I’ve been very successful following the old adage that it is easier to ask for forgiveness than permission. Of course, there are limits to the power in this idea and it is wise to understand what those limits might be within your organization before taking any action. But many people seem to decide to take a meek stance rather than test where these boundaries might lie.
I’m not going to say that I’ve never had a limb cut out from beneath me when I’ve followed this adage, because I have. But I learned and moved on; the consequences were never as dire as many seem to think that they might be. I even gained respect in certain quarters of the hallowed halls of upper management because I stuck to my convictions and was willing to take up a standard for an unpopular view if I saw merit.
The key, at least in my view is whether I can construct a compelling argument for my position. Is there supportable logic? Will my position stand the test of time, if necessary?
So let’s look at this photo for a minute – it shows my son’s dog and my cat. Cleary the dog is much larger and stronger than the cat. The cat is sitting in front of the door that the dog uses to go out to the yard. Physically, the dog should just be able to intimidate the cat and get to the door. Characteristically though, the dog wants to please and the cat wants to do things her way. The dog is asking for permission and at least at this moment the cat is not willing to allow it, therefore the cat holds the power. The cat’s conviction that she has a right to sit in the sun overcomes the dog’s wish to go outside.
Start with something small and familiar and take an action that you know you can support. It’s a good growth step.
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