Ep 143: You Spot It, You Got It

“You spot it, you got it” is one of the first rhyming slang you learn as a coach. It refers to the automaticity of humans to project light and shadows onto other people. For example, if you are annoyed by a friend because he sucks up all the attention, the implication is that you’re annoyed because you too are also looking for attention. If you spot it, you got it. Join your host Adam Quiney as he goes in-depth on the truth behind the saying and how it can miss the mark. You will also learn how to see the world through the lens of yourself and how you connect with people that you admire. Furthermore, have a better understanding of the saying as a leader. Learn why it is a challenge and how to address it.

Listen to the Episode Here:

You Spot It, You Got It

In today’s episode, the focus will be on the idea you spot it, you got it, one of the first rhyming slangs you learn as a coach. It refers to the automaticity of humans to project light and shadows onto other people.

We are going to be talking about this idea that, “You spot it, you’ve got it.” It is one of the first pieces of Cockney rhyming slang he learned as a coach. It’s not Cockney rhyming slang because the rhyming slang doesn’t rhyme with the thing. You had had like a butcher’s at something, which would be, “Butcher’s hook, have a look.” We are a little off-base already. Hopefully, you don’t take that too seriously and you can hang out. Hopefully, there are not too many Cockneys reading this show. Before we get into that, there are two things I would love to invite you to. The first is that every Friday, I run a live show. I do the live show on Facebook. That’s the platform that I do it on, Facebook Live. It goes from 10:00 AM, Pacific Standard, to whenever I quit, usually about 11:30. You don’t have to tune in for the whole thing. I usually take audience questions, a request for topics, and then talk about those through the lens of a leader.

We create or share distinctions around these topics. We have had some great ones like, “How do I deal with my anger? What do I do in a relationship when I’m doing all my work and my partner just isn’t? How do you deal with these sorts of breakdowns?” These particular situations, where people would bring scenarios that we can talk through and work through. It’s a lot of fun. It’s a great way to close out your week, a little bit of leadership development.

I love it when people come and join me. It just makes it so much, no pun intended, more lively and dynamic. That’s 10:00 AM Pacific Standard Time. You can find it. It’s always on my profile page, Adam Quiney. If you are reading this and we are not connected, make sure we are. Send a message, let’s get connected. That’s the first thing I would love to invite you to. The second is to join my email list. I don’t send out a lot of emails. I send out very few, usually 1 every 2 weeks. A post that is pertinent for whatever has been going on during our times. A bit of an essay where I distinguished some particular way of being, way of showing up, breakdown in leadership or something along those lines, and offer ways of shifting that context and approaching it differently.

We see the world through the lens of ourselves. Share on X

The aim of all of this stuff is to get out of the default paradigm of leadership that most of the world is operating in, which is to use David Marquette’s words, “Leader–follower.” I lead and you follow me until maybe I guess I move on, and then you get to be leader, then you relate to the people below you as a follower. We are shifting that into “leader-leader.” You are a leader, everyone else around you is a leader, and your responsibility and privilege are to show up as a leader concerning whatever you are doing. You can join that email list if you are interested at my website at, AdamQuiney.com, all one word, and you can join the fun on the live shows. Friday 10:00 AM Pacific Standard Time on my Facebook profile.

Let’s get to the topic. “You spot it. You’ve got it.” First of all, things that rhyme are obnoxious. When I worked at McDonald’s many lifetimes ago, one of the favorite rhymes that would get thrown in your face was, “Time to lean time to clean.” If you are leaning around, you’ve got time to clean so get cleaning. That’s fine. It’s a restaurant so it’s constantly getting messy at deals in grease. By and large, there are a lot of greases used in the cooking there. It’s greasy food. There’s always something to be cleaning but there’s just something especially obnoxious about people giving you stuff that rhymes. “You and your damn cute sayings are calling me out.”

