No joke, you don’t necessarily have to offend someone before they find you offensive. It starts with the unimagined of things.
Today, I want to breezily talk about How to Win Your Critics and share some little experiential knowledge that might help.
Some years back I led a group of vibrant seminarians as the president and during my little time with them I learnt so many things from the lonely seat of leadership. First, no matter how hard you try to selflessly sacrifice and dedicate your life to a group of people, there will always be some, if not many who will never understand your good intentions. Secondly, you don’t have to be a people pleaser to be a good leader. Thirdly, listen to your followers but listen more to your instincts because your followers may deny you if peradventure their strategy flops but your instinct will never leave you nor forsake you. In there lies your decision.
I should have started by saying that no leader ever want to mislead their followers. Every leader comes to produce remarkable results.
If you are a leader or an aspiring leader, there are five kinds of people that are going to give you trouble eventually:
1. Those who hate you without a just cause.
2. Those who are envious of your accomplishment and just will badmouth you
3. The timid and the cowards: the never-do-wells who believe your assignment is impossible
4. Those who pay you with evil for the good you have done them
5. Those who believe they should be in the position you are because they think they are more qualified then you are.
So what do you do? The bible tells us that we must “Silent the ignorant criticism of wicked men by continuing to do good,” (2 Tim. 3:14) because there must be something they are reacting to. Continue to live in faith. The enemy wants you to give up but never let him win.
Psalm 35: 11, 13 tells us of our response to those who pay us with evil for the good we have done them. Although fierce witnesses rise up against you to reward your hard work with evil, asking you things you don’t know, humble them with your silence and prayer.
What about those who hate you for no just cause? The bible says love your enemies, do good to those who dump you (Matt. 5: 33). Let them associate together, let them gather but do not be troubled (Isaiah 8: 9-10).
My word for every leader out there reading this is: In times of loneliness, difficulty and criticism please choose not to faint, but rather be exceptional because it is the right thing to do and not because you are afraid of criticism. Do the work you are called to do in fairness to all. Go ahead doing good because it is only for a matter of time, what they say and what they do against you will come against them and be your testimony. Focus on the assignment. Don’t drop the ball.
Joseph was thrown into prison yet he continued interpreting dreams for people. Jesus was criticized and yet he went about doing good and even was crucified for it. The end is the beginning of your happiness because your unrecognized hard work will eventually count in just a matter of time.
The future of the blameless is peace because it’s from the Lord. He is their strength in time of trouble. And the Lord shall help them and deliver them; He shall deliver them from the wicked, and save them, because they trust in Him. (Psalm 37: 37-40).