By: Undre Griggs, Jr.
There is a delicate balance between constructive criticism and unproductive criticism. One key difference is constructive criticism is things the listener is able to change and improve to better themselves. Conversely, unproductive criticism is likely matters of opinion that have no intrinsic value on the listener. A leader understands they will need to know the difference because they are responsible for bringing the best out of their people. A leader cannot simply tell everyone what they want to hear all the time; it will create an environment of complacency and indifference. Instead a leader will inspire their team with honest, but helpful rhetoric that will benefit the listener immensely.
Ephesians 4:29 (NIV): Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
There is a reoccurring theme of “hope through the tough times” that a leader is required to cultivate. This is due to the reality of life; failure can happen whether we do everything correctly or not. A leader has to prepare both themselves and the team accordingly. We should be able to find joy and peace through the trials and failures of life; we should find strength knowing that we can overcome even the most difficult of situations.
Romans 15:13 (NKJV): Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
An effective leader will have created an environment where failure is seen as nothing more than a learning experience. Where effort is rewarded and congratulated by peers because it is better to try and fail than it is to not try at all. An effective leader will ensure the team is invested in the accomplishments of the organization as well as making sure everyone understands hard work is appreciated. There is a tremendous value in a leader and their entire organization working to inspire each other.
Hebrews 10:25 (ESV): Not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
One of the best ways for a leader to create an inspirational nucleus is by having everyone build healthy friendships in and outside of work. Our friends and family have a superlative ability to inspire us because they have shown they care about our well-being. When they tell us we can do something better, we believe them because they know us. If a leader only interacts with their team when they need something, they may be able to motivate them for a time; but they will have a difficult time consistently inspiring them to achieve greater heights.