Flipping The Switch: Unleash the Power of Personal Accountability Using the QBQ!
Asking the right kind of question isonly the first step to becoming fullyengaged at work and in life.
In his bestselling book QBQ! The Question Behind the Question, John G. Miller revealed how personal accountability helps to create opportunity, overcome obstacles, and achieve goals by eliminating blame, complaining, and procrastination. The result Stronger organizations, more dynamic teams, and healthier relationships.
Now Miller takes readers to the next level to show how they can use the power of the QBQ! and personal accountability every day.
When a light switch is flipped the flow of energy that is released reaches the lightbulb in an instant, bringing it to life. Similarly, asking the right kind of question-a QBQ-is the first step to empowering what Miller calls the Advantage Principles-five essential practices that will lead to a richer experience in every aspect of life:
- LEARNING: live an engaged and energized life through positive personal growth and change
- OWNERSHIP: attain goals by becoming a solution-oriented person who solves problems
- CREATIVITY: find new ways to achieve by succeeding "within the box"
- SERVICE: build a legacy by helping others succeed
- TRUST: develop deep and rewarding relationships
With compelling real-life stories and keen insights, Miller demonstrates how anyone can find success and satisfaction by "flipping the switch."
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December 29, 2005
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Excerpt from Flipping The Switch: Unleash the Power of Personal Accountability Using the QBQ! by John G. Miller
The QBQ! Advantage Principles
I've seen firsthand the difference personal accountability can make. I recently had my first year-end evaluation from my new boss. In our organization ' a large financial and insurance firm ' the highest rating anyone can achieve on their performance review is an "Exceeds." My boss began the meeting by saying he had not awarded an "Exceeds" to anyone in fifteen years! "But your performance has been stellar and I'm giving you an 'Exceeds' rating for the year. I wish I had a dozen people just like you!"
In addition, his written comments said, "Consistently stays focused on the problem and how to make things better. Rarely criticizes others' performance, but instead works hard to improve communication within the department, understanding of the situation, and personal skills."
I honestly didn't know what to say, but that's when I realized how much QBQ! had helped me. I had read it just as I started in my new position, and it struck a chord with me. I took its lessons to heart and began to focus each day on how I could add value to a situation by asking better questions of myself. When I've been frustrated, the QBQ has helped me redirect my emotions toward contributing rather than complaining. I gained energy from identifying the things on which I could have an impact and then taking action on them. And now, one year later, my boss is commending me on the very areas in which I have been making an effort. What a tremendous feeling!
This story comes from Bill, a middle manager at a leading insurance firm and a reader of QBQ! The Question Behind the Question. And it illustrates perfectly what happens when someone "flips the switch." Flipping the switch means asking a QBQ (we'll cover the QBQ method in greater detail in chapter 2) and, simply put, those who use the QBQ and practice personal accountability have a better chance of succeeding than those who don't. I've come to think of it as the "QBQ Advantage." And though this particular story is about gaining an advantage at work, the QBQ and personal accountability bring similar advantages to every area of our lives.
In this book, we will explore the QBQ! Advantage Principles ' five fundamental concepts or values that guide our behavior. The QBQ! Advantage Principles are:
These principles aren't new, of course. Nor is the idea that living by them improves lives. What is new, and what we'll be exploring in this book, is how personal accountability and the QBQ relate to each of them. We'll show that using the QBQ and practicing personal accountability may be the most effective strategy for bringing the Advantage Principles to life.
But how is asking a QBQ like flipping a switch Consider what happens when you turn on a light switch. It's so routine, you probably don't even think about it. When you flip the switch, you unblock ' or unleash ' a flow of electrons. This flow of energy, called a current, reaches the lightbulb in an instant, bringing it to life. Although the current lights the bulb, flipping the switch is the essential first step.
Similarly, asking a QBQ is the essential first step to bringing the Advantage Principles to life. Personal accountability is what powers the principles, but the QBQ is the switch that starts us thinking and acting accountably in the first place. Conversely, the bulb quickly darkens when we turn off the switch. The moment we stop being accountable ' by blaming, complaining, thinking like a victim, or procrastinating ' we also stop learning, taking ownership, acting creatively, or being of service. And the trust we've built with others will quickly evaporate.
So it's these five principles ' Learning, Ownership, Creativity, Service, and Trust ' that give us a tremendous advantage in our lives, but not without practicing personal accountability. And the QBQ helps us do just that.