Chuck Dahlgren

Author's details

Name: Chuck Dahlgren
Date registered: September 6, 2011


Almost 20 years ago Chuck landed his dream job - owner and CEO of a small contract etching company. Since then he's transformed Crystal D from contract etcher to the world's leading designer of crystal awards! Chuck is described by two words: passion and vision. In addition, he has a sincere and heartfelt connection to the culture of Crystal D. Chuck lives for the endless opportunity he has to impact the lives of his employees, his customers, and their clients through the power of recognition.

Latest posts

  1. One year after QBQ — May 1, 2012
  2. Celebrating a Sales Milestone in Style — April 3, 2012
  3. Don’t Wait to Say Thanks – ARA Show 2012 — March 25, 2012
  4. Recognition is Good Business Sense — March 22, 2012
  5. Improve Your Memory — March 20, 2012

Most commented posts

  1. Improve Your Memory — 1 comment
  2. Celebrating a Sales Milestone in Style — 1 comment

Author's posts listings


One year after QBQ

imagesCAA9IM93 One year after QBQIn America and around the world, our current culture tends to pass the buck or deny responsibility for the consequences of our actions. Homeowners are walking away from mortgages they could not afford from the start, our education system can’t keep up with global competition but the system goes unchanged, and legislature spends more time pointing the finger at one another then upholding American freedoms. This is nothing more than a lack of personal accountability; placing blame on others or a “wait and see” strategy instead of taking action and solving a problem.

In the business world lack of personal accountability is also abundant and is characterized by victim thinking, procrastination, and blame. If any of the questions below pop up at your workplace, personal accountability is lacking.

Victim Thinking:

  • “Why do we have to go through all this change?”
  •  “Why can’t we find good people?”


  • “When will we get better systems?”
  • “When will someone solve the problem?”


  • “Who dropped the ball?”
  • “Whose idea was this anyway?”

When questions like this started to become the norm at Crystal D I knew I had to take action. The solution I found made a big difference to our company and in the personal lives’ of some of our employees. It is called QBQ!

The Solution: What is QBQ!?

Almost one year ago we launched the employee training program called QBQ! which stands for The Question Behind the Question.

qbqimage One year after QBQ

The QBQ! program helps people see the areas at work (and at home) where they lack personal accountability. It shows them how to take personal responsibility in new ways so that they can take control of their life and their attitude. 

QBQ! gives the “how to” of personal accountability by helping people ask The Question Behind the Question! Instead of asking questions that address “why” something happened or “when” things will change, people ask “what” and “how” they can contribute to a solution. Here are a few examples:

  • “What can I do to contribute?”
  • “How can I contribute?” 
  • “How can I succeed with the tools I have?”

Approaching a situation, person, or company culture with a QBQ! mindset gives employees, managers, and c-suite executives a chance to eliminate blame, victim thinking, complaining, and procrastination in their organization and their life! The people who practice QBQ! experience great personal freedom as they live with a greater sense of control and contribution.

At Cystal D we integrated the QBQ! idea into our current culture using the words “Step Up” to encompass personal accountability and going above or beyond at work. We talk about “Step Up Moments” and are free to ask questions of one another to address procrastination, blame, or victim thinking, among other issues. This concept has made a big impact on myself and the Crystal D staff.

I will share more about QBQ!, and its impact on our company in the coming weeks. Stay tuned!

You can learn more about the QBQ! philosophy from author and originator John Miller or by visiting

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Celebrating a Sales Milestone in Style

Yesterday was a BIG day for our company! We reached an all-time high business goal! We experienced “The WOW Effect”TM for ourselves! I want to thank all of my employees for a job well done!

Our facility is located in the Midwest and we have been enjoying nice, warm spring weather, so we moved the party outside so our employees could enjoy cookies and mock champagne in the sunshine!

Here are a few pictures from the day!

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Don’t Wait to Say Thanks – ARA Show 2012

Bright lights, big city! Recently, I spent a week in Las Vegas at the 2012 ARA Show. IMG 0107 e1331670402579 225x300 Dont Wait to Say Thanks   ARA Show 2012It was a fantastic experience. I traveled with two of our lovely marketing ladies! They met with our customers in the tradeshow booth while I made two presentations.

