“Haters gonna hate,” is everywhere now - even Taylor Swift has used it in her latest single, Shake It Off:
‘Cause players gonna play, play, play, play, play
The idea behind this saying is that people who raise any criticism against you are labeled "haters,” who by their nature are going to “hate” or criticize all the choices that you make. If you’ve been in leadership for any length of time, you’ve probably encountered the person that embodies this description.
Unfortunately, it might even be in the church that you’ll find the the worst kind of these “haters.”
Culture will give you the remedy to these “haters” and it follows much of Taylor Swift’s song: “shake it off,” because that’s all that you can do against people who will only hate.
Simply shaking things off sounds really good and it also feels good when you can do it, but unfortunately, it’s the half-truth that lives in there that will limit your growth as a leader and as a self-aware, mature person.
Here’s why I think using “haters gonna hate” is a bad thing:
1. You assume that you’re in the right… all the time
2. You’re the least qualified person to render judgement on your actions/motives
3. "Shaking it off” will limit your personal growth and cap your leadership
So, how does this actually apply to your life?
Hearing hard things will make you better, open you up to wisdom and grow your maturity, leadership and self-awareness, but you can't let every voice affect every decision - there are too many voices and each one will find fault with every possible decision you make. So how do you mine out the wisdom and what do you do with the rest?
1. Find out who is actually giving criticism
2. Find out exactly what they’re trying to say
3. Give their voice the appropriate weight in your life
4. Ask a trusted voice if they see the same thing in your life
5. Respond accordingly
Experiencing criticism is never fun but if you hear the wisdom imbedded in the criticism you’ll end up being much further ahead as a leader.
Ever see this play out in your life? Anything to add? Let us know in the comments below!
I am a pastor in rural Manitoba that is passionate about the church, leadership, coffee and bicycles.