There is one, hard-core trait that sets effective leaders apart from leader wannabes. It is this. Real leaders are not allergic to dissent. They are not thin-skinned. Real leaders can take it when someone presents valid disagreement. A true leader wants all the information, even when some of it is painful.
Friends often hide the truth. They don’t mean to. It’s just that they are more focused on their relationship with you than on your direction. Sometimes it takes an enemy–or at least someone who could care less about your little feelings–to tell it like it is. Cherish those people. They will tell you valuable information others won’t. They may not have your best interest at heart, but they may see something you miss.
Sure, there are plenty of whiners who have nothing insightful to offer. Don’t let what they say stick to you. But for every ten chronic malcontents there’s an unpolished diamond. If the comment or criticism is true, don’t reject it because you don’t like who it came from, or how it was brought to your attention.
Recently, someone unleashed a string of unfair accusations about Kidz Blitz Live. This person, who never went to one of our events, tore it apart with statements that were untrue and easy to disprove. The intention was to discredit our ministry. However, the attacker made one valid observation. He said there was nothing in our commercial that showed us praying with kids. That was a good point. We do pray with kids at the end of Kidz Blitz Live but had left it out of the videos. I am grateful to him for pointing out that oversight.
Leadership means being a sponge for the truth, regardless of where it comes from.
If you are allergic to dissent here’s the prescription: swallow two tablets of anti-ego and drink plenty of get-over-yourself juice. And, thank God you learned something that might prove to be worth its weight in gold.