Image source: Erik Daniel Drost
Today, I will draw my leadership lesson from the Bible and focus on Jesus. On your leadership journey, you are going to have to deal with critics. They have nothing constructive to contribute to your vision but their goal is to hurl stones at you with the intention of halting your momentum. There is a time to answer your critics but there is a time, like Jesus, to keep quiet and ignore them.
‘The leading priests accused Jesus of many things. So Pilate asked Jesus another question, “You can see that they are accusing you of many things, aren’t you going to answer?” But Jesus still said nothing, so Pilate was very surprised.’ (Mark 15:4-5). Your critics win when they successfully get you to become defensive and distracted. Learn to focus your attention on the main things and not get sidelined by their comments or accusations. Constantly defending yourself before the wrong audience drains you of much needed energy and attention for your leadership priorities.
Your critics win if they succeed in distracting you from your vision, hence, don’t give them the satisfaction. Giving them attention usually empowers them to come after you but ignoring them starves them of the attention they crave. Don’t waste your energy on the wrong people (critics) focus it on the right people (your team) and the right thing (your vision).
Jesus spent more time focused on his mission and disciples than he did with his accusers (Pharisees and Sadducees) hence, the reason for his effectiveness.
4 replies on “Dealing with Critics”
This was quite profound.
As human we always tend towards defending ourselves especially when falsely accused but can you imagine what we could accomplish if we channel our energy into what we are passionate about.
TD Jakes said we all need to get to a place where we recognise that there is strength in silence. it’s a holy Ghost given virtue to remain silent in the face of criticism. When you respond to a critic, you show them that they are important. You actually dignify them with you response as you try to defend your self. Remaining silent has the oppose effect, you remain in control. You refuse to come down to the level of a chicken because your DNA is that of an eagle.
Wow! Ok, so silence is not only the best answer for a fool. Sometimes it’s also the answer for anyone who’s responding at the wrong time.
It’s a a bit challenging to keep quiet about people’s foolishness though. I admit I have the itch to ‘make it right’ when i see it’s wrong.
Lately though, I’m actively reminding myself that me and my words are not for wasting. I’m channelling my energy towards things of eternal value… I refuse to be distracted anymore.
This article is very interesting and touches on a topic which is essential for every leader to know, which is not often touched on.
I find that, esteem and self perception has got a lot to do with being silent when critics are speaking.
It comes almost instinctively for someone who is confident in where they are going to keep quiet when critics speak.
But on the journey of leadership, it is important in those times of self questioning when we do not feel so certain of our strengths and abilities to go back to the drawing board and remind ourselves of our strategy.
With the development of our inner strength we can even listen to our critics, and know what to disregard and what to take on board. Being silent is key and not getting into a mode of defending oneself. This is deep stuff bro.