dedicated to “Helping Organizations Make Personal Accountability a Core Value.” A 1980 graduate of Cornell University, John has been involved in the training and speaking industry since 1986. He lives in Denver, Colorado with his wife, Karen. 

In this episode, John and Cindra discuss:

  • The story behind QBQ
  • Why moment-to-moment discipline with your thoughts is important
  • 3 guidelines for powerful questions
  • 3 ways blaming negatively impacts organizations
  • Powerful questions to ask yourself instead
“Blame destroys creativity, increases fear, and doesn’t solve any problems” @QBQGuy 
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“I can only change me” @QBQGuy
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Cindra Kamphoff: John, thank you so much for joining me here from Denver, how is your morning going?

John Miller: Well Cindra I’m with you how can it be better.

Cindra Kamphoff: There we go well I’m excited yeah it’s going to be wonderful. John and I have crossed paths in a different way, several different ways I read his book several years ago and then we’re both key noting at a conference coming up and I thought wow how exciting that I’m just going to reach out to him and see if he’d be willing to come on the podcast so I’m really excited that you’re here to offer your wisdom with us today, and just start us off give us the insight on what you’re passionate about and what you’re doing right now john.

John Miller: Well I’m doing right now what I’ve been doing for decades, actually, and that is teaching a message and personal accountability. That’s it I’m a speaker I’m an author I’m a father of seven or grandpa of 13 now lucky number 13 we have their number 13 come a few months ago. And been married to Karen for 41 years so those are the most more important roles. But I am an author and a speaker and I speak on personal accountability and a book called QBQ, the question behind the question and you can ask me anything you want about that book because I kind of know it because I wrote it.

Cindra Kamphoff: And we are going to dive into that deep today so John what led you to really speak on personal accountability.

John Miller: I was selling training in your fair state Minneapolis-St Paul from 1986 to 1995. I was selling leadership training management training sales management training and selling skills, I was representing a company based out of Georgia and a couple mentors who brought me onto the team, I found my passion. I found I was pretty good at selling I love teaching and facilitating and training, I love closing deals I love supporting my clients and I did that, for a decade in the Twin Cities. And because I sat in what I think Cindra could have been 10,000 hours of workshops with good people managers, mostly, I started hearing some lousy questions you know questions like, why do we have to go through all this change, and when is someone going to train me. And I remember one day thinking there’s got to be a better question here, and so I said to a group how about we turn around questions like when I’m is going to train me. And call it and ask them what can I do to develop myself how can I improve me today and I started teaching this idea. The first client I ever taught her that formerly was St Jude Medical and little Canada Minnesota very successful firm. And I came back a few months later, and the VP of HR VP of operations were standing in their office one of their offices talking about some problems that we’re having in the business and one of them turn to the other and said hey we got to ask the question behind the question. Because that’s what I called it in the workshop the question behind the question, so instead of asking why can’t we find good people. Maybe we should be asking what can I do to develop the people I have, I called it, the question and the question well. When I when St Jude was still using it three months later and send you a year in training, you know how little of this stuff that is taught in the training industry ever gets used. I found well I’ve got something here that’s important and good and soon after that moment in 1994/1995 I went off and started speaking on personal accountability in this new idea, the question behind the question I remember, I was in Des Moines Iowa speaking for a big insurance firm and they started to QBQ and I said that’s a good idea. And so, like it yeah so I was smart enough to trademark and copyright it. And off, I went and a couple years later I grabbed the wife and the four kids and we moved out of Minneapolis down to Denver, and the rest is history personal accountability and the QBQ that’s all we do.

Cindra Kamphoff: yeah I love it I love how simple it is and how powerful it is and. I think about you know, as it as someone sitting in your audience that you’re someone even listening today might say to themselves, well, I take responsibility, I hold myself accountable. And do you find that that’s actually accurate or give us a little insight on what you find most people do.

