INSTANT MBA: Be Critical, Not Cynical

Scott Belsky, Founder Behance

Today’s advice comes from Scott Belsky, founder of Behance, via LinkedIn:

“Knowing which feedback to embrace and which to discard is perhaps the most important instinct for a creative leader to possess. Nearly every innovation is initially misunderstood by the so-called ‘experts.’ In truth, scrutiny and doubt are just part of the toll we pay to take the path less traveled.”A key to discerning feedback is knowing the difference between criticism and cynicism. Belsky says that criticism is doubt informed by knowledge. Cynicism, on the other hand, is doubt informed by ignorance. It arises from an ingrained muscle memory of past experiences that lead you to shun something simply because it is foreign. Unlike criticism, it does not come from curiosity or information.

“Learn to savour criticism and shun cynicism by developing an instinct for the difference between thoughtful insights and short-sightedness. This instinct comes straight from the gut.”

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