There are always going to be complaints. The sooner you embrace that truth, the better off you will be. What do you do when faced with them – keep going anyway.
People will complain that you are changing too much or too fast. They will complain that you aren’t changing enough or fast enough. They will complain about the cost. They will complain about fundraising. They will complain about the quality or lack there of. They will complain because the vision is too big, or too small, or that there is any vision at all. They will complain because they didn’t hear about something, and also complain because they feel there is too much communications. They will complain, complain, complain.
Complaining is something humans are really good at. Here’s the secret to dealing with complaining – expect it to happen. When expect there to be complaints, it keeps us humble.
Here’s the second thing to do – keep going forward in spite of the complaints. Your job isn’t to please everyone. It’s to carry out a mission and vision. Anything worth doing will have obstacles in the way and people who resist and push back.
A lot times complaints come from people who feel that whatever is changing is out of their control. Mostly that’s because it’s not in their control. But humans like to have the sense of control.
Always listen to the complaints – it’s the right thing to do. There are times when the complaints are accurate and worthwhile. The point here is to pay attention to what will improve the mission/goal/vision and discard the complaints that are nothing more than roadblocks or barriers designed to kill progress.
I like to keep this in mind – for all the complaints that come out about a change that is happening, there are just as many complaints out there about maintaining the status quo.
You’re never going to satisfy all the complaints – that’s not your job. Your job isn’t to make everyone happy. If you do that, you’ll never accomplish anything because it is literally impossible to please everyone. Nor should you. Your job is to move forward on a mission/goal/vision.
Something I learned from political campaigning – complaints let me know that we are making progress and having an impact. If there are no complaints, then there is no progress. Complaints though tell me that the status quo folks are upset that things are changing.
There will always be complaints. Keep going anyway. And expect that the complaints will get louder. And that more roadblocks will be put in the way. And that there will be threats – of people leaving, withholding money, and more. It is at this point that you are making great progress. You are almost there. Keep going. Keep pushing forward. Stay focused on the goal/mission/vision. It is always the worst right before the breakthrough. You’ll always feel the loneliest right before you get to where you are going. It will always be the hardest right before you touch on success. Keep pushing through.