John Miller: that’s a good question Cindra. Most people would say yes, I know what accountability means but there’s a couple myths they get confused about accountability, I think it’s something we do to others, you know managers got to hold people accountable that’s what we’ve been taught. Or we think it’s kind of a team thing, like the team would just succeed if the team would do the right things, so when we come into a corporation or an association or nonprofit doesn’t matter I’ve even spoken in churches we make sure they understand that personal accountability is not something for others it’s not something we hold other people to, not something we do to our kids my wife and I wrote a book called raising accountable kids. And a lot of people that first got it thought, all this is great, this is for my sixth grader because he’s not doing his homework. And I wonder what they thought when they got to the first page or the second page actually and we said, my child is a product of my parenting so the book is accountability is not for someone else it’s not something a mom or a dad does do a child, something I do something, a manager does to somebody so when people first hear about accountability, they think, Oh, I know what that means, but it’s different with you, with Cuba Cuba Cuba Cuba seeps into the brain and makes us realize we’ve been asking lousy questions like something as simple as what in such a big corporation why doesn’t management tell us what’s going on. Well, the minute I’ve asked that I’d be I become a victim. When are they going to get back to me well, the minute I say that I procrastinate. Who dropped the ball who missed the deadline, the minute I asked those questions I’m actually pointing fingers blaming and looking for culprits. So when people you find out about QBQ they realize it’s not something we do to others it’s not a team thing it’s something I can do. And then it challenges me to change the questions my mind I’m asking in my brain, so instead of outwardly focused questions like why doesn’t send her do more for me, the better question is, what can I do to support syndrome, the question behind the question that QBQ.

Cindra Kamphoff: awesome so let’s make sure people really understand what the key wiki is in the question, behind the question how could you define it for us.

John Miller: With QBQ is a tool for leaders. Now I gotta stop right there because that’s another point of confusion people think leadership is title and position and tenure it’s not. Leadership as defined in the cubic you book is the moment by moment disciplining of my thoughts. So when I take control of my thoughts, when I elevate my thinking strengthen my thinking take hold of those bad thoughts those negative pieces of thinking that run through my mind and really switch them to a positive thought sounds very motivational and inspirational like deep psychology. And, in some ways it is, we have a lot of people in the counseling world using QBQ to change the way people talk to themselves. But all we’re talking about here is just pause and ask a QBQ and you’re frustrated disappointed or angry just pause and say as a leader, what can I do differently, right now, but back to that leadership thing who amongst us today Cindra does not have a chance to impact influence of fact, another person. Our behaviors are actually you know modeling the most powerful while teachers, we teach that in the parenting book as well. And the minute I realized, people are watching me and I’m in a leadership position, no matter what my title is. Then I can say you know what I gotta practice personal accountability, how do I do, that a motivational speech through a zoom meeting No, I do it by asking better questions and we can get into how to how do we formulate those questions, too.

Cindra Kamphoff: Okay wonderful I really appreciate what you said, is the moment to moment discipline with your thoughts I think that’s essential to high performance and for us to reach our best and be successful, as someone who is trained in psychology and I also appreciate what you said about like pausing and noticing what the question is that your brain automatically goes to and in the book you talk about how our first our first question is typically negative and you said, the question behind the question is built on the observation that our first reactions are often negative bringing incorrect in mind incorrect questions, but if we met each. Those initial incorrect question the first questions that people haven’t and how they’re making if.

John Miller: I’m going to need you to repeat that question Cindra because something went wrong with the Internet of the world, and you disappeared for about 10 seconds and I missed you so much. I don’t need the preamble just asked the question and I’ll get going from here and all your viewers will understand.

Cindra Kamphoff: I love it absolutely So why is it that our first question in our mind is negative.

