I have had many naysayers along my journey to get an LGBT Peer Support Group. More people then not told me why it would never happen. Even more told me why it shouldn’t happen. 

Now that it IS happening the naysayers are less frequent but the critics have come out of the woodwork. Many people have critical statements about my work, vision, and processes. At one point I was defensive, like a mother protecting her newborn. However, my thought process has taken a dramatic shift.

Instead of shutting people down from “criticizing” I am now open to hearing it. Why? Because if they are trying to “fix” a problem they see, it means that they care enough about the shared vision to contribute. Why would I want to shut that down? 

As leaders and mentors we must recognize the potential in those around us. True leadership is empowering those around you to be leaders to. 

Someone told me recently that in order to be a great leader you must be sociopathic and bottom-line oriented. However, I disagree. True leadership removes self and the vision is priority. You surround yourself with those that share your vision and support them while they do what they care about. My focus is to get them together, help them maximize their potential and change the world. “Self” is irrelevant, a by product of the goal. 

Critical statements are great to find out whose interested in your work, if they found a flaw, they were thinking about the goal and your method to reach it. Just one more way to find sharp, dedicated people to help make this world a better place as far as I’m concerned.

With Love
Jeff Utnage