Ever have an amazing idea, one you thought would knock the socks off of everyone you presented it to? And have you ever had that idea shot down? Told it was no good or not worth the time of day? What was your response to such criticism? Maybe there was sulking and lurking in dark corners. I know that’s been my response on a number of occasions.
Recently on a trip in Kentucky, one of my students submitted an idea to his team that he thought was fantastic, only to have his team totally shoot him down. Towards the end of our first night’s Team Time, he wanted the whole group to get up the next day an hour and a half earlier, so breakfast would be at 6am, thus allowing us to have an hour and a half more on the worksite. It was a huge risk for him to suggest it, but his team wasn’t going for it. It’s not that they didn’t agree with his zeal for the worksite or want to get stuff done, it’s just that he didn’t have the big picture in mind. They reminded him of how we also needed to do our VBS with excellence in the afternoon and would risk falling asleep or being low energy for that if we went with his idea. Plus, we had additional plans the next evening and would be up even later, which meant it might ruin us for the following day. They were gracious enough, but told him they would stick to the normal schedule and just work harder on day 2.
And rather than sulking and whining or secluding himself, the boy took the criticism in stride. I couldn’t believe it. In fact, the whole next day he just kept reminding his team to work hard and was a voice of encouragement the whole day. He served as a great example of what to do when you get shot down and I respect him a ton for it.
About the Author
Doug Franklin is the president of LeaderTreks, an innovative leadership development organization focusing on students and youth workers. Doug and his wife, Angie, live in West Chicago, Illinois. They don’t have any kids, but they have 2 dogs that think they are children. Diesel and Penelope are Weimaraners who never leave their side. Doug grew up in… Read More