HBR Blog: Brooksley Born and the Power of an Opposing Idea

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Here's the link to my latest post over at HBR blogs:

Ms. Born is a Stanford-trained lawyer, first female to graduate top of her class, etc.  Her story is riveting.  After you read the post, see below for some of my wonderings.

Brooksley Born
Source:  JFK Library — Ms. Born is receiving the JFK Profiles in Courage award

Whereas I focused on what we as individuals or organizations do when we deal with ideas in opposition to ours over at HBR, here I'd like to focus on what it must feel like to be opposed, opposed (and right) such that she has been dubbed the Credit Crisis Cassandra:  Cassandra is the Greek Goddess who was granted both the gift of seeing the future, and the curse of no one believing her predictions.

Here are my questions:

1)  As Wikipedia describes Cassandra, she is a figure both of the epic tradition and tragedy, where her combination of deep understanding and powerlessness exemplify the tragic condition of humankind.  How must it have felt to have this burden?

2)  In watching the Frontline episode, the attacks were harsh and unrelenting by very powerful people.  How did she bear up under this pressure?

3) She was right.  Others were wrong.  And they were mean about it.  And yet, when you listen to her speak, there is no anger, no recrimination in her voice – only graciousness.  How?  How did she get to this place, a place I would hope we all get to?

4)  Are we not as Cassandra with the people we love, in particular with our children?  We can see where certain decisions will lead; we also know that our utterance of those predictions will more than likely go unheeded.

5) What wonderings do you have? Do you and I have the courage to say what we know to be true? Articulately, but kindly, even under pressure?

Oh, to ask Ms. Born all these questions — and more.

What are your questions?  Thoughts?

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