Posted by: Brandon W. Jones | January 22, 2011

Whether You Like It Or Not, You Earned It

Have you ever received a great compliment or award and thought to yourself, “Wow, they are finally realizing my worth and the value that I am providing.  I can’t believe it took them this long to thank me!”  Or have you ever received criticism and thought, “They don’t know what they are talking about.  I don’t deserve that kind of criticism.”  I am going to tell you that through the good and the bad, they are right because you earned it.

A little over a year ago I had a great teacher, Dr. Bret Simmons, for one of my MBA classes.  He helped me to realize the importance and value of good and bad criticism.  Many people out there feel they earn all of their praise, but they don’t deserve any of their criticism.  In a system where behaviors are rewarded, you earn both the good and the bad criticism. 

When you receive lots of praise for your hard work, you deserve it.  When you spend long hours doing what is right even when you think no one is looking, you are building a reputation for yourself.  People slowly begin to realize the type of person you are based on your behaviors.  After time, they will probably tell you how great you are and how much they appreciate what you do.  When that point comes, it is always easy to think about how great you are and give yourself a pat on the back.

At the same time, when you interact with other people, they begin to make judgments about you.  When you treat someone well they appreciate you and praise you, and when you treat someone poorly, they may be upset and speak negatively about you.  If you feel you deserve the good criticism, you also deserve the bad. 

When someone says something bad about you it is because there was something you did in your conduct with others that led them to that conclusion.  If you hear negative criticism and you don’t like it, you must do all you can to eliminate it.  You must change your behavior so no one makes those same comments about you again.

Either way you look at it, you earned it.  If you believe you earn the good, you must also accept the fact that you earn the bad.  When you don’t like the bad, you must do all you can to change your actions so the bad is no longer true.  You must move forward and become a better person by changing your ways.  All criticism is good if you use it in the right way by learning from it.



  1. Fantastic post Brandon! I think you are absolutely correct. It is all about personal accountability. We have to accept our successes and defeats equally because if we don’t we will be doing a disservice to ourselves, our colleagues and our companies.

    • Welcome Leslie. Thank you for commenting on this blog post. I have found that those that take responsibility for their actions do much better in the professional world. Thanks, Brandon

  2. Brandon,
    This is a great post and a great reminder that we have to own the good and the bad in what we do!


    • Sharon thanks for your comment! I appreciate your feedback. Brandon

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