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Listen To The Right People

There are people out there that want you to succeed. There are many positive people willing to help you in your endeavors. And there are positive, successful people out there willing to collaborate, share their stories and knowledge with you, and propel you forward toward success. It happens every day, but it is up to you to choose to reach out to people, make the phone call, and communicate outwardly to do so. On the flip side there are others that are indifferent to your success and even others hoping for you to fail. Either of those factions aren’t going to go out of their way to help support your cause, while the latter may go out of their way to create skepticism about your cause through gossip or their actions. We see this skepticism play out in our communities play out daily with their constant gossip about their disagreement with everything in life or leadership. These haters have been given blow horns by social media to breed skepticism, negativity, and more hate on their platform of daily choice. I recently had the privilege of meeting the former CEO of the Cincinnati Reds, who is credited with saving the organization, and as with anyone that has achieved high levels of success, I love to ask them questions to mine their cerebrum of their experiences and thoughts. And we stumbled on to the conversation about social media and its effects on people and our culture. He was talking about the things he liked about retirement and things he disliked. His experience as the former CEO and even interim acting owner for a period, in which the scrutiny and questioning of every decision he made by any so called expert or non expert of the sport was intense. But he was extremely glad he retired prior to the advent of social media platforms like twitter in which everyone is a critic of anything possible. We all need criticism, and we all must learn from a critic or two. The key to your success, is finding a trusted group of people whom you can completely and fully trust, be transparent with, and be humble enough to ask them for advice, the criticism, or ways to improve. As I have recently reminded several people serving others, don’t listen to everyone and don’t just listen in your echo chamber either. Find real people, successful people, doing big things or doing what you want to do, and listen to them. Most all critics are evil, and your echo chamber will mislead you. As I talk to people in our organization or others I’m a part of, the more people and animals we touch, the more criticism we will get. The more people we or anyone serves, be it in life, leadership, politics, education, or religion, the more critics we will have. We must remind ourselves, as I did John Allen from the Cincinnati Reds, “There are no statues erected of the critics.” And he responded, “You are right about that, I like that!” 

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