One of the most common risks leaders face when making tough decisions is the risk of criticism and perception. When you step out and try something new, there are often many people just waiting to say, “You’re wrong,” “You’re crazy,” “It will never work,” and “You’re an idiot.” And if it doesn’t work, they are the same people who’ll say “I told you so,” and “I can’t trust you,” (even though they never did).
The irony is that risk takers need these people. They are the ones who actually make it risky. They make it challenging, and in many cases provide the motivation to push through. They are the risk makers.
As frustrated or angry as I can get at no-name, do-nothing critics…they make me a better leader. I need them.
How about you—what effect do critics have on you when you’re considering risks? Are there other areas of leadership where a negative ingredient can make a positive contribution?