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How to Reject Stupid Feedback

The director of the Antwerp Academy of Art called Vincent Van Gogh’s work, “Putrefaction,” and sent him back to the beginning class.

Van Gogh, contrary to myth, sold more than one painting in his lifetime. He sold at least two.

If Beethoven had listened to his teachers, he would have drifted into oblivion.

An innovative genius should ignore feedback. But that probably doesn’t apply to you and me. However, If you want to do something remarkable, you may need to ignore feedback. Luke Burgis

How to reject stupid feedback:

High performance requires feedback. Imagine practicing putts but never seeing where the ball goes. However, feedback isn’t always applicable.

To listen or reject feedback:

  1. How clearly is feedback based in mission and vision? Luke Burgis
  2. How well does the feedback giver know your strengths and talents?
  3. Is the feedback an attempt to mold you into the feedback giver’s image?

Feedback that enables you to see yourself more clearly transforms you.

Feedback that presses you into conformity may be destructive. Some conformity is necessary. But the areas where you don’t conform represent remarkable contribution.

Gaining discernment:

You don’t need discernment when the winner is clear.

Discernment is about probabilities, not guarantees.

Luke Burgis said, discernment includes silence and future authoring. What are the things I will do in the future if I make this decision?


  1. Is about purpose. A person who is foggy on their purpose has little discernment.
  2. Isn’t about ease. The right choice may be more painful than the wrong.
  3. Brings the future to bear on the present. Discernment applies a long-term lens to immediate decisions.
  4. Thinks about endings. Beginnings are seductive and blinding.
  5. Concerns “what you want,” more than what you don’t want.

Painful feedback may be useful, but how might leaders discern stupid feedback?

How might leaders give useful feedback?

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