Elections and Leadership Lessons – 7. Dealing with criticism

If there was one person who should have broken under the barrage of criticism thrown his way, over 12 years, it had to be Mr. Modi…. But he didn’t and not only that he didn’t, he managed to turn many of his detractors around !! It’s not easy to do it if there wasn’t genuine positive work done by him – paper tigers don’t survive this kind do onslaught.

Just think back to all the TV news, the newspaper reports and the many websites that mounted a concerted attack on Mr. Modi in the past 12 years and didn’t give up even when it became obvious that he was becoming our next PM, those that grudgingly ate their words still were guarded while agreeing there is positive ability that Mr. Modi possesses and the man is truly dedicated to India.

Even now, Headlines Today has started using the word “micromanager” for him …. Well, someone should teach the channel, what a micromanager really is and that it is impossible to run a division let alone run a country if one is a micromanager. Even the success of Gujarat, comes by taking everyone along… Mr. Modi spoke of “Chintan shivirs”, “offsite” for the corporate world where he would take all the bureaucrats and ask them to present new ideas while he sat in the back, soaking it all in – doesn’t sound remotely like a micromanager. Does he followup, yes, does he take decisions, yes, does he have an opinion on most things, yes – but he follows up to make sure, files don’t get stuck, he takes decisions because he knows indecisiveness spells disaster and he forms his opinion after “listening” to the experts. None of which a micromanager does. Just because he has cleared off all the various “telly tubby” type committees, that didn’t even do a group hug as Mohit would say, don’t call him a micromanager. The actions just means he is in a hurry to cut the mountain of red tape.

Anyway, coming back to criticism and dealing with it, not one of us really has a reason to now mope and cry buckets when someone critcises us. Here is an example of someone who shook off all the criticism heaped on him and just kept moving towards his goal. Am reminded of a wonderful story that did the rounds on email and whatsapp. A farmer’s donkey falls into an empty well. It keeps crying out aloud and after a day of trying to bring the donkey out, the farmer gives up and decides to bury the donkey. He along with a couple of his friends, start shovelling in mud to seal off the well. At first the donkey cries louder when he realises what his owner is trying to do… But suddenly he cries no more. The farmer looks down and sees that the donkey is waiting for the next shovelful of mud, and just shakes it off his back, steps up on it and waits. Slowly, the mud rises high enough for the donkey to jump out of the well and canter off !!

Deal with criticism like the donkey did, everytime you get a shovel full of it, shake it off, step on it and keep climbing towards your purpose. If you don’t like being that donkey, think of Mr. Modi and he has done just that, shook off the criticism and got on with what he had to do !! Well done Mr. Modi and God bless you. Jai Hind.

3 thoughts on “Elections and Leadership Lessons – 7. Dealing with criticism”

  1. No public figure, and i exclude nobody here, is ever beyond criticism. Once your’e a part of public life you will be critiqued and i guess thats ok. Criticism is not to be taken seriously when people do it just for the sake of pulling u down . However, if your’e being critiqued for obvious reasons, it’s always better to introspect rather than ignoring it. As for Modi, he’s always done a brilliant job handling it. Strange thing is, some of his followers don’t take it at all. So that is lame.

    No matter how much a leader is popular, he will be critiqued . So some people need to understand thats its very normal to do it. There’s no point being abusive about that.


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