There are creators and there are critics.
Creating is tough. It’s hard to design, to build, to shape and refine, to write, to speak, to perform. Creating leads us into emotion and perfectionism issues and embarrassment potential. Creating exposes us as it satisfies us.
Criticism is easy. It’s seductive. You don’t have to expose anything crucial to who you are to be a critic. You can be a safe, small person. If you put a bunch of crabs in a bucket with water near the brim, eventually a crab will try to escape – and other crabs will grab him and pull him back in. “Crabby Critics” want you to be miserable with them rather than have you escape.
Leaders should be on the side of the creators. Encourage, support, and praise them. Without creators nothing helpful exists. Every expert and professional was once a dreadful beginner.
Recognize the kernels of truth from critics as a means to sharpen, improve, and discover who is the true audience for your work and the work of your team. But do not fuel unhelpful critics by stopping work, or failing to deliver work that you fear might not be “good enough.”