Personal Accountability

This is not a paid review–I read this book last week for a class I took at work.

“The lack of personal accountability is a problem that has resulted in an epidemic of blame, complaining, and procrastination. No organization–or individual–can achieve goals, compete in the marketplace, fulfill a vision, or develop people and teams without personal accountability.”

This book by John G. Miller, The Question Behind the Question: What to Really Ask Yourself to Eliminate Blame, Complaining and Procrastination, has been just what I needed to hear this week. In an hour’s read, I learned to place responsibility for my actions on myself, to be proactive about making situations better (rather than whining “Why does this or that happen? Why me?”), and to ask questions that help me assess how I can play a positive role in whatever circumstances come up. Now, whether or not I am able to consistently put these skills into practice will be The Question Behind The Question Behind The Question. 🙂

Seriously? READ THIS BOOK. It is not your typical “you’re special and people should (gosh darn it) love you” book. It teaches application of scripture, even though it is a secular book: “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.” (Philippians 2:3,4 NIV) And…accept personal responsibility. I, for one, am in need of a kick in the pants in this area.

It’s sometimes therapeutic to get on my blog and rant and rave about how this nasty person did that or how so and so is not smart in this way. But you know what? How does my complaining help you or the situation about which I grumble?

Personal responsibility starts with ME!


I actually borrowed the book from work to re-read, and Husband and I read it together some on our looooooong trip to and from Mom’s house this past weekend.


4 thoughts on “Personal Accountability

  1. ‘How does my complaining help you or the situation about which I grumble?’

    Commiseration. The one thing more therapeutic than ranting and getting it all out of your system is knowing that there are (or have been) others in the same boat. Perhaps all that’s needed is a perception shift.

  2. I think I may purchase this book , read it and then share it with SEVERAL people in my life!! Thank you for the recommendation!

    I am one of those people that blames myself rather than others around me. I used to work for someone that made a lot of errors as she was a procrastinater (I think it wore off on me). But she would never take ownership. It was always me. And I did – to save her face. Because I spent 3 years as her punching bag, I sort of never was able to rid myself of blame for anything that goes wrong. Which is why now even in my marriage, if we are having financial issues I will blame myself, and over examine and worry that my husband does too.

    Maybe this will help me relieve some of that…

    How is your mom recovering? Are her results back? I keep hoping to see an update. I am praying she is doing well with clear results!

  3. I was going to be all sarcastic and then thought. What if she doesn’t “get” what I’m saying and the “way” I’m saying it and I end up sounding really mean and offending. Which I SO do NOT want to sound like.
    Sounds like a good book, I’m not in a mood to embrace a non-ranting attitude. The Holidays are coming and high stress for people pleasing Sara. I’ll take the non-rant challenge after ok?

  4. Assentia, thanks for commenting. As a believer, I generally feel that commiseration stunts our growth. Rather than finding people who will encourage us to trust God to bring us past our sins and our situations, we get bogged down in little pity parties with each other. I completely understand the comforting feeling it can bring, but it doesn’t help me or my friend just to acknowledge we’ve both struggled with lying (for example). I feel empowered to look for a way to be a solution to my own and others’ woes.

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