Get Joey's free weekly beBetter Leadership blog:

beBetter Blog

Something Is Wrong With This Elevator

By Joey Havens

Share this post:

Forefinger pressing the fifth floor button in the elevator

Placing the Hyatt Regency room card on the card reader in the elevator, my good friend and mentor, Sam Allred, steps on the elevator on the 32nd floor and selects the fifth floor for the gym.  Sam is getting a quick workout in before he helps kick off Upstream Academy’s HeadWaters Conference in Denver, CO.  I’m here to keynote on Leading with Significance.

Let’s jump in the elevator with Sam as he shared with us in his own words:

The 5th Floor button lights up, and I look away.  The elevator dings, doors open, and I find myself on the 35th (top) floor.  I’m a bit perplexed, but I decided to go through the process again.  Swipe the room card and push the 5th-floor button; it lights up and then goes out. Pushing frantically on it, it lights up and then goes out. Something is wrong with this elevator.  I selected the Lobby level and hoped it might reset the elevator. 

I ride the elevator down to the lobby, and the door opens. Okay, we should be good to go.  Swipe the room card, press five, and it lights up and then goes out again. Standing in this closed elevator, I frantically swipe my card again, and the 5th floor lights up and goes out. Of the eight elevators in this hotel, this one is having a problem. I step out of the elevator, let the door close, and press the up button.  The same elevator opens back up again.  This isn’t going to work.  I decide to inform the front desk that the elevator is out of order.  Swiftly walking to the front desk, I am excited to make them aware of this problem and save others from this total frustration.

As I approach the front desk, I glance at my room card and prepare to share that they have a broken elevator.  Sitting in my hand is my American Express card. Uh, uh, could you make me another room key?

As Sam shared with the audience at the conference, our nature is to look outward when we incur a problem or challenge.  The problem can’t be us.  The problem is undoubtedly the elevator every time. 

We grow so much faster and close the gap to our full potential as we become more open-minded, challenging our own beliefs and assumptions first.  When we seek first to understand a different view — we grow.  As our self-awareness grows, our potential rises like a rocket ship.

I always carried a folder that had written on the outside, “I might not be right!”  This visual helps me be more tentative in my opinions and encourages me to listen and do more self-checks before I run to the front desk.

CeCe, have you seen my AMEX card? 

Leading with Significance has officially hit the retail market and is now available at these online locations: 

For more information on my presentations or to access my beBetter blog library go to