You Spot It, You Got It

Nevertheless, it rhymes, it’s helpful to remember and it’s so pertinent, especially in this ontological lens that we are going to be looking through. When people say, “You spot it, you’ve got it,” What they are pointing to, referencing, is the automaticity of humans to project our light and our shadows onto other people. Don’t worry. You don’t have to just take that at face value. We are going to talk about how this is the case, as well as what we miss in the simplicity of this saying and why simply telling people, “You spot it, you’ve got it,” often misses the mark. We are going to talk about deeper cuts. How is that true? How is it that people argue with that saying and miss out on the opportunity? Let’s start by talking about how it works. “How does this all come together? Why is this even true? It sounds cute at rhymes, Adam, so what?”

GL 143 | You Spot It You Got It

You Spot It You Got It: When people say, “you spot it, you got it,” what they’re pointing to with the referencing is the automaticity of humans to project our light and our shadows onto other people.


The first and most important thing to recognize is that we see the world through the lens of ourselves. What that means is at least speaking, in terms of the model I work in, let’s say we are talking about me, and part of who I am for the world is connection. Meaning when I come into space, I bring more connection into space, not just by myself but people around me start to connect more. There’s just something about the energy that I bring into space, that is connection. What that means is I’m naturally going to be more likely to see the connection that is there in other people than I am anything else. It doesn’t mean that’s all I can see. It just means that my antenna is specially tuned for that.

If you are someone who tends to take up a lot of their real presence in the room, you are going to notice other people that are a real presence in the room that tend to take up that space. You may have any number of reactions or related to that. You may love these people and be like, “They are amazing. I can be loud with them,” or you might find them incredibly obnoxious because they take up all the space in the room. That’s kind of what you do but you are not clarinet, you are just antennas tuned for it. Whatever your reaction, your relationship to it, that’s irrelevant at this point in the conversation. More important is that you are going to be specially tuned to pick up on people that bring the same kind of energy that you do. Imagine we all have a note and my note is middle C and your note is E. If someone comes into the room and their note is also middle C but they are a little bit flat or a little bit sharp, I’m going to notice that more clearly than you are. It’s closer to my note and I’m going to notice the dissonance of it. Whereas if someone came to the room, which was an E and they were a little flat or a little sharp, you are going to be able to pick that up just a little bit better than I am because that’s your note.

We resonate more with those that bring the same kind of energy as us. In the spectrums of being in the ontological model, we’ve got this idea that you, as a human, come into the world, bringing specific qualities of being that are your strong suits, connection, passion, presence, generosity, spirit, divinity wisdom. By the book, The Spectrums of Being, these qualities are like the sound of our notes. What I bring to the role is connection, passion, presence, brilliance and wit. I noticed these qualities in other people. I might not even be conscious that I noticed them but I noticed them. That’s where we are going to begin. Someone whose brilliance will be more likely to see and admire, and maybe even be intimidated by the brilliance of other people.

We resonate more with those that bring the same kind of energy as us. Share on X

Put differently, that which we resonate or respond to is that, which we are, it was a fun thought experiment here. You can take a moment, just think of someone you find inspiring. Who is someone that you are drawn to? You are like, “They are so cool. They are great. I love this person. I admire them.” It doesn’t have to be inspiring but you admire, you appreciate you like and aspire towards. The question I want you to sit with is to think about the qualities of being this person really exhibits. Who do they be that you find so compelling? Consider the ways tending to be described using nouns. Brilliance, connection, generosity, divinity, humility, honesty. What way or ways of being do you admire in this person? I’m going to sit quietly for 30 seconds to give you the height. “How dare I? Dead air.”

We are going to do it for 30 seconds, to give you a moment to just get present to this person and ask yourself, “What are the qualities of being I admire about this person?” I know I could have just told you to pause the show but I noticed that every time someone tells me to pause the show I am like, “No, don’t pause it. Screw you. I’m not pausing this. Keep talking. I will just experiment later.” We’ve got to put in a pause. We’ve got to stop talking here and record It. Hopefully, you’ve gotten clear on some of the ways of being that you admire in this person. I want you to consider whatever you spoke to as a reflection of who you are. The world’s smartest people tend to look for and honor other brilliant people, as well as feel intimidated by other brilliant people. It’s not that brilliance. Those who are brilliant don’t appreciate the generosity, spirituality or any of the other beautiful qualities of being humans can bring into space with them. It’s simply that their antenna is specially tuned to that, which is aligned with who they already are. Whatever you saw, whatever you were like, “I love Oprah because she’s so generous.” That’s a reflection of who you are.

