Criticism as praise

My old boss, SECDEF Rumsfeld was fond of saying, “If you’re not being criticized, you may not be doing much.” If you are a man of action (MOA), you are bound to upset some folks. Providing constructive criticism is an art form in and of itself. How do you practice the art?

2 thoughts on “Criticism as praise

  1. Captain Lambert,Fire Control Technician Master Chief John E. Smith was a thoughtful and very competent individual who was a man of action and he drew considerable criticism from many because he would question anyone or anything he felt was wrong or incorrect. I worked for him at GMS Dam Neck, VA from 1963 to 1966 and he became my inspiration as a leader who was there to do the job and correct any deficiency that may arise. He was my mentor and one of his favorite sayings was “Every Bluejacket, even those of 4.0 category, should get chewed out every other day just to keep them from becoming lax”, of course, I could work for a Sailor with that attitude, but one had to stay prepared at all times, and there is nothing wrong with that posture. Vey Respectfully,Navyman834


  2. I recall admiral Gallery wrote about ‘damning with faint praise’ as in that was a fairly good job, or admiral Pettigrew standing up at hot wash after my skipper and the Marine General described how useless the exercise was and an utter waste of time, money and effort. Pettigrew got up then as the OIC and asked the rest of the attendees, ‘other than Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play? Very gracious and unexpected response to heavy criticisms.


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