John Miller: Oh that’s probably just a human thing. I mean we’re just humans, you know it’s easy it’s easy to be cynical it’s easy to go negative it’s just. You know, send right I sold training for a decade, and I would go in and meet with companies and St Paul and Minneapolis and I’d often end up selling to a team like six or eight executives in one room. And one thing I’ve learned about selling to a group is the negative person in the group always had more influence than anybody else. It’s just a funny human phenomenon, if I went in there to talk about my training program and then they all look at each other when I leave and the CFO says wow it’s too expensive Bam. The negative thinking can control the room it’s really remarkable. Well, just like in our minds it’s so easy to say, well, why does my wife do more for me and when, am I going to find those good people I really need them a team and why don’t people want to work, nowadays, you know after cold it and when are we going to get better people went why can’t HR do its job and what is that department going to get it right and why can’t the CEO give us the vision and wait, am I people going to be motivated see I just rattled off about six or seven incorrect questions we call them I accuse you are accused, but if I just said pause and said okay, it’s tough right now can’t find good people, what can I do, to be more creative in my recruiting. How can I, develop the people I have, so I think we go negative just because we’re human but that’s the power of the QBQ it’s like a switch. That’s why the companion book The QBQ, I have no hesitation telling you because I’m a sales guy flipping the switch the companion book the sequel to cubicles all about using QBQ to flip the switch and change the way we live life.

Cindra Kamphoff: Really powerful and I agree that we have the negativity we, I mean we haven’t negativity bias so we’re more likely to look at what’s wrong then what.

John Miller: Is this right yeah.

Cindra Kamphoff: And you know or I also appreciated about the QBQ book is that it was really easy well it’s simple to practice not easy to practice, but you provide really simple formula and give us some examples of maybe the types of questions that are more powerful if we know the negative questions are not as powerful and incorrect what How should we ask the question instead.

John Miller: Yes, thank you let’s get into the guidelines we teach in the book and in our training programs wherever we do QBQ, we teach that there’s three guidelines that the better question the QBQ begins with what or how. And we juxtapose those against why, when and who questions, why is this happening to me When are they gonna get back to me who made the mistakes, he all those questions. Obviously I put a purposeful negative tone to them, but those why questions make me a victim was when questions they. Well I’ll do something when sendgrid that takes action while I’ve done that is procrastinate what value is that and no value in that that at all. And then you know who made the mistake, who gave me these people wait a Min I hired them. That’s just blame, so we asked what and how questions as opposed to why, when and who So what can I do to be my best today. How can I move forward what action can I take to find the better people that want to work out there, well, how can I serve the other department. What can I do to excel in my life today and be my very best, as I said, so the cubicle begins with water, how but there’s also another pattern if you heard all those cubicles I just gave every single one of them, contains the word I the personal pronoun I. That’s right so well and it’s just very simple, I can only change me. And we all know that, but we don’t do it, we all know it we don’t live it, we all know it, but we don’t practice it, because only have my wife would do this or only my teenage son would listen to me. If only my teenage daughter would speak to me respectfully you know that the if only come out so quickly, but if I could just change those two well, what can I do to improve me today. Relationships just change overnight, the minute I start working on me and that trying to fix others, and then the third guideline of Cuba, Cuba, they begin to wonder how they contain the word X or they contain the word I excuse me, and they always focus on action. And we hardly even talk about that because Cindra just built into a QBQ is moving forward getting stuff done taking action, as we say in the QBQ book, one of the chapters says, I’d rather be the type of person who is sometimes told to wait and be the person who waits to be told Now I know we’re different I’m a risk taker. I left the big company in 1985 to go off and sell training on commission. I’m a risk taker not everybody is a risk taker you’re a risk taker because you’re self-employed we’re not all risk takers However, even if you’re working inside a company you’ve been at 3am for 400 years you can still ask what can I do today to move forward what action can I take right now to add value so QBQ can make us do tend to focus on getting stuff done.

Cindra Kamphoff: yeah awesome so three simple guidelines begin with what and how. Yeah contains an if statement, not as they we or you and focuses on action. John one of the things I’m thinking about is you know energy attracts like energy, and I think about if I’m blaming my husband for such and such and such as such right instead of thinking about how the energy, I give him attracts energy maybe I want to get back I can see what you mean about changing the question really does help improve relationships and I think yeah I think our natural tendency is to blame and complain. To act like a victim because that’s a lot easier than looking at ourselves and taking responsibility yep.

