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Who’s keeping an eye on God?

August 12, 2011

Recently I was sharing a meal at the Gartner Catalyst conference with Anil John, one of Wisegate’s Founding Members. Anil is on the adjunct faculty at Johns Hopkins University and is the technical lead of the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate Identity Management Testbed at the university’s Applied Physics Lab. He has one of the coolest jobs.

Since we were in the midst of an identity management conference, we were talking about identity topics of late. While on the topic of uber-privileged users, Anil posed the question, “Who’s keeping an eye on God?” Now there’s a provocative question (which is the norm for Anil). It is a great question as it relates to identity management and it is a great question period. I am not sparking a religious debate here, but more thinking about how to keep an eye on the people in charge. Better said, putting people in charge who keep an eye on themselves.

The truth is that all of us are in charge of something.

For us to reach our potential as human beings we must strive. Striving means we end up out on limbs sometimes. We strive to push our limits, unfold our potential, do the right thing. As we strive to reach our individual potential we hit roadblocks, hit many points of uncertainty. We’re in charge (of our projects, of our lives) but how do we get past the roadblocks we come up against?

We’ll call the guy in charge god-no-caps. In that kingdom, we are god. Knowing other gods with similar kingdoms – lives, jobs, projects, problems, challenges, demanding bosses – can bring relief simply by knowing there are others going through what you are facing and it can bring answers. I believe that coming together with other little-g-gods who rule over similar kingdoms to sort out the best approaches and the right paths brings more god to the table and lets more innate potential unfold. It helps us to not get so steeped in the details and demands that we lose site of the bigger picture — and the bigger potential. And in the end, it helps by bringing wisdom. Wisdom dictates we keep an eye on ourselves.

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