Critic's Choice


[vimeo id="151571138"] You know, if you’ve been in leadership for any length of time, you’ve had to deal with criticism. And the worst criticism comes from the “No” people. If you’re a leader who has been committed to cutting-edge innovation, you know exactly what I mean. There are always people who will tell you “it’s not possible” or “it just can’t be done.” Sometimes the criticism even comes from inside ourselves. Some days we feel like “it’s not worth it” or “not today, some other time.” Whatever the source of the criticism, part of effective and empowering leadership is learning to overcome the ‘No’s and turn them into a ‘Yes.’ Here are some thoughts about powering through doubt.

First, always remember that every idea or person that changed the world was heavily criticized. From Democracy to Christianity, the telescope to the iPhone, George Washington to Martin Luther King, Jr.,  every transformative person or idea of significance had somebody in the background saying, “it’s just not possible.” You see, nobody bothers to discourage an idea that isn’t important.  But if you’re an innovative leader, expect people to try to discourage you – because it means you’re about to change things and do something new.

And secondly, always use criticism to fuel your innovation. I like to use a three-step approach. When someone says it’s not possible, ask, “Why?” Is it a financial barrier? Maybe it’s an attitude barrier? Write down three reasons your idea seems impossible.

Then ask, “What?” What needs to change for this idea to become a reality? Do you need to re-cast your organization’s vision? Do you need to reprioritize your organization’s budget? Think about what you can do to break those barriers down. Then write down three things that need to happen for your idea to become a reality.

Then ask, “How?” How do you carry out your plans? How are you going to get your staff excited about your organization’s vision? How are you going to introduce your idea? Consider the practical steps you can take to cultivate the change you need for your idea to flourish. Take time to write them down – then do it! You’ll find a lot of ideas that people say are “impossible” really just require some hard work.

Hey thanks for checking out my blog! I hope this has encouraged you to be chase after the impossible and live as an innovative leader. Feel free to leave any thoughts or comments below! Thanks again, and have a great day!