The Care and Feeding of Critics

Having been the head of several organizations, I've had my share of critics. So when LEADERSHIP asked me to write about the care and feeding of critics, one word came to mind: arsenic.

Then I remembered three occasions when friends cared enough to confront me. At the moment, their criticism stung, but it has been a blessing for a lifetime. Criticism properly given and properly received accounts for much of the progress in a person or an organization.

Every leader has to develop a plan for handling criticism, because criticism will come in any dynamic organization. Capable people bring out friction and difference of opinion. In fact, if an organization is completely placid, I have found it's generally not very productive.

Expect criticism whenever one or more of the following is true (unless, of course, the church is made up exclusively of other saints):

* the change costs money

* the change causes inconvenience

* there is a shift in power or recognition.

You can also count on criticism when you ...

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From Issue:Winter 1995: Team Ministry
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