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Unlock The Power of Personal Accountability Questions

Updated on May 4, 2015

Pull with all of your strength, breath from the diaphragm and aim with respect to the wind. If patience is in your repertoire -- when the moment is right -- you just may hit your target. The question then becomes were you aiming in the right direction?


This question is at the crux of the QBQ -- question behind the question -- which aims to determine how one person can contribute more.

Most of us have never been an archer, but many of us have played a game of darts. Think back to how you prepared for a match. Did you follow the steps mentioned in the paragraph above or some scaled down variation? Now imagine if the goal was to hit a target on the other side of the dart board -- how would you precede?

If you're like most people, you would probably start with a "why" question:

  • Why are you asking me to
  • Why would I want to do
  • Why didn't you tell me this before
  • Why would you ask me to do something different

The QBQ method compels us to focus on a particular type of question that forces us to think in a different way. Shifting ones approach from the pursuit of answers, and towards the habit of questioning preexisting answers and identifying opportunities to take responsibility for future outcomes. A shift towards personal accountability questions in regard to our lives and organizations.

Apply this approach to your personal / professional life and you will quickly find that you are leaving opportunity for improvement on the table or better yet, underneath the table. Opportunities that will demand action and in the past would have remained hidden -- out of sight and out of mind, like the backside of a dart board. Finding QBQ answers is the process of peeling back the onion. With the removal of each layer you will gain a deeper insight into your pain points and goals. With the end result being an escape from victimization, procrastination, and counterproductive blame games.

"Lead from the front and identify pain points."

The man or woman, who is willing to go towards the problems, is the leader who is capable of navigating the team through the storm. These leaders decide to take responsibility for performance outcomes, in turn freeing them to make better decisions and improvements. Thus, the QBQ is built on the observation that our first reactions are often negative or partially accurate, bringing into existence diminished outcomes.


Our 1st Shot doesn't have to be our Only Shot.
Our 1st Shot doesn't have to be our Only Shot.

"Consistency is way more important than intensity," Simon Sinek

The perfect shot still has room for improvement. As we continue to hone our craft and ask ourselves probing questions we position ourselves for unfettered growth. The process of digging deeper will expose the roots of our organization and allow us to fertilize our strategic process, and in turn establish new work flows while avoiding potential pitfalls.

It will take time, our onions have many layers, some which we have grown over like the rings in a tree trunk, but in the end, if we take action -- we will unlock our true potential. And it's something you can start working towards today.


For a deeper understanding of the QBQ concept and implications you should read the following:

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