Dimming Your Brilliance

We tend to have resistance to this. Just as a heads up. We tend to be like. “No, I try to be but that’s not who I am.” It would be weird if you said it that way but that’s how we feel. “That’s not who I am. I aspire towards that.” We brush off the compliments and do all that sort of stuff. You might have to trust me that whatever it is you admire in others is a reflection of who you be. I want to talk about the other side. The other side of the equation works the same way. Your shadows are parts of yourself that you have learned to adapt to turn up or turn down some part of who you are. We are going to use an example of someone’s brilliance, how they’ve got to the point in their life where they’ve got shadows, what those shadows are, and then how that shows up in their resentment of other people.

GL 143 | You Spot It You Got It

You Spot It You Got It: Your shadows are parts of yourself that you have learned to adapt in order to turn up or turn down some part of who you are.


Imagine little young Gordad. I just made up that name, that’s a weird name but there it is. Little young, Gordad is brilliant. Brilliant is natural to them. It’s who they are. It’s not something that they have to prove. It’s not something they have to learn by sitting down and doing math. Brilliance is innate. It’s a part of who they are naturally. The way they think about numbers, look at a game, approach life, read and are consumed with consuming knowledge. All of this is a function of the brilliance they are.

Pretty quickly the world around Gordad is going to give him some training. In some areas of Gordad’s life, they are going to learn that their brilliance is too much. Maybe they learned that when they show up and be what’s natural to them, be brilliant in school, it does a couple of things. First, it paints a target on their back, making them the source of derision. They get made fun of by other kids. They get singled out as the teacher’s pet. Two, they notice it sets people up to have high expectations of them and puts a burden on them. “You better do good in school. Gordad, you are good at math, so you better bring in a high score.” We get this very early on. In situations like this, they learned that their brilliance is too much. What is innate for them is problematic. They learn to dim their brilliance, turn down what is innate for themselves and they don’t stand out. They don’t have to rise and meet the pressure that gets put on them simply by the brilliance they are. In these situations, they might show up a little bit dumb or whatever you might call brilliance lowered. They just don’t show up in the natural brilliance.

This is a little bit like if you took that middle C note and you made it flat. They have lowered it down. In other situations, Gordad is going to learn that his brilliance is not enough. Maybe in these situations, he’s learned that around certain people, just by asking the sort of questions he asks, these people laugh at him. “What a stupid question,” or he wants to be liked by this person who occurs brilliant and the person turns his back. Gordad concludes, “I guess I’m not brilliant enough to be with that person.” In situations like this one, Gordad gets this training that he’s not brilliant enough. Around people that look like this original training, what he learns to do there is to turn his brilliance way up. He might do things like using big words, explain himself in long high-minded concepts, and take a long time to get to the point to make sure he lays it all out very clearly.

Whatever it is you admire in others is a reflection of who you are. Share on X

In these situations, Gordad has learned to take what’s already innate for him and then pile it on. It’s like icing on top of the icing. He’s turned it up to eleven. This is like that middle C notes been turned up to the sharp. What happens is both sides of this equation where Gordad turns himself down or turns himself up, gets repeated every time he’s confronted with situations, people and circumstances that looked similar to that original training. Over time, this becomes automatic. He doesn’t realize he’s doing it any longer. He gets that stimulus and automatically shows up in that patterned behavior that got him a result he wanted in a short-term way back when he first learned to do this. It becomes perfected, automatic, and instead of Gordad seeing this as a choice or a habit he’s developed to stay safe, it becomes something he relates to as just part of who he is. From there, it becomes part of the blind spot where he can’t see it.

