Ruining our team with praise…

27 06 2013

“The trouble with most of us is that we would rather be ruined by praise than saved by criticism.” ~Norman Vincent Peale

 I am currently into a good series of Zombie novels.  I know it’s not the genre that most of you get into (I can see the eyes rolling now), but I need “brain candy” sometimes.  Anyway, I recently sent a review of this particular author to Amazon, and gave a bunch of praise, but also some constructive criticism sandwiched between the praise.  Surprisingly, the author sent me an e-mail thanking me, and said that he would work on that in the next 3 novels of the series.  He hadn’t looked at it that way, and most of his reviewers were either over-the-top suck-ups, or simply “this book sucks” sort of reviewers.  He thanked me for my well-thought-out review, and told me that when the next novel came out, he’d send me a free copy.  He encouraged me to give him feedback on that one, too. 

 Why did he take the time to send me an e-mail?  I suspect it’s because he realized that his work was genuinely important to me.  It was important enough for me to make the hard choice to speak up, and offer criticism (sandwiched between praise), when I could have quietly done nothing, with no real harm to myself.  I think there’s a good leadership lesson in this, but I’ll leave it to you great leaders to figure it out. 

 Speaking of being saved… 

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Rubes cartoons used with permission. www.rubescartoons.com

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