From the Desk of Paul:

I feel compelled to share a recent experience at a conference with you in hopes that you may recognize an opportunity to create favorable outcomes in your own day-to-day activities.  Working with my team around the topic of personal accountability, has raised my consciousness of when good personal accountability is present and when it isn’t, in myself and others as well.  One of the vendors that my company often uses to provide services for our clients, pours hundreds of thousands of dollars into their marketing budgets every year.  A large portion of these budgets is spent on conferences that allow the vendor to market their services to a specific industry.  It just so happened that my partner and I were planning to attend one such conference and we coordinated meeting up with this particular vendor during the time designated for vendor booth setup.  We had even hoped to have our booths located close to one another so we could spend some time strategizing and assisting one another.  As my partner and I were driving the last 50 miles to the conference, I received a phone call from the vendor that we were looking forward to working with.  “Hey, so when the original conference was cancelled due to the pandemic, apparently our team thought that we would receive a credit towards the next scheduled conference; however, I’m finding out now that we received a refund and therefore, we are not registered as a vendor for this event.”

I gasped in empathy for the representative who was to be in attendance for this conference.  He had flown halfway across the country with two big totes, to set up a booth for a conference that he was now being told he could not participate in as a vendor!  “What are you going to do?” I asked.  He asked if he could temporarily station his totes near my booth location and said he would figure it out.  Let’s take a timeout here and cover some basics of personal accountability.  John Miller, author of QBQ! The Question Behind The Question, teaches that personal accountability starts with a choice.  In essence, the choice typically starts with a question that we may consciously or subconsciously ask ourselves.  The question could be something along the lines of “Why is this happening to me”, which is not very representative of good personal accountability.  On the other hand, the question may be something along the lines of “How can I salvage this trip?”.  The first question puts the individual in a victim circumstance, where the world or someone else is acting on the individual who is left helpless and demoralized.  The second question, however, creates a circumstance of empowerment and opportunity.  The individual spends time and energy focused on solving the problem as opposed to feeling sorry for himself.  My vendor chose the latter.  He found a way to still be involved and created some business connections that will likely pay dividends down the road.  Unfortunately, he had to act with personal accountability because the event management team didn’t.  The event management team took the position of “we have a contract”, “there is no more space for an unplanned vendor” and “there is nothing we can do”.  Victim, powerless, defeated.  Those are the words that came to mind when I considered the situation.  The reality is that someone could have made room for the vendor, explained the situation to the hotel seeking an exception and even amended the contract.  In doing so, not only would the vendor have benefited, but so would the conference attendees.  I know there were attendees who needed what this vendor had to offer and as a result of the event management team not taking personal accountability, some of those attendees were not afforded the opportunity to meet this vendor.

What a difference it would make in the world if more of us practiced personal accountability!  We can’t change the entire world’s view on this topic, but each of us is part of the world and we can make a commitment to work on the man or woman in the mirror as it relates to personal accountability.  Doing so will result in a more empowered, positive life that bears a much greater likelihood of success and happiness!

As always, if you have questions or comments that you would like for me to address, please contact me at

Paul Meadows,