Has anyone ever spoken these words to you?
“You really need to work on ___________.”
“The way that you ______________ really isn’t the best approach.”
“Have you ever thought about a different line of work?”
Well, I have. I’ve had all of these said to me at some point in my ministry….and probably more than once. The reason? More often than not, I wasn’t open to learning. Why should I have been? I was the ‘paid’ professional…right? I’m on staff because I know everything. I’m the leader and they are the followers. (insert extreme sarcasm)
Now, this is pretty normal for most young leaders to experience. The hope, however, is that we grow and mature out of this stage of knowing EVERYTHING and into the stage of realizing that we really KNOW VERY LITTLE!
How do we make that move?
By simply practicing how to receive constructive criticism with humility and a heart for learning.
Look at what Ecclesiastes 7:5 tells us.
Better to be criticized by a wise person than to be praised by a fool.
Let me offer my translation as this passage relates to leadership.
Learn from those who notice your weaknesses when you don’t, and minimize your exposure to leaders who value flattery over health.