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Episode #7

Finding your QBR

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Finding Your QBR

How To Determine The Most Important Activity In Your Business

The QBR stands for Queen Bee Role. It is the singular most important activity that the success of your business hinders on

While researching the book Clockwork: Design Your Business to Run Itself, Mike visited a slew of different businesses of varying sizes and spanning different industries.

These were companies that were known for achieving ultra-efficiency, like a playset manufacturer, pizza shops, and law firms, and he was searching for a common thread between them that would explain their success. 

However, he found that they all had their own unique recipes for success, and what was creating efficiencies for one company would likely create a cluster in another.  There were no commonalities. 

If You Can’t Find A Common Thread, Look To Nature.


This is where Adrienne Dorisons undergrad degree in Wildlife Ecology & Conservation Sciences and Masters of Science in Forestry and Economics really came in handy.

She was the one who told him to look to the bees because Mother Nature is the ultimate inventor. 

Take Velcro for example:  

​​George de Mestral was a Swiss electrical engineer who, when walking his dog one day, noticed a ton of burrs tangled in his dogs fur. 

As he worked to pull them all off he realized they weren’t sticky to the touch, but when he put a burr back on the dog it would stick again.  

When he got home and put the burr under his microscope he saw the ingenious hook and loop system that burrs use to attach themselves to other things so they spread their seeds. 

And that’s how velcro was born. 

George took nature and manufactured it. 

Now that’s what we’re doing with the QBR.

What Bees and Your Business Have In Common


Beehives are very efficient with their use of energy, and because of that they’re able to grow their colonies very quickly,


They follow a very simple set of rules. 

Rule #1- Always protect the QBR. 

Remember, the QBR is the core function that the survivability of the hive depends on.

For the bees, that’s the production of eggs.

The Queen Bee Role, however, is not one particular bee, it’s the activity of producing the eggs. 

The Queen Bee is not the most important bee in the beehive. If she stops producing eggs, she becomes expendable and the colony will remove her from the hive by force.

There are always more Queen Bees ready to be spawned to continue producing eggs. 

Rule #2 – Don’t forget your Primary Role

In a hive, there is only one Queen Bee producing eggs at a time, meaning one bee is performing the Queen Bee Role. But we all know that hives have way more than one bee… so what do all the other ones do?

Once the egg production is locked in, the rest of the colony will go on and perform their Primary Role… things like collecting pollen, defending the hive, nursing the eggs, etc. 

But if anything threatens the production of those eggs, any bee that is capable of protecting and serving that activity will stop performing its Primary Role and help with the production of eggs.

This is why you’ll sometimes see bees swarming.  This news story from CNN even talks about a swarm of 20,000 bees followed a car for 2 days because their Queen was trapped inside!

That’s how important the QBR is to the success of the hive.

Your Business Has A Queen Bee Role, Too


Every hive has a Queen, every business has a QBR. You just need to identify it. 

The first step is determining your Big Promise.

The Big Promise of the hive is simple: Stay alive! 

In your business, this is the most important promise you are making to your customers when they decide to give you their money. 

For example: 

Mike, as an author, promises to make simple tools for entrepreneurship. 

Run Like Clockwork’s promise is to help you design a business that runs itself.  

What is the biggest promise you’re making to your customers?  

Determine that, then peel back the onion one layer. What’s the activity that delivers on that promise? 

THAT is your QBR!

The activity that delivers on Mike’s Big Promise of making simple tools for entrepreneurs is writing books. 

The most important activity we do here at Run Like Clockwork is holding our community accountable to our methodology.  That’s what delivers on our promise of a business that designs itself.

Your Big Promise Is Critical To The Success Of Your Business


If you fail to deliver on your promise it doesn’t matter how good everything else is, your reputation will precede you. 

Yes, we know you do multiple things, but there is only one most important promise that results in only one Queen Bee Role

Protect it and your business will be protected
Serve it and your business will be served
Elevate it and your business will elevate

Want to hear this direct from Mike?  Listen to the podcast episode about it below.


If you’re ready to fast-track your clockworking journey, the Clockwork Accelerator program is officially OPEN — you can learn more + apply here:

Looking for your next great beach read?  Check out the clockwork book – now in an updated second edition!


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