The final thing here is that Gordad is going to judge the other people who exhibit this same kind of shadow. It’s going to be like, “That fucker over there is so arrogant. He thinks so highly of himself around here. This person is so dumb. They just don’t show up. They are lazy.” Gordad is going to do this because he’s effectively blind to the places where he does the same thing. Instead of seeing the particular brilliance in that person and seeing this as like, “They must be scared because they are running this pattern. That’s the same pattern I do. All of this is it’s invisible to me.” He can’t see it. What happens is he judges them because of that dissonance, with what’s his natural note. I said that weird. He’s got that middle C. When someone shows up with a sharp C or a flat C, it’s especially antagonistic for Gordad.

For other people, they have learned to do this with their generosity, divinity, wisdom or humility. For them, it might still be kind of obnoxious. It’s just not as sharp as it is for Gordad. That’s not going to be the thing that they judge most heavily. They judge most heavily will be the people that are very close to their note but just off-key, off a little bit. This is why the thing we love in people is a reflection of who we are but also, the thing that we judge other people for is a reflection of who we are. I judge other people for their C-sharp because I, too C sharp because it’s tuned to me. Their pattern is so similar to my pattern and because I can feel I’m aware of the authenticity. It’s at a level below my consciousness but there’s something like, “Anything turned down too far or up too loud is grading for us.” We are like, “I have to lean into here, I have to show up, trust that you are smart, stop being stupid or trust that I get you are smart. Stop trying to prove it to me. It’s so obnoxious.”

GL 143 | You Spot It You Got It

You Spot It You Got It: The world’s smartest people tend to look for and honor other brilliant people, as well as feel intimidated by other brilliant people.


The funny thing is that the more we judge other people, the more it’s a reflection of what we judge in ourselves and cannot own. We can’t come to terms with the fact that I do this and find a place to love ourselves for doing this. The reason for that is because ultimately, underneath that is fear that we are not enough at the moment. The best thing that fear has learned to do is make sure it stays hidden. We are trained not to own our fear. When you are afraid, the thing to do is to act not afraid. That is what gets us through. Why is this whole spot that you’ve got at thing a challenge? Why does it matter?

Missing The Mark

Hopefully, we have established at this point that, “You spot it, you’ve got it,” especially when it’s the same tendency. Like, “Over there that look at that person being arrogant. That’s the thing I can’t necessarily see that I do but whatever. The trouble with this, and the reason that is just saying, “You spot it, you’ve got it,” can miss the mark at times, is because we don’t always choose one side of this pattern. What I mean by that is If I’m afraid of looking stupid, I don’t always go to turning my brilliance up, I’m brilliant, remember? I also end up doing the reciprocal. We will talk a little bit about this notion of a reciprocal. In math, 9/1 is reciprocal to 1/9. The 9/1 and 1/9, if you multiply them together make up one. We have judgment for people that show up doing the same thing we might do. Like, “I can see the places where I’m arrogant. It’s just obnoxious. Often when someone says, “Adam, you judge people for being dumb, and you’ve got that too.” The defensive tendency is, “I would never do that. I don’t do that.

Another example might be someone who is the radian. They are the quality of radians. They take up space. They want to be noticed. They love being the center of the room. It’s part of what’s natural to them. They are natural actors or performers. They may have learned out of a fear of being irrelevant to take up all the space in the room. It’s like a fun show when they are there but there’s a point where you are like, “I want the show to be over so I can talk to other people here. I don’t want it just to be the Reggie show.” If we went to Reggie, you are like, “You are judging Harmonica over there.” Reggie’s like, “She’s so dim and hides in such a wallflower. She never takes up space. She’s so boring.” We might say to Reggie, “You spot it. You’ve got it.” Reggie is going to protest. He’s going to say, “No way. I would never do that. I might take up a bit too much space but I don’t hideout. I definitely wouldn’t do that. That’s the worst.