John Miller: You know, I was speaking in Colorado a couple years ago to school district we don’t do a lot of school districts, but you know local districts said, can you come up and speak to the after school people, the ones who do child care. And I was all done on a young woman came up and she said, Recently the trainer of the school district had given her two books one was loving logic, a lot of parents will know that book love and logic. And he also gave her the QBQ book okay so she started reading it at lunchtime well guess what she had done that morning she had packed up her stuff and put boxes on the porch to pick up later, she was leaving her husband. She read half the QBQ book at lunch she got into that part where we’re always trying to fix others, I can only change me. And she went home and she said to her husband, you know what I’m sorry I’ve been trying to change you I need to work on me, she decided to stay that night, this was a few months after that moment. I said how’s it going she said it’s not perfect, but it’s a lot better because we’re both working on ourselves it’s just that simple and that message, even as I say it here, you know gives me chills because it’s that simple to heal relationship is just stop trying to make the other person be what you want them to be and just say, what can I do to improve me so good stuff.

Cindra Kamphoff: that’s a powerful story wow it to know that your book help mentor relationship.

John Miller: Well, by the way, we’ve been married 41 years. And if we hadn’t stopped trying to fix each other, we wouldn’t still be married. Yeah the QBQ works in another House too.

Cindra Kamphoff: yeah and the Kamphoff house. Not 41 but 25 and we’re on our way. Sometimes I’m feeling old, but I do I’m kind of thinking about that leads me to one of the questions that I wanted to ask you and on page 68 you talk about that you could only change me how do you think.

John Miller: Page 68 you’re going to make me open my own book and see what I talk about oh you’ve got an older version Come on, since this is a.

Cindra Kamphoff: Hard cover.

John Miller: This is the newest addition number five it’s basically the same, but every time we wrote a new edition we changed, a few words and Edit it and made a little better, but OK page 69.

Cindra Kamphoff: don’t know don’t worry, but for it for people who are following along in the old version, but the point is that you know I appreciate that you said it, you can only change you right and I’m wondering how you’ve seen that realization help leaders and organizations, you know when they when they really take a step back and say I’m the only person that I can really change.

John Miller: Well, depends, when you say a word leader if we’re talking a non-management type person that’s one thing if you’re talking to a manager we do a lot of training on QBQ with managers because. First of all, managers are fallible Okay, we all know that now used to be probably back at 50 years ago is the manager knew everything kind of like Father knows best right that’s not true, but the good managers do demonstrate humility. As we say in the ability is the is the foundation of leadership it’s the cornerstone of leadership and there’s no way to demonstrate humility and pull a team together, unless we ask you, because, because otherwise we’re going to ask well I’ll give you an example up in breezy point Minnesota. Okay, there was a CEO I’m sitting in the back of the room facilitating a three day project three days now people can’t sit down for three hours, but these were three days. And he was an imposing guy about 350 pounds six foot six just a very large big man physically imposing and he looked at his 11 Vice President, and he said, what do you mean you don’t know our mission statement it’s been on the wall for a year translation was like you fools. And I’m sitting I’m sitting in the back. Remember, this is a top management of a retail chain company, you might know the name I can’t mention it. I’m sitting in the back age 35 years old and I’m thinking boy there’s got to be a better question here than him saying why don’t you know the mission has been on the wall for a year. How about this, what can I do to be a better communicator.

Cindra Kamphoff: yeah.

John Miller: What can I do as a CEO to understand my people more fully, what can I do to get out and about and hang with the people and get to know them, I mean there’s all kinds of crucibles that can be asked by a manager leader. That story just comes to my mind, because there was no humility in the moment and the 11 Vice Presidents were cowering you know, like I’m sorry that’s not the way to run a good business. So you know what leaders managers, they need to be asking how can I become a better coach. What can I do to change me how can I better understand my people, what can I do to get to know each one individually. My mentor used to teach what he called idiosyncratic management, meaning working with the idiosyncrasies of each individual his point was people are so different. You can’t manage them all the same it’s like children we have seven they’re all different there’s some principles that are common as we parent all our children, but each child is different. Each person on my team is different, so I got to ask what can I do to get to know each person on my team and what motivates them some people don’t mind being yelled at right and I’m not recommending yelling but other people will be shamed to the core if they are yelled at on the job. Recently I was talking to a grocery store manager about all the problems getting people and finding people who want to work and she made a comment she’s old Cindra she’s 27. And she was talking about the teenagers you can’t coach. I said why can’t you mentor. She said, because if you tell them they did something wrong they get their feelings hurt. Isn’t that sad but good to know your people. Good to know your people so maybe she if she has someone on our team will get their feelings hurt real easily Maybe she just got a coach in a little different way I’m not saying, she should let the person off the hook or stop coaching but manager leaders do need to know their people, so this all comes back to personal accountability. Sort of asking why don’t my people get it When are they going to work harder, what can I do to be a better coach for them, I could go on and on about work QBQ applies, because it applies in every area of our life.

