Posts Tagged ‘Leadership Freak’

Don’t you hate it when someone criticizes something you’ve done, or how you look, or a decision you made. My normal response is hackles up, assume a defensive position, and interrupt their opinion to defend my own. And it really doesn’t matter if the criticism is valid or not – I get defensive. But, the older I get, the more I’m trying (key word here) to see the truth within the criticism.

Let’s be clear first – Joe Blow doesn’t have permission to rail on my decisions. For any criticism to be analyzed for grains (or more) of truth, I need it delivered by someone I trust, someone I believe has my best interests at heart. The opinion of someone yelling at me from a car as I’m walking down the street, telling me my coat color is ugly, isn’t given much weight. So what do I care what you think of my coat color. But…if my husband says he’s not a big fan, or he doesn’t think that color does anything for my skin, then…I may take it into account. Easy example to offer since I know my husband would never comment on my coat color.

Trust comes first. Then, when a criticism is offered, instead of turning into Mike Singletary, I need to respond with respect, offer a “thank you for your opinion,” and take a moment to see if some truth exists within. There usually is. Because I can always improve, I can always grow, and if I dismiss all criticism as invalid, I’ll never get further than where I am right now.

Today’s Leadership Freak blog had a statement that caused me think:

The opposite of defensiveness is vulnerability.

How vulnerable am I willing to be to grow – as a mom, wife, teacher, co-worker, leader, Jesus-follower? The author included list of eight sentences which accelerate personal and professional growth:

  1. I’m not great at everything.
  2. I aspire to improve.
  3. I’m not as smart as I think I am.
  4. I’m not as right as I think I am.
  5. I could be wrong.
  6. Gee! Other people are better than me at some things.
  7. They could be right.
  8. Maybe there’s another way.

I do know there is no perfect person, least of all me. Looking forward to another growth period and maybe it’ll come through criticism.



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It’s Friday and that means another installment of “Five for Friday,” my version of my favorite things. Today I’m listing my five favorite blogs.


There are thousands of blogs in cyberspace. Maybe hundreds of thousands. I love to read, but I only subscribe and regularly absorb only a handful, because it would be sooooo easy to spend all day and all night reading other people’s insightful (but sometimes downright stupid) writings. The following is a list of my favorites…in no order and in no relation to one another.

The Leadership Freak blog arrives in my email inbox every single day. Dan Rockwell is a leadership genius but the reason this blog is one of my favorites, which I read every day, is because he writes this blog every day. Without fail. Even on Christmas and Easter. And each post is encouraging, uplifting, enlightening, insightful, educational, and best of all, short. Dan has committed to keeping each post around 300 words. Short, to the point, and makes me think. Every time.

Jeremy Affeldt is a former major league relief pitcher, retiring last year with the San Francisco Giants. I forgave him for pitching for one of the Cubs’ competitors when I first started reading his posts. Jeremy is a strong Christian who not only believes in Jesus, but follows through with obeying the words of Christ. His blog is about grace and justice and the true meaning of following Christ. Wisdom from a Giants pitcher. Go figure.

 I probably don’t have to say much about my next two favorites. Ree Drummond (aka The Pioneer Woman) is known to most people because of her Food Network program, but I knew of her long before she hit cable television. And she is certainly more than just a great recipe. Ree was a city girl, transplanted to ranch wife, when she married her Marlboro Man and moved to Pawhuska, Oklahoma. She began blogging many years ago, before I even know what the word “blog” meant. She is a homeschooling mom, photographer and humorist…and each blog is a vulnerable look into her life. One of my favorite’s is a conversation with her husband. Hilarious.

Ann Voskamp is the author of a little book called “One Thousand Gifts” – a little book that has its own website and sat on the New York Times’ best-selling list for 60 weeks. A little Christian book about being thankful, finding joy even in the midst of incredible suffering, written almost like a poem. 60 weeks. Her blogs are similarly written – beautiful, flowing script full of wisdom and integrity and bravery. Ann is a wife and mother who was surprised at her little book’s success but has stepped into the role God has given her as a voice for embracing brokenness and pain to find healing in Jesus.

Sean_McGarveyLastly, I love, love, love my own son’s blog. Sean is my second son, a young adult who writes honestly about struggles with love, disappointment, despair, success, and hope. He writes both fiction and non-fiction but each post reflects his sensitivity and wisdom. I am so proud of him. Cannot quite wrap my brain around this young man who would cry crocodile tears when I gave him a writing assignment as a middle school student. You’ve come a long way, baby.

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