CYA : Check Your Assumptions

By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy

Here’s an idea to help you gain a new perspective problem-solving. Reading time: 2:17.

                  You’ll know you successfully crossed the threshold from manager to leader when you rely more on your insight than on what’s in sight. Effective leaders check their assumptions.  They practice CYA.

Modern day exterior elevator at Lloyds in London.

Modern day exterior elevator at Lloyds in London.

      That’s what happened when hotel guests  complained about the lack of elevators. But the hotel owner balked at the prospect of shutting down the only elevator in the building  for at least a week to bore the additional elevator shaft in the building.

       The hotel owner is concerned: in solving the problem of too few elevators he will have to make the crowding problem even worse for a short time. The owner had seen this movie before.

        Then he flashed his CYA. He checked his assumptions when a janitor offered a different perspective.

          The  janitor, sweeping near the elevator banks, overhears the architect and the hotel owner planning to add the elevator shaft inside the building.

                      The janitor knows that elevator shaft would generate a lot of dust and dirt on the janitor’s clean floor. The janitor offers another perspective: why don’t you build this elevator shaft on the OUTSIDE of the building. And with that OUTSIDE perspective from someone OUTSIDE the architecture profession, the El Cortez Hotel in San Diego became the first hotel in the world with an outside elevator shaft in 1956. Effective leaders practice CYA. They check their assumptions.

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