I first became aware of John G. Miller and his message of personal accountability while listening to the Dave Ramsey Show and associated EntreLeadership podcast. John has been spreading the message about personal accountability since 1995. When I heard Dave talk about John’s book “QBQ: The Question Behind the Question”, I was immediately intrigued.
I thought ‘Hey! I know more than a few people this message is for!’.
But that isn’t how John wants us to think. The message of personal accountability focuses on looking for the question behind the question. That is, asking the second question in response to what he calls are IQ’s, or Incorrect Questions. Some good examples of Incorrect Questions look like this:
Why do we have to go through all this change?
When are they going to train me?
These are questions that invoke victim thinking. Asking these types of questions throws blame unto someone else. There are three simple guidlines for creating a QBQ. They are:
1. Begin with “What” or “How” (not “Why,” “When,” or “Who”)
2. Contain an “I” (not “they,” “we,” or “you”)
3. Focus on action
When we have created the right QBQ, it puts the power back into our own hands. So if we take the IQs from earlier and seek out the QBQ, we might come up with a couple new questions such as:
How can I better cope with this changing environment?
What can I do to ensure I get the training I need?
Do you see what happened there? By asking the right questions and finding the QBQ, we are able to take control again.
How QBQ Ruined My Life
So, how did QBQ ruin my life?
Ok, so my life isn’t in shambles because I read the book. What I mean is that my life as I previously knew it when it comes to victim thinking and blame, is now gone. No longer am I able to face a situation and look for a way to somehow put the blame on someone or something else. When I start looking for the question behind the question, the finger always comes pointing right back at me.
Boy was I wrong when I first thought, “Hey, this is something a few other people need to get on board with.” I never thought I was that person that used blame and victim thinking to curb situations. When I started looking for the QBQ, I found out that I was not as in tune with personal accountability as I thought I was.
Just as Dave has, I too will at any time and at every opportunity recommend this book as required reading by every leader out there. If there is one concept we should grasp as great leaders, it is this message of personal accountability. I am so enthralled by John’s message that I have the book in paper format, on Kindle, and on Audible too. This isn’t one of those books you read and put back on the shelf to gaze over the binding when looking for another book. No, you go back to it and you read it again.
I am now finding myself looking for these QBQs every day. I have not been perfect, but I have gotten real good at squashing the IQs before they even have a chance to show face.
I encourage you to pick up a copy of this book if you have not done so already. It will change your life and the way you view Incorrect Questions.