Life Changers: John G. Miller – I Can Only Change Me – Accountability

Life Changers: John G. Miller – I Can Only Change Me

This Edition of Life Changers is adapted from an interview that I was honored to co-host with my good friend Jared Easley – you can listen to the full interview HERE.

Life Changers is a feature on my blog where I ask individuals to answer the question: “What one idea or habit has changed your life?” Author, Speaker, and personal accountability master John G. Miller presents today’s life changing story.

john miller qbq jon d harrison life changersJohn G. Miller is the author of QBQ! The Question Behind the Question, Flipping the Switch: Unleash the Power of Personal Accountability, Outstanding! 47 Ways to Make Your Organization Exceptional and co-author of Parenting the QBQ Way. He is founder of QBQ, Inc., an organizational development firm based in Colorado dedicated to “Helping Organizations Make Personal Accountability a Core Value.” A 1980 graduate of Cornell University, John has been involved in the training and speaking industry since 1986. He lives in Denver, Colorado with his wife, Karen. They have seven children and three grandchildren. You can find more at


I’m a sales guy – high energy, a little more on the assertive side, outgoing, not relational, but I can be outgoing for a short term. I can meet & greet people in a heartbeat. I just don’t want to be their buddy.

So because of whoever I am, whatever God created me to be, a number of people over the years (beginning even with my dad) have said to me:

“Johnny, you’re hyper.”

What he wasn’t recognizing (this was back in the day in the 70’s) is that my dad would accuse me of being hyperactive, and this would put me in a defensive mode

But look – I turned that energy into a career.

I did this by using the energy that I have, the natural energy in sales.
When I started selling in 1986, the training company I was working for said they never saw anybody make so many sales calls in a day and stick to it for so many years in a row.

I had that energy, and I channeled that hyperactivity into good stuff.

I’m not relational so I have had people over the years say:

“John, you need to be friendlier”

Finally my daughter Kristin (who now works for me you can find her on my website on, back when she was about 15 said: “dad you’re friendly. You’re just not social.”

I’ll never forget that moment – that is absolutely right. I was feeling defensive because someone said that I was not very friendly, and I thought “I sure am” but you see I’m not social.

So going back to my father saying “you’re hyper” and other people saying “you have got to be friendlier,” a number of people in my life have said “you need to change.”

I of course, being assertive, have said “no, you need to change.”

Here is the ultimate Question Behind the Question (we teach this in all our sessions)

The concept that I can get out of the bed in the morning, and ask that ultimate QBQ:

“How can I let go of what I can’t control?”

Said differently:

“What can I do to change me?”

This works for everyone, everywhere.

  • The father who is frustrated with a 23 year old son who just doesn’t get his life together.
  • The spouse who is angry at the other spouse.
  • The manager who is disappointed that his team’s productivity is down.

Instead of asking “Why don’t I have motivated people,” he could be asking “Well what could I do to be a better coach?”

Everything we teach comes back to this: I can only change me.

That does not mean Parents that we don’t have consequences for children’s behavior – please be strong parents. There is way too much weak parenting out there.

And Managers – we know that you have to hire, fire, and in-between confront poor performance.

Accountability means looking into the mirror and asking how can I be a better person today, how can I improve me?

And that is the idea that excites me.