Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Why I am So Hard On Allies

I admit it. I'm hard on allies. I'm not apologetic about it.

When you say you want to support me-be my ally-you have said that you want to be part of a group that I want to trust. You're saying you wish to be part of a group that is working for things I devote much time and energy to. You are saying you want to be on my side.

And that's great.

But I have high expectations for teammates. Really high. If you are on my team, I'm holding you to nearly the standard I hold myself to, and my goal is strong loyalty. My goal is to get the job done. Not a little bit of the job-all of it. If there is something left to fix, I want to fix it, and I operate under the general assumption that other people see advocacy the same way.

High expectations and high standards are a sign that I think you're capable of earning that trust I mentioned higher up. I don't trust easily. Saying you're an ally doesn't make you one. But putting in the work-which is tedious and frustrating, believe me I know-that can make you an ally. But the allies who I trust? That trust is a sign that I think very highly of them, and I expect the world from people I think so well of. For what it's worth, I expect the world from myself too. I know it's not an easy standard to meet, but it's doable. Ish.

So if you're an ally, and you think I'm harder on you than you deserve (and you're actually doing stuff, not just spreading puzzle piece crap-that so doesn't make you an ally), consider this: it might be a compliment. I only expect the world from people who I think can deliver.

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