Accountability and Transparency

I can acknowledge that I'm not the most trusting woman in the world, and I'm willing to enter into a discussion on how that may be a significant character flaw. We can talk about ways that might indicate a need for growth.

One of Miriam Webster's definitions of accountability is "an obligation or willingness to accept responsibility or to account for one's actions." When I'm in a position of leadership, that accountability is sacred. I don't want blind trust-- because what if, God forbid, I'm wrong? I want there to be people around me who can advise and question me. It's good when people trust me, but I want them to trust their own wisdom, as well. I don't believe that it's disrespectful to ask questions. Back when we did that 5 Things I Dig About Jesus thing, I should have said that I loved it that Jesus was OK with questions. My asking questions isn't a sign of disrespect, and engaging in discussion is how people win my respect.

Another important point about that-- I don't have to agree with you to respect you during those discussions. In fact, I might respect you more for the ways you conduct yourself when we do disagree. But if we don't engage, we don't get to really know each other. And if we don't know each other, how deeply can my respect run?

What are your priorities in leadership? How do people acquire your respect?


  1. Mrs. M., this doesn't relate to your very excellent post, but I checked Processing Counselor's blog and there is a nasty comment left there on Monday. You have to go back a couple of pages to find it, but it basically says, "Why would you want to go where you aren't wanted?"

    Hope it doesn't happen again.

  2. Now I want to respond to this post. I really get you. I don't think that the board gets this aspect yet: that people had issues with this blogger, but that as far as our stated guidelines to be included, she wasn't doing anything wrong. And they haven't given us a good idea about what process they used to arrive at their decision.

    I do have a feeling that someone or some people complained, and that the board may feel that they are protecting the confidentiality of the complainer(s)by not saying more. but I don't know.

  3. Diane, it's really awful that someone is posting nasty things on Processing Counselor's blog. I don't understand what motivates that sort of thing.

  4. I too fear the idea of blind trust for the same reason. I am after all only human and we humans are known to have made a mistake every now and then. People acquire my respect in two major ways. 1)let your actions and words match. It's not always an easy thing to do, but if you call when you say you will call then its a step in the right direction. 2) byt they way you treat the people who serve you. By this I mean those who literaly serve your food or drink at an eating establishment, but also those who work with you or even those who take out the trash. Its easy to show respect to the bishop, or in our case the moderator of GA, but how easily do you show respect to the person who takes out the garbage you pile up?

  5. I'm hoping it was a one time thing on her blog. I'm kind of betting it is, because the commenter took the trouble to go a couple of pages back to leave something, so that perhaps not many people would notice it. But the comment was left on Monday.

    We'll see.

  6. oh, I also like what you have to say about respect, cpclergymama

  7. cpclergymama-- I'm laughing because your #2 way was how I used to judge people I was dating-- watching how they treated waitresses, etc. Definitely important.


"So keep fightin' for freedom and justice, beloveds, but don't you forget to have fun doin' it. Lord, let your laughter ring forth. Be outrageous, ridicule the fraidy-cats, rejoice in all the oddities that freedom can produce. And when you get through kickin' ass and celebratin' the sheer joy of a good fight, be sure to tell those who come after how much fun it was."
-Saint Molly Ivins