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Scott Taylor

Superintendent , Kenilworth Public School District

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Don't look at critics for your truth!

One of the biggest mistakes I made as a novice leader was to allow my critics to influence my decisions and my vision. It took me a while to realize these people were in no position to inform me. They were people with an agenda who likely had self-centered reasons for criticizing my work.

I was compelled to revisit my early career weakness after reading part of actress Laura Linney's commencement speech at Julliard School's 2013 graduation ceremony:

"I hope you never give anyone the power to tell anyone how to feel about your own work. That is your responsibility alone. Critics are in a different profession than we are. Don’t look to them for your truth.”

Despite many hours in graduate classrooms and years of leadership experience (both good and bad), I still fight my emotions while trying not to let the critics get me down. I know it's a natural human response for many, but I've got to always remember not to look to others (who don't know what I know) for my "truth."

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    Jul 20 2013: A wonderful point Deepak. I should think more about your idea that "you forget to look at God..." when examining my own practice and considering the feedback I receive from others!

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