According to my favourite management guru, Robin Sharma, anyone can be a leader. You don’t have to be a CEO, Manager or Business Owner to be a leader. In fact leaders can be without title. You are a leader if you lead your family, or your partner or even if you lead by example. You can lead through socialising, sport, academia or any activity. Leadership is state of mind. Leadership is simply the process of social influence in which one person enlists the aid and support of others in the accomplishment of a common task. Alan Keith stated that, “Leadership is ultimately about creating a way for people to contribute to making something extraordinary happen”.
So read some very wise words, from Robin, which may resonate with anyone who is as leader:
One of the challenges for anyone dedicated to expressing their leadership best is dealing with the chattering voices of naysaying critics. As a matter of fact, the more brightly you shine in your work and the more quickly you innovate and the more excellent you become, the more foulmouthed critics you will attract.
It’s just part of the game.
Emerson said it brilliantly: “Great people are always misunderstood.”
Here some key insights to help you fly in your career (and within your life), in the face of criticism:
#1: To lead is to often be unpopular.
Leadership isn’t a popularity contest. Leadership is about having the bravery to do what’s right versus what’s easy. That attracts criticism. Why? Because people don’t like change. And they don’t want to change. To truly lead is to disrupt the way things were-and are (in an effort to make things better). And rather than having the openness and courage to embrace the change, most people would rather shoot the messenger, in an effort to preserve the status quo.
#2: Critics Can Serve You.
Sometimes, there is some truth to what your critics are saying. Smart leaders have the intelligence to discern the difference between the misguided ramblings of those seeking to knock them down and negative feedback that has truth beneath it. Each of us can get to a whole new level of excellence by improving our weaknesses.
#3: You Can Create More Value Amid Your Critics than With Your Fans.
Yes, moving your closely cherished vision/mission/ideals/goals forward in the face of people throwing stones (or even simply laughing) at you is hard work. But, ultimately, doing what you believe to be right/good/important surrounded by critics is more valuable than doing all that alongside your supporters. Why? Because the critics are resisting what you are trying to change. And if you can positively influence them (even a few of them), then you’ve advanced your mission much more significantly that preaching to the converted.