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Volume 5 Number 5   |   May 2015

Seeing is Insufficient Believing

We see (and hear) a great deal around us, but we too often accept it at face value. A large office symbolizes power, a small one, subservience. An articulate speaker seems highly knowledgeable, and a stumbling speaker seems uncertain.

Yet I've seen human resources vice presidents with $2,000 suits, immaculately groomed, in huge offices who are clueless, and spend most of their day supporting useless programs and trying to avoid accountability. I've met jeans-clad high school dropouts who are in cramped offices in warehouses supervising 30 people who are shipping the company's goods to customers at low cost with without error.

I've listened to slicksters on stage talk about ambiguous buzzwords like "authenticity" and "disclosure," and heard plain-talking repair people who absolutely delight customers with ideas about how to improve the performance of the equipment.

We need to look through, around, and past the obvious. Our mindsets must be to search for evidence of excellence and not merely the trappings of territory.


Risks and Rewards

Too many of us settle for non-buyers who claim to be buyers, upsetting the apple cart at the very end when they tell us they need someone's approval. They may have lied or deceived, but in truth, we insufficiently probed.

We often follow the advice of critics and critiquers only to find that they were terribly wrong, and actually had no background themselves or a private agenda being satisfied, and not our own well being.

We accept promises from people whose titles and organizations should make them trustworthy, but they are not, because that quality doesn't originate in a title or employer but in one's character.

Take the time to be healthily skeptical. Don't accept what you see on the surface, for better or worse. Convince yourself of the validity of what you expect.

In life, what you see is not always what you get.

© Alan Weiss 2015