speaking truth to power

I recently listened to an episode of The Moment with Brian Koppelman in which Koppelman reflects on his late father’s influence and the lessons learned from watching his father operate in the music business.

One of these lessons is how to speak truth to power, a privilege that stems from a similar place as professional connection.

[…] one of the biggest advantages [was] learning how to talk to power, learning how not to be frightened when you walk into a room that could determine part of the direction of your future. And watching up close how somebody successful and powerful deals with failure and deals with success.

Perhaps its my fascination with political dramas, as well as working to understand the importance of power dynamics in storytelling, but I find this idea absolutely fascinating.

We’ve all walked into rooms that terrified us. We’ve all had conversations that scared the shit out of us, because we know the person we’re sitting across from can crush our hopes and dreams without batting an eye.

Learning to counteract this fear is a vital skill.

Last year, I had the opportunity to meet the Vice President. It was a brief, passing moment, and yet, eerily similar to one of my favorite scenes from The West Wing:

If we’re to be fearless in our lives, we must learn to relax, breathe, and speak honestly, even in the face of powerful people.