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Monday, February 27, 2012

Who has Permission to Challenge Me?

The idea of "holding someone else accountable" for something they've said they will do or not do has never resonated for me. Maybe because of my own character flaws the idea that someone could actually outfox my ability to manage the story is simply laughable. So, go ahead... hold me accountable. Kind of brings out my inner teenager.

The bigger idea here perhaps is "who will I hold myself accountable to?" That's a question that begs taking 100% responsibility for my part in the relationship, or my part in the agreement. And, I like that. It opens the door for me to own my choice and to own my actions in a self-responsible way.

At dinner with a friend not too long ago, I asked "who has permission to challenge you?" He's a pretty high-level guy and there aren't too many people who would willingly step out to call him on his stuff. The question brought silence. "Hmm. No one, really."

To me, both questions are related. One speaks to who I choose to account for my actions, my thoughts, my beliefs. Who gets the un-filtered version of me? The other then asks, who has permission to take the gloves off with me when they sense I am being evasive or not fully transparent or I've lost the plot?

What then is the risk to the high-achieving and high-level leader who builds a fortress where no one has access and no one gets the unfiltered view? Good question.