The Real Test

Lance Accountability, Integrity Leave a Comment

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Three legs or four … wood or metal or plastic … traditional or ultra modern … all can add up to a perfectly suitable, usable stool. But it takes more than the ability to simply stand up under its own weight without wobbling. Regardless of the differences in materials and design, a stool isn’t a stool if it can’t pass a simple test: can you sit on it?

In order for a stool to be worthy of the name, it has to perform under the pressure of  forces being applied against it. It has to not just hold up a small person who is sitting perfectly still in the center of the seat; it also has to hold up anyone, regardless of size or shape, who is going to sit with an uneven weight distribution. It has to hold up a person who is fidgety as well as the one who is turning around to talk to the person behind them. A stool worth putting in your seating area can’t fall over every time a person tries to get onto it in the first place.

Likewise —

  • Your leadership isn’t leadership if people are not interested in following it in times of turmoil;
  • Your strategic plan isn’t a plan if requires the unknown variables to break in your favor;
  • Your confidence isn’t confidence if it doesn’t survive failure;
  • Your peace with who you are isn’t peace if it doesn’t hold up without the validation of someone else;
  • Your values aren’t values if they aren’t worth being punished for;
  • Your beliefs aren’t beliefs if they can’t survive someone else’s disagreement;
  • Your trust isn’t trust if it doesn’t give space to be let down;

Regardless of what you think you have, there’s only one way to know for sure if it’s real: expose it to the turbulence of adversity. Once you do, you’ll know what you really have soon enough.


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