I can definitely tell I’ve been shaped by this cultural modus operandi. My life experience, education, and interests all lead me to question the world around me. “Beware of the bandwagon” has been a personal motto for years as I fear simply accepting what comes my way. As a pastor and leader I can tell critique ends up being a strong influence in my leadership. I want the best for myself and others, so I point out the worst in myself(maybe) and others! I’m a good critical leader.
Well, I read an excellent article from Faith and Leadership this morning that calls into question this paradigm for leadership. And as a good critic, I’m all ears.
This brief quote highlights the challenge:
“Our educational system, institutions and broader culture privilege critics. We are taught how to focus on the negative and tell others what to do, but we are not sufficiently equipped to learn how to take risks as performers. We receive information from learned instructors but rarely have the freedom we need to imagine and create ourselves.”Hmm...maybe I don’t want this critique.
Makes me wonder: Do I tend to focus on negativity? Do I spread this negativity in leading others? In my critique, do I also contribute?
For leadership, then, I’m challenged: Can I redirect my critical disposition in order to live and lead in such a way that reflects the raw performance of children playing a sport? Can their joy, energy, and yes, even their distraction, inspire my own leadership to thrive in the moment - to just play? Can I make the shift from being a critic to being a performer?
“We can learn to shift our mindsets away from criticism and toward performance, ready to harness our creative powers to bear faithful witness to the kingdom of God.”