Book Review: QBQ! The Question Behind the Question

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QBQ! The Question Behind the Question: Practicing Personal Accountability at Work and in Life is an interesting book.   At 105 pages, it is a very quick read.

John G. Miller uses the 105 pages in QBQ to the fullest.  Over several short chapters, he uses captivating stories and real-life situations to get across his message.   The main thrust of the book is something I think we all need to work on: the area of personal responsibility and accountability, even in situations where we feel we are not responsible.  He urges his readers to ask the “Question Behind the Question” whenever we are tempted to fix blame.  He instructs readers to do this avoiding “Why”, “When”, or “Who” questions.  Instead of asking these types of questions, he suggests that questions should begin with “What” or “How”, and (most importantly) contain an “I”.  The “I” is for personal accountability.  He also makes a strong case for focusing on action in all situations.   He illustrates his points with some very interesting stories, most from his life: about a waiter that goes next door to a grocery store to get a product the restaurant does not carry, a pilot that recovers his plane from a near crash into Lake Michigan, a Home Depot cashier who pays for a customer’s product to save them time, and several more.

QBQ is worth reading; it is a quick book but it is hard-hitting and will get you thinking about how you can make a difference in your life, get things done and advance your career instead of focusing on the failure of others.   Buy it used at or check it out from your local library.

(photo credit: Scott McLeod)

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