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  • Writer's pictureRobert Stevenson

Baffled, Perplexed, Puzzled


Robert Stevenson Blog - When things are the pits who do you call?

TO ALL MY INTELLIGENT FRIENDS out there, I have an exercise below that I think will surely challenge your problem-solving capabilities. I didn’t figure it out. I was baffled, perplexed, puzzled, and totally stumped. With that being said, I wish you luck in trying to figure it out, and if you do, BIG KUDOS to you. Here is the exercise/question. See if you can figure out what these seven words all have in common!



Banana - Dresser - Grammar - Potato - Revive - Uneven - Assess

Study it. Think Hard! You are going to KICK YOURSELF when you discover the answer. No, the answer is not that they all have at least 2 sets of double letters … Banana kills that because it has 3 “A’s”, so that isn’t the answer. The answer is at the bottom of the page. When you finally give up, go down and read the answer and then come back and read what I have to say about this exercise and why I shared it with you.


My first point about this exercise is sometimes as bosses, managers, or leaders we don’t have the answer. So, get over it and admit it. Great leaders know how to bring the right people together to FIGURE THINGS OUT. One of my clients has a team of people they call THE PITS CREW. When things are THE PITS, bad, awful, totally messed-up …when things go so wrong and there seems to be no solution to the problem … the person-in-charge calls corporate and tells them to send in THE PITS CREW. At that point, they stand aside and turn over control to THE PITS CREW. Now, that doesn’t mean that THE PITS CREW won’t be calling on them (or anyone on their team) for input, suggestions, ideas or thoughts … but it does mean that whatever THE PITS CREW figures out will be implemented.


Equally important, if I were putting together a PITS CREW, you can take-it-to-the-bank, my CREW would be made up of different talents, skills, backgrounds, ages, and genders. Sometimes a brilliant mind can’t see what a less experienced mind can or vice-versa. Sometimes senior management gets stuck in the “that’s the way we’ve always done it” mode. Sometimes youth jumps at an answer that a more experienced person has already tired and found it didn’t work.


It is absolutely amazing what can be accomplished if people aren’t worried about who gets the credit or blame. The Pits Crew is there to find out what caused the problem, fix it and set up procedures so it won’t happen again. There are no politics, only remedies. They feed off each other and know that the “Cure to the Problem” will come from their cooperation with each other. Always remember, the first step to solving a problem is admitting you have one.


HERE'S THE ANSWER: In all the words listed, if you take the first letter and place it at the end of the word, and then spell the word backwards, it will be the same word. I told you … you would kick yourself when you read the answer.


Agendas, Ego, Tenure, or Titles never solve a problem.

A variety of Talents, Insight, and Cooperation will.



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