Lessons while being stuck in an elevator

Today I got stuck in an elevator for 45 minutes… twice. About an hour apart.

So, I’m currently in Hawaii for a small vacation -I use that term loosely. Who Run The World launched today and I still have clients - and I am a pretty cruisy traveller. I don’t need five star hotel - I’m really happy to stay in mediocre places as long as there is a comfy bed and I’m safe.

My hotel here in Waikiki is extremely basic but everyone is super lovely and the hotel is quiet. This afternoon I went for a swim at the beach, did some shopping and when I got back to the hotel and the single elevator arrived at level 6 and nothing happened. It was like someone turned a power switch and the elevator just stopped.

If this was a movie you would now see a montage scene of me pushing every button in the elevator, pressing the alarm button at least 100 times, me remembering the opening scene to Speed, me attempting to pry the door open, me kicking the door, me sitting on the floor… you get the idea.

After 45 minutes power returned and I arrived back down on the Ground floor to repair men, hotel staff and some other guests all staring at me. The hotel was apologetic and I laughed it off – but it was at this point, I vowed to only take the stairs from now on. (Hahahahahahaha…you see where this is going)

After a quick shower, I went back out for food, upon my return to my hotel - I absentmindedly walked straight in back to the elevators, got in, pressed close and then remembered ‘Oh shit.. But.. really, what are the odds of that happening again!?’

BUT IT DID. The elevator rises and I go back up to Level 6 and then – boom - power off. And for the next 45 minutes or so I went through the same exact motions of the two hours before feeling like an idiot. I sat there wondering why I thought this would be different. I had been caught in a really absent minded thought. I did what I had always done.

Einstein famously stated that insanity was doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results and I wonder how many people can relate to this in terms of business. How many people are doing the same things – mostly absent-mindedly and not knowing they are ‘stuck in the elevator.’ Or… how much are you doing simply out of process and habit and you are failing to measure and checking the results you’re obtaining – be it negative or positive?

I wasted 45 minutes today learning a lesson and my guess is many of you are doing things out of habit and simply not realising you’re not getting a positive result. You’re not realising that you’re putting yourself in an elevator. My 45 minutes smacked me in the face. It was hot, un-air-conditioned and super uncomfortable. I’m hoping that my stupid 45 minute lesson is going to help you check your habits this week.

And tomorrow, let’s all take the stairs.
(Unless we forget again… dammit)