Bad Critics – The Small Minded
The following is a short rant revolving around my thoughts of the bad critic or the small thinker as I sometimes refer to them as. Forgive my crudeness
This is something that has been bothering me for… I don’t know – almost a years now. I think it bothers me so intensely now as it is a behavior I myself perpetrated in my recent past. I’m talking about people wasting their mind power on criticizing what has happened. People thinking small – for fear of the risk of thinking big. They focus on optimizing and nit-picking. They comb threw new ideas with a fine tooth comb and declare with distinction the problems they see. They spend their time thinking in directions that have very low value-propositions. It’s not a matter of sensitivity on my part to criticism it is outrage stemming from my understanding of how wasteful a use of their energy and my time this is.
Luckily – for those around me operating this way – I love to develop people – it’s one of my passions. Therefore instead of blowing up on people after they don’t get the hint that all their input is essentially useless, I try to place myself in their mindset and explain the path to mine – and why it’s better. The constant critic has little value in start up business endeavors that face new problems daily and need solutions NOW. Offer me a solution – offer me an idea – don’t state the obviousness – no decision or idea is ideal or perfect – they can’t be – things move too fast – they just need to be ‘doable’ for the time being. Knowing and stating problems is useless, unless no ones aware of it – even still – the real value is in offering a solution.
Now, don’t get me wrong I’m not saying the efficiency expert has no place in this world – I’m just saying he has no place at the brainstorming table for coming up with new business ideas and solutions on a demanding timetable. Once things are more established – you have a functioning model – then you can call in the nit-pickers to tidy up. Maybe it starts out stinky, loud, and makes a mess, but it gets the job done – and at the beginning that’s what’s needed. If you spend all your time trying to perfect every peice of the puzzle the opportunity will be lost before you even finish the planning.
I don’t bother wasting my time with trying to explain this to onlookers that make such statements unless their development has some benefit to my growth and success. There simply isn’t enough time. I spend my time unraveling this small thinking knot in those around me that I want/need to add value to my endeavors – Employees, Partners, Mentors, Family, Clients and Prospects when applicable. I read deeply of the pioneers of the new and skim and or ignore the lengthy criticism of those offering nothing more than nit-picking. There are a thousand assholes willing to poke holes from afar in one daring persons new idea without aiding him in his endeavor with fresh ideas.
The good critic is one who adds some value in his criticism – he offers substitutes – he offers potential solutions – or at least focuses on thinking in that direction. Move forward with what you have – stop bitching about all the things that are imperfect about what got us to where we are. Use your mind juices to push the now into a better future – right? I guess it’s a tough thing for a lot of people to do – I suppose I should know – it took me a while to get there as well. It’s hard to be a good critic – which is why so many are bad – good criticism requires work and experience. I cannot tell you how much I truly value those who can get it right.
It’s not invaluable to be able to site flaws – it’s just that in my experience the vast majority of people who criticize FOCUS on the flaw without offering any sort of solution to it. Being able to tell me all the colorful ways something isn’t going to work and focusing on developing that understanding alone is stupid. Acknowledge and understand the problems that are critical to success and FOCUS on finding a solution – focus on moving forward.