Cindra Kamphoff: yeah I think those are great examples and really powerful examples, because similar to you I’ve heard people say yeah this generation is different right, and I think that’s blaming and it’s easy to then not take a step back and think about how you can impact your people, so this idea of blame, which is, which is an automatic negative response. How do you see that impacting organizations and leaders.

John Miller: Well, the blame thing, as we all know, it’s not new, I didn’t invent it Adam and Eve did Okay, and the snake. Blame I did not, I was not the first person to become aware of blame. Sure, but as we talked about in the QBQ book, if you want to bust through those silos every organization still have silos and it’s kind of funny as enlightened as we are today about a lot of things psychology and teamwork and high performing teams HP T you know. We still have people in one department saying why can’t that department get it right. We still have people saying when is he going to tell me what to do, we still have people saying when we’ll CEO  give us the vision. It’s really amazing. I’ve been out in the marketplace since 1986 selling training 35 years and dry and people will say well it’s different now no it’s not because the human individual still wants to whine complain blame point fingers. You know play the victim procrastinate wait for others to tell us what’s going on we’re doing business with a large Minnesota firm and just last week I did a virtual meeting just like this, and I know this is an interview but I did a 90 minute talk on QBQ right through my laptop for these 20 top executives. And only they know, I was telling a story here there from 1996 you know, but the game as a speaker I don’t say you know this happened in 1996 because then the audience will go on and it’s out of date I just tell the story, and they go yeah we have that problem too.

Cindra Kamphoff: yeah isn’t that true.

John Miller: They weren’t so nothing’s changed okay so back to your question, I don’t just spoken long sound bites. Blame, it destroys creativity, it creates fear. It increased costs because people are going to make more mistakes when they’re afraid to take action and do things. Blame is just so bad it doesn’t solve any problems it drives people apart it causes people to build their little fiefdoms and they get in their trenches and they hide they hunker down. There’s just nothing good about who done a question to drop the ball who missed the deadline made the mistake hey how about this well, we have a problem, what can I do to contribute to solving it it’s just that simple.

Cindra Kamphoff: yeah yeah that’s a powerful reframe and I appreciate what you just said about blame destroys creativity increases fear I’m thinking about this concept that organizations are talking about recently like psychological safety right and I could imagine that in changing your question behind the question also improve psychological safety, so people feel like they’re safe in the environment, do you think that blame and the lack of accountability, has it been consistent over the years that you’ve been working in this area, or do you think we have gotten worse at personal accountability and we blame more often and what do you think.

John Miller: I know what you’re getting at. When I was out speaking in the late 90s on personal accountability so again I left my mentor the training company represented about 1995. By 1997 after a speaker’s bureau and you know what a speaker’s bureau is they book speakers. After she told me I couldn’t go out and talk about accountability, because it wasn’t a topic. And I went and did it anyway, she said, we got to speak on leadership and customer service, and all this stuff and I, so I want to talk about personal accountability, because I think that’s The biggest problem. And I went out in 1995 six and seven started speaking and my career just took off, and I was all over the country speaking for state farm and Merck pharmaceutical and all that well guess what was happening, the Bill Clinton impeachment.

Cindra Kamphoff: Oh wow.

