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Outstanding!: 47 Ways to Make Your Organization Exceptional Hardcover – January 7, 2010


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Outstanding!: 47 Ways to Make Your Organization Exceptional + Flipping the Switch: Unleash the Power of Personal Accountability Using the QBQ! + QBQ! The Question Behind the Question: Practicing Personal Accountability at Work and in Life
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Putnam Adult (January 7, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399156402
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399156403
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #384,416 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Amazon Exclusive: John G. Miller Talks About Outstanding!

John G. Miller, a Cornell University graduate and founder of QBQ, Inc., has worked with hundreds of Fortune 500 companies and governmental and nongovernmental organizations and thousands of individuals to help them make personal accountability a core value--and become outstanding. Miller, who has appeared on national television and radio, is the author of the bestselling QBQ! The Question Behind the Question and Flipping the Switch. He lives in Denver with his wife, Karen. They have seven children.

Be Outstanding!

Outstanding means being superior, striking, exceptional, clearly noticeable—essentially, standing out. People are attracted to outstanding organizations. They want to buy from them, sell to them, invest in them, volunteer at them, and work for them. And as we close out the first decade of the twenty-first century, what better time than this to consider new ideas and implement ways to become better at everything we do so that we can have an outstanding 2010!

In Outstanding! I’ve outlined 47 ways that can help make any organization exceptional—whether it’s a corporation, a nonprofit, a small business, a government agency, a church, or a service group. While every reader will no doubt find his or her favorites, these six speak to every organization, no matter what its size or purpose.

Choose to Change: Many organizations have terrific ways of doing things, but outstanding organizations are willing to set aside “the way we’ve always done things” and—while keeping their end goals in mind—recognize when it’s time to do things differently. They know that change will come and that it’s better to initiate change from the inside than have change happen to them from the outside. When the latter takes place, it’s often too late to effectively respond.

Keep the Mission Top of Mind: People will do practically anything (as long as it’s legal and ethical) if they understand why they are doing it—and they’ll do it joyfully, with a full heart. The truth is this: purpose powers passion. The organization’s mission can excite people, giving them fuel, if you will, to do their jobs each day and do them well. Outstanding organizations and their people never forget why they exist.

Get Actions in Line with Values: Espousing values like “customer first,” respect, and “people are our greatest asset” is meaningless unless our behaviors support those ideas. For example, if we embrace the word “humility,” then we have to avoid boasting, bragging, and trying to top each other in our interactions. Or if we say we value learning and continuous improvement, then we need to work to ensure that complacency is driven from our cultures and that we are each coachable in all we do. Integrity is a rare commodity in our world, so let’s allow that light to shine within our organizations.

Fight the Fat: When radio host Dave Ramsey talks about financial issues he instructs people to “bother to bother.” In other words, decide to stay on top of and in control of the dollars. Whether times are good or bad, great organizations don’t get fat. The mistakes organizations commonly commit are things like not paying attention to costs, taking clients for granted, ignoring market trends, failing to improve inefficient systems, disregarding customer input, or not worrying about the competition. When dollars rush in like a dyke upstream has burst, it’s not uncommon to look past those errors and let our standards slip. But outstanding organizations always fight the fat.

Speak Well … Make the Right Impression: People have perceptions of organization that stem almost entirely from how people representing the organization speak to them. As far as customers are concerned, the people with whom they interact are the organization. No matter how an organization sees itself, it’s what customers think that’s important. And how we speak to anyone with whom we do business is what tells them whether we are outstanding—or not.

Listen in All Directions: In Outstanding! I write about listening in three ways: management listening to the people, the people listening to each other, and everyone in the organization listening to the customer. Multitasking is the enemy of good listening. It’s critical that we look each other in the eye with undivided attention, saying, in effect, “You are the most important person in my world at this moment and I want to hear every word you have to say.” Listening is ultimately done by an individual, yet organizations must create cultures that encourage and support listening in all directions and ways.

--John G. Miller

About the Author

John G. Miller is the founder of QBQ, Inc., an organizational development company dedicated to making personal accountability a core value for organizations and individuals. QBQ, Inc. has worked with hundreds of Fortune 500 and other companies and governmental and non-government organizations internationally. Miller, who appears frequently on national television and radio, is the author of the bestselling QBQ! The Question Behind the Question and Flipping the Switch: Five Keys to Success at Work and in Life. He lives in Denver.

More About the Author

Hello, QBQ! fans - and believers in PERSONAL ACCOUNTABILITY. If you want to contact me directly, just email John@QBQ.com!

And visit our main site here: www.QBQ.com

If you're looking for the newly rewritten QBQ! book, it's here at Amazon. Ignore the "2004" date in the Amazon description text. As long as you get the version with the gold star/burst on the front, you've got the right one! Inside the book it says "2004/2012" - and it is our best version yet.

Follow us on ...

Twitter @QBQGuy
Facebook: theQBQ
LinkedIN: JohnMillerQBQ

Big news!

My wife, Karen, and I (7 kids!) have just written the expanded edition paperback "Parenting the QBQ Way - How to Be an Outstanding Parent and Raise Great Kids Using the Power of Personal Accountability." Good, practical stuff. Just think what can happen when we eliminate Blame, Victim Thinking, and Procrastination from our families! Buy it here at Amazon. Or learn more at: www.QBQ.com/PQW

My newest organizational book is titled "Outstanding! 47 Ways to Make Your Organization Exceptional"! Find it here at Amazon or at www.OutstandingOrganization.com

And visit our main site here: www.QBQ.com

I grew up in Ithaca, NY. Father Cornell U. wrestling coach for 26 years and a Christian pastor for 40. Mom was a homemaker. I am a Cornell University grad, 1980. Five years with Cargill as a commodity trader (grain).