The more we judge other people, the more it's really a reflection of what we judge in ourselves and cannot own. Share on X

What’s happening in that conversation is that Reggie is present. The reciprocal of 9/1, you can think of it a bit like the C sharp we talked about. Reggie often goes what he’s more familiar with himself as this tendency when he’s afraid and his radians is challenged related to his not enough, too much or too little, he goes towards piling it on. He does that icing on top of the icing. “It’s all here. It’s the Reggie show.” Whereas Harmonica has learned to go in the opposite direction when she has been trained, that her radians is too much or too little or whatever, she learned to dim it down. Both Reggie and Harmonica are radians, presence or whatever that word is that you want to use. They both have that quality I described at the start of this. It’s just that they have learned different reciprocal strategies to deal with their fear. Reggie has learned to turn it way up. Harmonica has learned to turn it way down. The truth is that both of them come from the center point of radians, of presence, of being there to take up space. It’s that they have learned to come to the two outsides. They have gone to the two opposite poles. They are both afraid to own the radians that they are and space. They have just learned to compensate for it in two different directions.

When we are judging people, we are often doing so for both the behavior on the surface that looks a lot like our own but also the behavior that is reciprocal to our blind spots. The behavior is the other end. The irony here is that Reggie is going to have the tremendous judgment of Harmonica. He’s going to be like, “She never takes up space. What am I meant to do? Just sit there quietly, doing nothing?” Harmonica is going to be like, “Reggie always takes up all the space and he never lets me take up. How am I meant to even step into space?” The irony is they are both rights because they are the reciprocals on either side of each other and they are both gunning for the same breakthrough. On the surface, it might look like, “She’s the opposite of what I am. What are you talking about?” “You spot it, you’ve got it? It couldn’t be more different” Underneath the surface is a reflection of the same thing, the same fear. Both people being unable to simply own the presence, the radians that they are in the room. Reggie, by simply trusting that he’s enough and not need to go way over the top and Harmonica by trusting that we want to see you and you don’t have to hide out.

Why This Matters As A Leader

Why does this matter? As a leader, regardless of what you are up to in your life, whether you are a leader in a relationship, whether you are committed to being a leader about your friends or who you show up as in your day-to-day life, the reason it matters is first, so that you can start to get access to some compassion for the people you judge most harshly. We can see that they are struggling with the same stuff we are struggling with or perhaps even better. Second, we can see that their struggle is our struggle and third, that’s why we are judging them, that can provide us some access to our heart, that can provide us access back to compassion. From compassion, we can do something different aside from just judging them because here’s the secret, anytime someone is playing out their shadow, they are engaged in self-judgment.

GL 143 | You Spot It You Got It

You Spot It You Got It: The thing we love in people is a reflection of who we are. But also, the thing that we judge other people for is a reflection of who we are.


They might not even be aware of it. The judgment is, “You are not enough so turn it up.” As long as people are smiling and watching the Adam show, things are good but underneath that, what’s happening is, “I’m scared that I’m not enough. I’m scared of letting the room got quiet and allowing someone else to make space. I’ve got a judgment of myself for not being enough, for being irrelevant. We’ve got to walk our way backward. One of the big challenges here is that it’s obnoxious when our note is out of tune. It’s obnoxious when I’m showing up trying to prove to you that I’m brilliant. You would be like, “What are you doing? We already get it. You are brilliant the moment you showed up. You don’t have to do anything to prove that.” I can’t see that. It’s hard for me to trust that. My fear tells me otherwise. I go over the top or I dumb it down and people are like, “Would you stop playing the fool? Come on. We knew you get it. Get over that. That’s dumb.”

The impact of our shadows, even though they come from fear and tend to give us short-term of what we want, long-term they tend to perpetuate the very thing we are afraid of. That person who’s taking up all the space, in the short-term, gets them some laughter and attention because they are afraid that they are going to be irrelevant and people are going to avoid them. In the long-term, what it does is creates that very thing. People are like, “Reggie is fun for a while but I’m going to avoid him at this party because I don’t want to get sucked in and have to listen to him talk. I want to mingle and talk to other people.” It recreates the problem, and then we judge them and under that judgment, their fear gets triggered further.

