I recently read a powerful book by John G. Miller. QBQ! The Question Behind the Question. The main concept is that no organization or individual can achieve goals, competes in the marketplace, fulfill a vision, or develop people and teams without personal accountability.
QBQ! The Question Behind the Question. John.G. Miller (2004). New York, NY: Penguin Group. 115 pp.
Have you ever heard questions like these?
- Why do we have to go through all this change?
- When is somebody going to train me?
- Who dropped the ball?
- When is that department going to do its job right?
- Who’s going to solve the problem?
- When are they going to tell us what’s going on?
If you ever asked questions in the work place, you know these questions get these results: blames, complains and procrastination. These are incorrect questions. Now it’s time to ask the question behind the question!
- How can I adapt to the changing the world?
- What can I do to develop myself?
- How can I help?
- What can I do to understand other people’s challenges and frustrations?
- How can I become part of the solution?
- How can I achieve with the resources I have already?
- What can I do today to excel at my work?
The new questions themselves will lead us to better results. So try these simple guidelines when you ask questions:
- Begin with What or How (not Why, When or Who)
- Contain an “I” (not they, them, we, or you)
- Focus on action.
The spirit of the QBQ is personal accountability:
- No more victim thinking, procrastination or blaming.
- I can only change me.
- Take action.
Today, make a resolution to say “personal accountability begins with ME” as the bottom line is based on the truth “I can only change me”. We discipline our thoughts, we ask better questions, then we take actions. Action, even when it leads to mistakes, brings learning and growth. It builds confidence.
About leadership. Leadership is not about titles, position, the number of people or dollars we manage, or tenure. Leadership, more than anything else, is about the way we think. It’s moment-to-moment disciplining of our thoughts. It’s about practicing personal accountability and choosing to make a position contribution, not matter what our role or level. The principle: If we think we like leaders, we are leaders. Humility is the cornerstone of leadership. Leaders are not problem solvers, they serve and help people learn.
This book changed the way I look at life. If you like these concepts, get this concise, wisdom-packed book. It will be a very quick read, but worth reading many times and apply the learning into actions.