Started in the training business selling leadership and sales management training in 1986.

Have lived in UpState NY, MN, MT, MO, MN again, and now CO. Moved to Denver in 1997 after 12 years in Minneapolis. Why? THE WEATHER!

Karen and I have been married since 1980 and have 6 daughters, one son, and three grandchildren.

I keynote meetings/conferences on "Personal Accountability and the QBQ!" Go here: www.QBQ.com/John

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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I recommend this book for anyone who leads or manages any organization.
Vincent Milano
Synopsis of Content: Using great illustrations John G. Miller presents 47 ways to make your organization great in his latest book.
Daniel R. Murphy
The short chapters and interesting anecdotes contained within each chapter made this an easy and enjoyable book to read.
John Gibbs

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Mark Jones Jr. on July 31, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I don't go to work to be part of a losing team, to make policies and procedures that confound progress and productivity. I don't want to sit around and watch our country get deeper in debt, yoked to the burdens of irresponsible lawmakers.

I am not striking out "on my own" to start a consulting firm that does not succeed. I don't lead my family, so we can be average, just get by, merely survive.

In each of these endeavors, I want to excel, to be outstanding, to win. What does it mean to "win"? I think a leader's vision is the answer to that question. Vision is what gives us hope each day, the motivation to work hard, because I have a mental image of the outcome, whether that is at the end of the day, week, year, or lifetime. But it's more than that, because if no one buys into the vision, than a leader has no followers, so "winning" is a team's shared outlook.

I've read John's other two books, QBQ and Flipping the Switch, and now this one. In all three, he writes with concise clarity. By that, I mean that he explains and illustrates each principal in just a few short pages.

This is the essence of Multiplying Leadership with atoms--small, fundamental principles that exist independently, building blocks. In this case, they are building blocks of organizational excellence. I didn't need to read the whole book to walk away with one actionable idea. In fact, I can absorb a whole chapter that stands alone, an introduction to an idea that has endless possibilities for application that I can easily imagine, in the time it takes to read four pages.

Who should read it? Anyone who feels they are accountable, in some degree, for the excellence of their organization or team or family or relationship.

What is it about?
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Monty Rainey VINE VOICE on August 15, 2010
Format: Hardcover
John Miller's book, OUTSTANDING!: 47 WAYS TO MAKE YOUR ORGANIZATION EXCEPTIONAL, is, well, ... OUTSTANDING! The author of QBQ and Flipping the Switch, may have written his best book ever. Quite often authors put out a book that is little more than a regurgitation of their earlier books. Not so, here.

Each of Miller's 47 points are given a chapter. Each one is valuable in its' own way. In Chapter 3, I realized why some of my training initiatives fail. I don't always put purpose first. If people don't have a good understanding of why it is necessary for them to do things a certain way, they are much less likely to adopt it as their own. This one little piece of knowledge and understanding on my part will totally change how I develop and delivery new initiatives.

In Chapter 5, I learned the true definition of a customer. A customer is anyone who has a legitimate expectation of you. This opens up a whole new realm and an entirely new dynamic on how we view people. Customers are not just people who buy from us, they are our vendors, supervisors, family members, co-workers, etc. If we treat these relationships with the same respect and regard as we give our "paying customers", imagine the results we will see.

Chapter 44 is a refresher course in doing the little things that will make a difference for customers. These are just a few things you'll find here. There are tips of doing a better job of coaching, the importance of encouragement, even ways to hire better people.

As I read Chapter 12, aptly titled "Value Ideas Over Politics", I kept remembering Ronald Reagan when he said, "It's amazing what can be accomplished when we don't care who gets the credit."

This should become required reading for anyone at the corporate level.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Matthew Morine VINE VOICE on January 19, 2010
Format: Hardcover
John Miller is an accomplished author and consultant in the business world. His previous book "QBQ" was an exceptional work on identifying empowerment thinking. He continues the linage of thought provoking and insightful works in this text. The book identifies the 47 ways to make an organization better. This book is packed with helpful information. Instead of spending hundreds of dollars on the ever increasing literature in the business culture, one can buy this book for the best of the latest ideas. The book also highlights some of the latest and trendy "foolish" ideas that would never work. The author shows these ideas to be lacking. Instead of having to read all of the material out there searching for the best practices, the author has done this for you. This book will provide a framework for any church, club, or business. There is not a single wasted page. For a journey in the best ideas for an organization, pick up this title.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By John Gibbs TOP 1000 REVIEWER on April 29, 2010
Format: Hardcover
What scope does an ordinary employee have to make a difference within a workplace? Quite a bit, according to John Miller in this book. Chapter 1 advises you to "Be Fast", something that has become an increasingly critical competitive factor for businesses, and more good advice follows in subsequent chapters, including "Be Humble", "Forgive Mistakes", "Do What You Promise", "Be Coachable", and "Seek No Culprits".

The longest chapter, and the one which reveals the author's greatest expertise, is entitled simply "Train". Outstanding organisations use formal training processes to help their employees grow. If people are to stay competent and confident in a continually changing world, they need continuous learning. The author uses the acrostic PROCESS to describe the seven key characteristics of effective training: Practical content, Repetition, Ownership by management, Consistent message, Easily customised, Support tools and Specific plan.

The short chapters and interesting anecdotes contained within each chapter made this an easy and enjoyable book to read. I normally prefer reading a book which deals in depth with a single topic, but I found it a refreshing change to read a book which deals succinctly with a large number of different topics. This is a helpful book for leaders, but also for all who want to see their organisations become more outstanding.
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