Embrace our critics

Old river bridge with profound graffiti message
We are not what we own (we know this but mass-media disagrees)


Embrace our critics? Sure. But mostly ignore them.

No, seriously. For real.

Their voice is not our voice. Trust our voice, the one equipped with our instinct.

And focus on spending our time and energy where our joy and support comes from.


Not the loud, confusing, unfocused, uncaring chatter that clutters the space we occupy.

Practice tuning out and tuning in.

And get really, really good at it.

And be prepared for unexpected progress.

No, seriously. For real.

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By jeff noel

Retired Disney Institute Keynote Speaker and Prolific Blogger. Five daily, differently-themed personal blogs (about life's 5 big choices) on five interconnected sites.


  1. Jeff,

    When I read this, I was reminded of a quote by John Gardner that I use in my Managerial Communications class I teach. He stated, “Pity the leader caught between unloving critics and uncritical lovers.” If you are the leader, there will always be naysayers that criticize everything you do, and they oftentimes do it not because they want to help you to become better. Some attack change, some attack success out of jealousy, and some are just negative people who will criticize anything that passes their way.

    And on the flipside, it is worth having those few close ones around you who care to help you be better. In spite of their admiration for you, they have the courage to critique you out of love. But instead, a lot of times we see people surrounding themselves with “yes people,” who never help them to be better.

    As you can see, I am bouncing these concepts a lot in my head, and your words today hit hard and dug a lot up. With a lot of organizational change going on right now in my company, I have to remind myself of staying true to that still, small voice when people are jockeying for positions all around and playing “watercooler word assassination.” Like I told someone the other day – my door is always open, but that doesn’t mean I have to come out and jump in the midst of the criticism. And I don’t. But if you bring a criticism and gossip into my office, understand that I am assuming you are wanting me to act on it and fix it. If it is just gossip, I don’t want it.


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