Saturday, October 29, 2011

Book Review: QBQ

For emerging leaders, the idea of personal accountability can be uncomfortable - particularly if you come from a background where "being accountable" meant being in trouble.

Real accountability, however, is an empowering experience. It's about realizing and owning your own responsibility and ability in the world - the exact opposite of the blame game that so often passes for accountability.

Personal accountability is the topic in today's book review subject: QBQ! The Question Behind the Question: Practicing Personal Accountability at Work and In Life by John Miller.

The Question Behind the Question is a clever way of talking about how often we automatically cast ourselves as victims and how we can reframe our situation by asking a different question. Specifically, Miller suggests a formula for asking questions that puts you at the center of the action and highlights your ability to act.

This way of asking questions about our circumstances is transformational. At first, you might feel like a powerless victim of circumstances, but reframing your circumstances in the form of the QBQ puts the power to act firmly back in your hands. It is a simple process that yields huge benefits.

The QBQ is not a blame-shifting device. It is not a "blame the victim" way of thinking, but a "hey, I don't have to be a victim - I can do something here" change in thinking.

I recommend the Question Behind the Question if you:
  • are a newer leader or manager
  • feel trapped or helpless to outside forces
  • feel overwhelmed
  • feel ignored, taken for granted, or abused
  • feel like you're going in circles
This book is a very quick read and it doesn't take long to grasp the main idea and method. Don't let the ease of the idea fool you. If you regularly experience the feelings I've described, this can be a life-changing book!

For an even more in-depth resource on personal empowerment and responsibility, you might try: The Oz Principle

Happy Reading!

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Twitter: @davidmdye
David shares twenty years experience teaching, coaching, leading, and managing in youth service, education advocacy, city governance, and faith-based nonprofits. He currently serves as Chief Operating Officer for Colorado UpLift and enjoys helping others discover and realize their own potential.

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