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Inspection is not about looking good or bad

by | May 26, 2021 | Goals, Leadership, Teams

My Passion: Empowering people to live their best life.

 Have you heard the saying, “inspect what you expect”? I lived by that motto and for all the wrong reasons. I’d inspect & ask questions, dive in and make sure the projects I was working on were being executed with precision and velocity for an end result of me looking good. Also, if I’m honest with myself, mostly out of fear. Fear of losing that next promotion or sweet position I was gunning for. That really ended up with me stuck doing all the work and siloed into a one trick pony job.

I went through the path of least resistance, lonely and ultimately stuck. I called it my hamster wheel career. As I watched colleagues get promoted, change jobs, make more money, and do the things that seemed really cool I realized a transformation of my way of life was required. The reason behind my inspection was about to change. 


Where did the transformation begin?

In 2013 I met an entrepreneur that saw something in my ability to quickly get things done with very few mistakes. It brought him successes on many fronts. He started to see projects cross the finish line. Hence started to look really great to his clients. His integrity was being restored all over the place, and we were both succeeding. What he noticed, which I was unable to notice, was my burnout. It was my frustration for missing dinners with my family, for skipped date nights with my husband, for my incomplete workouts. My drive to try new things was gone. The burnout was causing a slow decline in my productivity.

As we were chatting about our future plans he kindly guided the conversation to my ability to build teams and inspect what I expected for my own career and future.

I began to seriously look at where I wanted to end up, and how I could provide an opportunity for us both to get the end results we wanted. Subsequently, I created a process of inspection that enrolled others, empowered teams, and created a new level of excellence across multiple platforms, business units and in my own personal life.

I took the tools I was provided to work with:, high performing team members, professional coaching, and my trusted friend the laptop. At first the process of looking at a high level all the pieces that were in motion took about 30 minutes. With optimization I have been able to get this inspection process down to 15-20 minutes.


When do I do this?

I do my inspection at my most high performing time of the day. For me, it’s first thing in the morning. Before I launch my tasks, I am looking. Looking into the best way to set up a successful day:

  • Go through my inbox addressing the correspondence my assistant may be unable to answer.
  • Check my calendar and get present to who I will be interacting with that day. Creating a possibility for a win-win for each meeting.
  • Read my meeting summaries ensuring my teams are identifying and solving the most important issues for the team that week.
  • Look at the company’s and team’s KPIs ensuring our numbers are on track to meet goals for the quarter.
  • Go over my own tasks on my workspace and honor my integrity by completing those tasks I committed to.
  • Scan our company’s Slack channels getting in touch with the teams and creating meaningful connections farther down in the organization.
  • Review my LinkedIn and any social media that brings me awareness to what is happening in my sphere of influence.

Each day may bring a different level of inspection, and this is typical for me. However, as with everything in my life I implement process and systematize the work day.


What did this create for me and the teams I work with?

Freedom, autonomy in our jobs, empowerment to make decisions quickly, and to right the ship in the event it begins to veer off course. We work cohesively together with a clear vision and path to thrive executing in our unique abilities. For more information on how you and your teams can expand your inspection consider


Written by
Kathy Mayfield

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