Aside

Two types of Advisors: those that Critique and those that Create

Have you ever had the feeling that the people around you are there to tell you how something won’t work? Those are called critiques.
Being a critique takes a certain analytic talent — to see it perhaps quickly, poke it incisively, and lay it open for others so any particular flaw is exposed. With them around, you’re less likely to make (many) mistakes. Having only critiques evaluate ideas is a little disheartening but perhaps comforting at one level.

John Wood, the founder of Room to Read just wrote in, Leaving Microsoft to change the world, “that if there is something out there you want to do…don’t focus on the obstacles. Don’t ask for permission. Just dive in. A lot of people will try and talk you out of pursuing your dream. The world has too many people who are happy to discuss why something might not work, and too few who will cheer you on and say “I’m there for you”.

Having a critique around as an advisor would be like being in the middle of the country and lost trying to get to NYC let’s say, and having someone come by to say, “this freeway won’t take you to there”. Okay, fair enough. But don’t just leave me there, dude. Tell me which one does!
Which brings me to my point: When you critique something, finish the thought to say … and here’s what could / will work better. By being moving from being a critique to being a co-creator with the person makes you part of the solution. You move from outside the bubble poking at the idea, to inside creating momentum.
On a spectrum of people, a lot of people will try and tell you what is broken about a new idea, an innovation, a new strategy, a breakthrough notion. And as John Wood says, the world has a LOT of people who are happy to discuss why something won’t or might not work. Then there are a few who are happy to be a cheer leader for you while you struggle to find the answer. Then, there’s a few who will get in your situation and start navigating towards the right direction with you. Be this person, and you’ll be there for a lot of people and become really valuable.
Build it, create it. See it when few others do. It takes more energy to do but what you’re left with is a bigger whole than smaller parts strewn around.
iStock_000001969476Small.jpg
And if you wonder what sponsored this particular entry, it was listening to a sole-proprietor consultant talk about his client by just critiquing away all their ideas. If I were the client and all I was worried about was avoid a mistake, i’d think this guy was good enough. But if I actually wanted to win the market, I’d fire his a** and find someone who wants to build the right strategy and solution that will evoke and create success.


Have you ever had the feeling that the people around you are there to tell you how something won’t work? Those are called critiques.
Being a critique takes a certain analytic talent — to see it perhaps quickly, poke it incisively, and lay it open for others so any particular flaw is exposed. With them around, you’re less likely to make (many) mistakes. Having only critiques evaluate ideas is a little disheartening but perhaps comforting at one level.

John Wood, the founder of Room to Read just wrote in, Leaving Microsoft to change the world, “that if there is something out there you want to do…don’t focus on the obstacles. Don’t ask for permission. Just dive in. A lot of people will try and talk you out of pursuing your dream. The world has too many people who are happy to discuss why something might not work, and too few who will cheer you on and say “I’m there for you”.

Having a critique around as an advisor would be like being in the middle of the country and lost trying to get to NYC let’s say, and having someone come by to say, “this freeway won’t take you to there”. Okay, fair enough. But don’t just leave me there, dude. Tell me which one does!
Which brings me to my point: When you critique something, finish the thought to say … and here’s what could / will work better. By being moving from being a critique to being a co-creator with the person makes you part of the solution. You move from outside the bubble poking at the idea, to inside creating momentum.
On a spectrum of people, a lot of people will try and tell you what is broken about a new idea, an innovation, a new strategy, a breakthrough notion. And as John Wood says, the world has a LOT of people who are happy to discuss why something won’t or might not work. Then there are a few who are happy to be a cheer leader for you while you struggle to find the answer. Then, there’s a few who will get in your situation and start navigating towards the right direction with you. Be this person, and you’ll be there for a lot of people and become really valuable.
Build it, create it. See it when few others do. It takes more energy to do but what you’re left with is a bigger whole than smaller parts strewn around.
iStock_000001969476Small.jpg
And if you wonder what sponsored this particular entry, it was listening to a sole-proprietor consultant talk about his client by just critiquing away all their ideas. If I were the client and all I was worried about was avoid a mistake, i’d think this guy was good enough. But if I actually wanted to win the market, I’d fire his a** and find someone who wants to build the right strategy and solution that will evoke and create success.

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0 Responses:

  1. Mike Rohde. October 30, 2006 at 7:26 am  |  

    Nilofer, excellent stuff.
    It’s a breeze to rip away at someone’s work, but knowing enough to also provide an alternate solution is hard!
    Whenever I come with a criticism of something to a client or a colleague, I’ve got myself into the habit of at least offering an alternative solution to the problem I see. Acceptance of my solution isn’t required, but at least I’m opening up a dialogue rather than a tear-down session… which benefits nobody.

    Reply

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