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How Great Leaders Handle Being Misunderstood

Always choose people.

I learned many things working for Dr. John Maxwell. I learned about leadership, obviously, but I also learned writing skills, organizational principles, the value of production, and how much God blesses a generous life.  

But I also learned how leaders should deal with people who misunderstand and talk about them in negative terms.

For leaders, particularly those in the public eye, criticism comes with the territory. People often misunderstand your intentions, develop false assumptions from less than limited information, and question your character.

Whenever Dr. Maxwell’s motives were questioned and he was talked about in unflattering terms, he modeled what our corporate mantra was — ALWAYS take the high road. No exceptions.  

Much like Jesus, Dr. Maxwell always responded with love and grace and then simply moved on to completing the next task God had called him to do. He was a wonderful example.

Most great leaders I know respond in a similar fashion. They always take the high road.  

Casey Graham, owner and founder of The Rocket Company of which I am now employed, is one of these type of leaders. His mantra is “Always choose people.”

The following are five reasons why great leaders always choose people:

1. Because Jesus Always Chose People. 

Jesus did nothing but serve, heal, comfort, feed, teach, minister to and redeem people. And still He was misunderstood, mocked, talked about, cursed at, beaten and ultimately killed. Yet, He still chose people.

2. Because People Are Your Only Appreciable Asset. 

Except for one thing, everything in this life will depreciate. The only thing that increases in value over time is people. In addition, there are only two things that last forever — the Word of God and the souls of men. Always choose people.