John Miller: It was during those years, and so people were linking my message to and I’m not trying to make this political but they would make they were linking my message to the politics of the day. Well guess what all these years later, people still link, my message of personal accountability to the power of the day, nothing changed. What I would say, though, what has grown for many people believe this is I’m just going to use the word, please don’t take them to negatively, but the whining the entitlement thinking, the I deserve mentality, the when is someone going to take care of me I mean you know 70 years ago our grandparents were fighting on the beaches of Normandy. And now we’ve got people complaining in America about very first world problems like my latte wasn’t made right, so you know a lot of people here QBQ and they immediately say yeah The world needs this there’s too much whining too much entitlement what’s wrong with these people. You have to the minute they start studying QBQ syndrome, they start going Okay, I need this. Sorry, I spoke for I spoke for a Meineke couple years ago the CEO hired me because I told him the book was all about no excuses I own the results he said okay you’re hired I’m shortening the story quickly, but this was on a phone call. So, like every CEO he brought me in to speak to a 600 people right and that later he told me after I did my one hour keynote he said okay 20 minutes in I realized, you were talking to this father you’re talking to this husband, you were talking. This leader can be QBQ and personal accountability it’s really not for others, but in our society today, people like boomers like me you’re probably a gen X or boomers are going to say, the world is going to pot. Well, it might be, it might be, but this Boomer still needs to ask you.

Cindra Kamphoff: yeah well and what I really heard in that response is QBQ is still relevant right, it was relevant when you started it’s relevant today and also that there’s a lot, a lot of acknowledgement that when people are listening they might hire you to work with their team, but really then they can take a step back and say wow I actually need to continue to improve my own personal accountability to.

John Miller: I probably offended you you’re probably a millennial.

Cindra Kamphoff: I think I’m a gen X or I can’t remember.

John Miller: But as sales professionals and speakers remember this, the no client hires us for themselves, they always hire us to fix someone else always, always, always it’s the psychological reason buyers contract with speakers and trainers is because they want us to fix someone else I’ve got X stories on that okay. But then, if you’re good as a speaker as I’m sure you are you’ll be teaching your material and the person who hired you will start to think Okay, this was for me.

Cindra Kamphoff:  yeah that’s powerful what I really like about the book John is just the powerful questions you provide. Kind of towards the end and you know you asked a question a good question behind the question is, how can I serve them, how can I, what can I do today to be more effective, how can I add value to my customers or my people, how can I better understand the challenges faced by the field. And when you think about how organizations and companies have used the question behind the question. And you’ve given us some examples today but are there any others that come to mind, just so that we can kind of help people even make stronger connections behind why they should do this.

John Miller: You see this piece of rebar.

Cindra Kamphoff: yeah.

John Miller: I see it, three inches long probably. The tire shop took it out of my daughter’s tire. When you got that kind of rebar in your car you’re not going anywhere. If all at least you’re going to be slowed down, you know what this rebar is this rebar is blame and victim thinking and whining procrastinating and entitlement because all of those things slow companies down, they are slow down, they can’t reach their objectives and their goals when they’re pointing fingers at each other it’s like having a three inch piece of rebar and your tire. And so, our clients they don’t if they’re smart they  do QBQ training, just to do QBQ training no training should be brought in just because it’s fun you go and find somewhere else you know go to the circus and have fun.

Cindra Kamphoff: yeah.

John Miller: You do training to drive something there, so if you got a client who’s trying to drive past the problems they’re having right now with the supply chain, if you’re trying to get past the problems with the inability to find good people. If you’re trying to push the organization forward when there’s market forces working against you, you better not have a three inch piece of rebar and you’re tired. You better be asking what can I do to move forward and how can I contribute, what can I do to be my best today, so my clients and, by the way my daughter Kristen she’s 39 and she’s on this team, and she speaks on QBQ now since 2008 she will tell you and she’s a Minnesota and she lives in Maple Grove okay. Qwesome she will tell you the same thing, our clients when they hire us, and then we asked them good questions they say, well, what we’re trying to accomplish is this, we need to do this and we can’t get this done if we’re pointing fingers. And whining and complaining why each other, so we got to fix these problems over here, we got to remove the rebar from the tire so we can get all this done that’s why they use QBQ.

Cindra Kamphoff: yeah I love that analogy of the rebar and I was, as I was thinking about your response, I was also thinking about COVID and all the changes that have happened in our society and how, you know the last year and a half it’s been really easy to maybe blame politicians or blame COVID and we’ve had to deal with a lot of change So how have you seen people generally respond to you know that this external environment of all that’s COVID and how would you say we can use QBQ in this time period.