First of all, as a leader, if you can actually work through this and walk your way back to finding compassion, that’s going to give you way more space to be with these people. Way more capacity to be with the people that show up in your life and start to see them as the mirrors for you that they are. That will point you back to your work. As you do your work, it’s going to be easier for you to find love for them. If you can love someone when they are afraid, even in the face of their obnoxious tendencies, it allows them to find their way back to a place of love equanimity with themselves. That will have them start to show up differently and will create drastically different results.

The second reason these matters as a leader in any capacity is that what tends to happen with coaches and leaders is to go back to Reggie and Harmonica. The Reggie’s of the world will decide that the Harmonicas aren’t cut out for leadership. Reggie’s are going to look for other people who have learned to deal with their fear the same way they have. Remember, they are not aware that this tendency is them dealing with fear and trying not to feel afraid. To them, these tendencies just the way they are. The Reggie’s are naturally going to draw reciprocals to them. This happens automatically. They are going to draw someone to them. They are going to draw a whole bunch of Reggie’s and Harmonicas around the Reggie’s that they draw to them. They are going to be like, “This person gets it. They take up space.”

At first, they will start to compete but no way is a breakthrough going to get created. They are going to collude together in the same pattern. The Harmonica’s going to draw, which are up for the same breakthroughs the Reggie’s are. The Reggie leader is going to judge those Harmonicas. “They are not leadership material. They are hiding out. They are not cut out for it.” “No, Reggie, you just aren’t cut out for it. You aren’t seeing this for the opportunity it is. Seeing that Harmonica is a reflection for you. The breakthrough for her as a leader is also the breakthrough for you as a leader. Until you create this Reggie, Harmonica doesn’t stand a chance.”

The reason you keep getting people like this is that the universe is inviting you to step up into what’s next. That makes it sound a little esoteric. Like there’s someone behind the scenes called the universe orchestrating this. It’s not how I see it. The way I see it is that Reggie currently has this push against people like Harmonica. Consequently, it’s not like the universe is going to shove these people his way. He’s going to be irresistibly drawn and attractive to these people until he does, he creates his breakthrough. They will not be a factor anymore. He will work with them. He will support them but they won’t bump into them. They won’t be such a friction point. “You spot it. You’ve got it.” It is true.

The thing to do with this, like what do you want to do about it? You start noticing this. Notice where your judgments are. Rather than telling yourself, “It’s wrong for me to be judgmental, that cuts all of the juiciness out of the pot. That removes all of the opportunity from yourself. Instead, the opportunity is like, “I’ve got judgment. What am I judging that person? What is the quality of being, the way of showing up that I’m judging them for?” Practicing like, “They are suffering. They are afraid. I have the same thing. When do I show up this way? What is this pointing me back to in my work.”

If you take this on, it will start to open your heart. It will give you so much more space and capacity to be with people as they are afraid. If you are committed to any kind of leadership, being with fear is a crucial component of it. Leading into the unknown means playing in the realm of fear, possibility too, but fear, 100%. That’s all we’ve got for you. Hope you have enjoyed this show. I’m not sure what we will be talking about next episode. I might bring in another leadership sand trap. It feels like it might be about time. If you have any particular sand traps, you don’t need to have them figure it out like, “I noticed leaders get stuck this particular way.” I would love to hear from you. You can send an email to GetLit@AdamQuiney.com. Shoot us an email. Let us know. We so love your feedback. It’s awesome when you send it our way. It’s all we’ve got for you.

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About Adam Quiney

I’m an obsessive perfectionist, high-performer, former lawyer, and now an Executive Mentor. I know what it’s like to succeed easily and quickly. To blindly put my happiness in the hands of achievement.

All the success, money and possessions in the world couldn’t cure my boredom. Couldn’t produce a loving, intimate relationship with my wife…and definitely couldn’t fulfill me.