cover image QBQ! The Question Behind the Question

QBQ! The Question Behind the Question

John G. Miller, . . Putman, $19.95 (115pp) ISBN 978-0-399-15233-7

This is a quick but deep book that explores the role of personal accountability in one's work and personal life. In his own work experience, Miller found that many people look for others to blame their problems and conflicts on. He proposes that instead of asking who is to blame for the situation, we should ask, "What can I do to improve the situation?" Only by being able to ask this "question behind the question" can we take ownership of the problem and start working toward a solution. Throughout the book, Miller (who has consulted for major corporations with his firm, QBQ, Inc.) recounts real-world situations—in customer service, retail sales, personal relationships and the corporate boardroom—and the positive and not-so-positive ways they were handled. Each example reinforces the message that personal accountability and ownership of a problem not only leads to a resolution but also lifts people willing to take ownership and action above those looking to play the "blame game." From responsibility, says the author, comes leadership and greater career opportunities. In one's personal life, Miller says, ownership of conflict can also lead to enhanced relationships and greater enjoyment of daily life. Agent, Barret Neville. (Sept. 13)

Forecast: According to Putnam, this book sold 250,000 copies when Miller self-published it, and Putnam is positioning it as the next Who Moved My Cheese?