John Miller: Let me give you the ultimate cubic you will jump straight to the bottom line here we teach us in the book. How can I let go, what I can control Bam there it is. yeah that’s the ultimate cubicle, how can I let go of all, I can’t control well there’s a lot of stuff that’s gone on the past two years, that the average citizen could not control.

Cindra Kamphoff: mm hmm.

John Miller: So how can I let go of it and the inverse of, that is, what can I do to control what I can control today, what can I do to be a better me. What can I do to learn what can I do to improve myself, what can I do to support others. QBQ is very much needed during COVID because people were scared lonely frustrated disappointed, worried about losing their jobs, whatever now it’s amazingly I don’t understand in the Denver Community houses are popping up by the everywhere, I mean they’re just thousands of homes looking at real estate is sky high everybody wants to move to Colorado it seems like in spite of two years ago that everybody has money. But the reality is a lot of people were hurt. Employment wise optionally there’s depression our kids are at risk, more than ever, right now, I know this to be true, because my daughter is a school counselor. So QBQ, what can I do to be my best today, how can I support others, what can I do to serve just very timely QBQ is always timeline.

Cindra Kamphoff: Always timely, so I know Dave Ramsey asked you what’s the number one takeaway behind QBQ what’s the number one takeaway.

John Miller: Dave Ramsey is my only famous friend, I have, I have one. The number one takeaway I did allude to it, I even mentioned it once or twice, but I am just amazed if I said to you can you change anybody, but yourself you’d say, oh no, no, of course, not going to change me and yet through little in big ways we’re always trying to get people to be how we want them to be. And there’s nothing wrong as a manager, you should be confronting and coaching, there’s nothing wrong as a spouse having an honest conversation with your life partner there’s nothing wrong parents with holding your kids to higher standards they don’t all have to drink and do drugs, just because they’re a teenager okay. But in the end, I can only change me, and that is the number one takeaway that we hear about from our training or speaking engagements in our books. Is people say I came in frustrated and disappointed and angry and those negative emotions had to deal with other people they had to do with other people. The minute I let go of other people’s behaviors that I can’t stop or change or the way they think and start asking what can I do to improve me the stress was lifted life was better, so I always close interviews with asking the viewers who even trying to fix, let it go let it go today.

Cindra Kamphoff: yeah awesome John you have so many incredible books, besides the QBQ less about them and where we can.

John Miller: You know in back in the day Cindra, when you were probably in junior high we used to give out you know phone numbers and mailing addresses at the end of interviews on radio stations now it’s like qbq.com. Just qbq.com we’ll see you there, but we have the QBQ new book which we’ve talked about flipping the switch the sequel raising accountable kids. yeah and then this book outstanding 47 ways to make your organization exceptional and this is just a result of me calling companies for 30 years and seeing what the best one to do. And then Kristen recently created the QBQ workbooks that’s a great tool, if you want to go deeper with QBQ so that’s that.

Cindra Kamphoff: So many incredible resources for people to pick up, and I am a big fan of QBQ so I really appreciate John you being on the podcast today here’s what I took away, is a good summary. You talked about being aware moment to moment of your thoughts and the questions that you ask and think, though, is and then pausing we also talked about this, I statement as part of the QBQ, how can I become a better coach, how can I better serve my people today. We talked about how blame destroys creativity increases fear doesn’t solve any problems and then this final point about that, I can only change me and again the three parts of the QBQ are begin with what or how not why, when and who. Second, one contain an I statement not they we are you and focus on action. So you can learn more at qbq.com.

John Miller: qbq.com come in and say hi we’d love to see you.

Cindra Kamphoff: Thank you John I look forward to seeing you in person at the event were both speaking in, and I will stick around and listen to your keynote so thanks so much for joining me I’m so grateful that you are on today, and thanks for blessing people with your knowledge and your wisdom, today I know it helped those who are listening.

John Miller: Thank you Cindra. Thank you, glad to be here.

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