John G. Miller on Life and Leadership

I read so many books that my head is bigger than my feet. In other words, I know more than I’m practicing. John Miller’s book, “QBQ: The Question behind the Question,” reached my feet and changed my attitude in several ways. Here’s part of a recent conversation I had with John.


Leadership Freak (LF): John, I’m thankful you’re sharing your insights with the Leadership Freak community. Let’s jump right in. Could you tell us about a tipping point in your life?

John Miller (JM): Dan, thanks for asking me to share. The years from 1986 to 1989 were my tipping point. Previous to ’86 I was frustrated with my career path. But from ’86 to ’89 I found my passion and I found a mentor. Those two things were pivotal to my success today.

LF: Could you tell me more?

JM: My mentor helped change my life by sending me a message of belief. He said, “I believe in you.” He also taught me everything he knew about selling and selling became my passion. Finding my passion for selling and a gifted mentor changed my life. You might be interested to know that my mentor now represents QBQ, Inc. selling QBQ! training!

LF: That’s so cool, John.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard that a mentor has created a platform that helps mentees break through to new levels of fulfillment and success.

New topic, what are the “must have” qualities for leaders?

JM: First, successful leaders model the behaviors they expect from others. Modeling is the most powerful of all teachers. Second, humility is the cornerstone of leadership.

LF: Talk to me about humility.

JM: Sometimes a leader’s ego makes them believe people serve them. Pride makes us focus on ourselves. Successful leaders humbly focus on others. Executives hire me to come in and change their people. That’s the position of pride. About 30 minutes into a typical session, they begin realizing they need this too. That’s the position of humility.

Rather than blaming, humble leaders practice personal accountability by asking questions like, “What can I do to create a culture of success?”


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Finding a mentor and his passion for sales created a tipping point in John’s life. What tipping points changed your life?