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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

Don't Look at Critics for Your Truth!

Don't Look at Critics for Your Truth!

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One of the biggest mistakes I made as a novice leader was to allow my critics to influence my decisions and my vision. It took me a while to realize these people were in no position to inform me. They were people with an agenda who likely had self-centered reasons for criticizing my work. I was compelled to revisit my early career weakness after reading part of actress Laura Linney's commencement speech at Julliard School's 2013 graduation ceremony: "I hope you never give anyone the power to tell anyone how to feel about your own work. That is your responsibility alone. Critics are in a different profession than we are. Don’t look to them for your truth.” Despite many hours in graduate classrooms and years of leadership experience (both good and bad), I still fight my emotions while trying not to let the critics get me down. I know it's a natural human response for many, but I've got to always remember not to look to others (who don't know what I know) for my "truth."

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jjd005's picture
K-3 Emotional and Behavioral Disorders Special Education Teacher

Laura Linney's quote reminds me of a quote from Eleanor Roosevelt: "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." Both of the quotes mentioned really need to be reiterated to staff, teachers, and administrators! It is very easy to allow others to pass judgment on your decisions, your teaching, and your leadership.

Scott Taylor's picture
Scott Taylor
Superintendent- Kenilworth Schools; Adjunct Professor at Rutgers, Montclair, and Kean Universities; Ironman Triathlon All World Athlete 2015

In my view, the "consent" to which you refer is the internal emotional mechanism that controls self-esteem.

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