EXTREME TESTING: Practicing what you believe in

This week has been filled with the wrapping up of several projects, the planning of future projects, and the packing of suitcases for a much-needed break.

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And in that space, I’ve been pondering the past few months.

This fall was a season of EXTREME TESTING.  (Only the teacher forgot to warn me that the tests were coming so I didn’t get to study.  And truthfully, I didn’t realize how much testing was occuring – until things slowed down and I paused to reflect.)

It’s worth noting that although the tests were different, one theme was repeated over and over again:  When I’m under-fire ~Do I really practice what I say I believe in and write about?  (A sampling of some of the tests are listed below on the left, previous articles are on the right.)

Band-Aids and EASY Buttons -Or- SOLUTIONS?

An owner of a couple of small businesses is frustrated with dwindling profits.

Easy Button

He blames his staff, treats them badly, moves them to different locations, stalls their vacations and refuses to listen to their feedback.

The truth is:

  • He has been an absentee owner that has happily collected profits from the businesses while choosing not to be involved in day-to-day operations.
  • He hasn’t trained his employees or empowered them to make decisions.
  • He has not been engaged with his customers and doesn’t know what they value.
  • He hasn’t been proactive about growing his businesses or even keeping up with his competitors.
  • His prices are higher than the competition and his facilities are cramped, cluttered, outdated, and equipped with poor quality equipment and tools.

Consumed by a Problem You Can’t Solve?

Several years ago an executive told me that if I knew about a problem that was unsolved, it didn’t matter how hard I wanted to be a part of the solution,…   I was a part of the problem until it was solved.  

beating your head against the wall

Ouch. That was a hard pill to swallow.


Recently I was reminded of that pill, as someone contacted me and asked for my help.

2 Steps Forward + 1 Step Back = Progress

Last week a friend pointed out the importance of celebrating progress.

2 Steps Forward + 1 Step Back = Progress

Her comment came at a time when many people we care about are focused on “what is not” instead of on “what is”.

Her words were a waving caution flag reminding me that:

Focusing on the steps back, on the struggle, or on what is not…  Fuels negativity and slows progress.  

I wanted to say yes, but I don’t trust you…

Once upon a time, I worked with someone that had some great skills even though they made a lot of choices that I didn’t like, respect or trust.  (This person was smart, witty, and could be really fun, but repeatedly lied and manipulated and bullied others to get what they wanted.)

Broken Trust

Years after we worked together, that person sent me an invitation to connect on LinkedIn.

  • If some time had not passed, I would have declined it instantly and been filled with tons of negative emotions as I did it.