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Whose job is it to tell you that you are wrong?

Posted by Meg Bear on July 8, 2011

I’m not sure if I’ve ever read this advice before, probably did, so please let me know if I need to add attribution.

You should put someone on your team who will watch for (and tell you) when you are wrong.


Make them a direct and make it clear it’s their job.  Teach them how to tell you in a way that you can hear (not in a McLaughlin way)

You need this badly.

As a senior leader, I am often wrong.

The key is to make sure my wrongness doesn’t do serious damage.  This is where having  a safety net, in the form of a person, is so helpful.

As a technical leader I tend to make this role an architect responsibility.  Someone who not only helps watch my back, but can also  answer all my confused questions to work out the right path with confidence.

I have been so lucky to have people willing to take on this role for me.  I would have made so many more mistakes without them.  As luck would have it, those who have played the role somehow work out that it is a good idea to tell me I’m right once in awhile, just to keep me happy.

I am blessed.

Who, do you have watching your back?   Have you given them the charter to tell you when you are wrong?  Hurry and add that to their job description, I promise you will be glad you did!

6 Responses to “Whose job is it to tell you that you are wrong?”

  1. Sri Subramanian said

    Yes, Gopi rocks!

  2. Of course, Gopi rocks! Very excited for him

  3. Sharmistha Das said

    That was an interesting reading.

    • Meg Bear said

      Thanks for commenting Sharmistha.. I aim to make people think. Hope that is what you mean by “Interesting” vs. my husbands definition of “interesting” which means “I hate that”. 😉

  4. Its should be a must read for all the leaders (I would say open minded leaders :-)) and I am sure it will make lot of difference . For a “Direct” key is “To tell in a manner that your leader can hear” and stick to it as not following it can be dangerous.

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