We started the week with a full day of set up! Boxes, bubble wrap, glass cleaner, and white gloves is all we need to bring “The WOW Effect”TM to Vegas baby!!!

 Traveling for work is both a privilege and a sacrifice. It is a privilege because tradeshows are the best environment to meet our customers face-to-face; we all love these opprotunities! Our customers arIMG 0092 e1331670742779 225x300 Dont Wait to Say Thanks   ARA Show 2012e the best people in the world because they believe in the power of recognition with as much conviction as we do. They fill our tank with energy and give us fuel we use to continue to progress as a company.

On the other hand, work travel is also a sacrifice because it takes my employees away from their families and children. So I make a point to thank my folks for this sacrifice whenever I can.  My favorite way to express my appreciation while in Vegas is by trying out a killer resturant followed by one of the many entertaining live shows. 

This year’s staff favorite was the ”Donnie and Marie” show at the Flamingo. The brother-sister duo really gave us a chance to relax after a day of hard work! Pictured here: Becca (marketing), Donnie, Marie, Bridget (marketing), and myself.

There are many ways to thank your employees for their hard work. But the most effective way to do this is by expressing your gratitude immediately after your employees have completed their work. So don’t wait, if you have someone who deserves a high-5, or a more significant form of gratitude like a night on the town, give it up ASAP! This thank you will go far and your employee will become more engaged.

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Recognition is Good Business Sense

Just like any normal business activity employee recogition needs to make good business sense. Which means it needs to propel the business ahead rather then hinder its momentum.

I’ll make it simple; here’s the relationship between employee engagement (aka: employee recognition) and business.

Differentiate Yourself Smiley Recognition is Good Business SenseWhat the Business Wants…

  • The very best talent
  • A team that is fully engaged in the company
  • To create a climate of appreciation
  • Significant employee effort

What the Business Gets…

  • Employees who are recognized and rewarded become engaged and motivated, and the business is more productive.
  • Employees can recognize and reward each other for their efforts, creating a true culture of recognition among each and every member of your staff.
  • The marketplace is competitive and you have a lot invested in your employees, turnover is reduced when employees are engaged.
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Improve Your Memory

string around finger Improve Your Memory

It is all in the details! When you deal with people you deal with the individual personality, individual spirit, and individual behavior.

In order to interact on a personal level, you must know the detailed stuff about people like names, hobbies, areas of interest, family, etc… To do this on a regular basis you may want to improve your memory. Here are a few tips that the experts recommend.

Tips on Ways to Improve Your Memory
1) Get Moving - Exercise not only exercises the body, it exercises the brain as well. The brain depends on energy received through a constant intake of oxygen and nutrients from the bloodstream, and when those nutrients don’t arrive, the brain’s ability to work is compromised. So to keep the blood moving to the brain, you’re going to need to get up from your chair and get your blood pumping. Studies show that the more physically active a person is, the greater his or her cognitive performance [Victoroff].

2) Pay Attention – Eight seconds is more than just a length of time that bull riders try to stay atop a bucking bronco, it’s the amount of time you need to completely focus your attention on something to effectively transfer it from short-term to long-term memory [Crook]­. Like an absent-minded professor, we all have moments where we put down keys without noticing.  Try to stay in the present and really pay attention to the task at hand.  Minimize distractions to focus fully.

3) Remember Names – When you meet a new person, it’s important to pay attention to the name and the face. As soon as you learn the name, repeat it back to the person by saying, “Nice to meet you, so-and-so.” It’s not a cheap trick; researchers have found that people who do this have a 30 percent better chance of remembering the new name[Herold].


  • Crook, Thomas and Christine Allison. “How to Remember Names.” HarperCollins. 1992.
  • Herold, Mort. “You Can Have a Near-Perfect Memory.” Contemporary Books, Inc. 1982.
  • Victoroff, Jeff. “Saving Your Brain.” Bantam. 2002.
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