Senator Clark Jolley Week 3 Presentation

Senator Jolley spoke on several issues that included the lack of respect in the political arena and the ability to take criticism in a leadership role. For this week’s blog choose one of the following topics.

1. Describe your perceptions on the current political environment, focusing particularly on leadership of our politicians and respect.

2. Provide your thoughts on how to receive constructive criticism while deflecting criticism of a vindicative nature.


  • Gabrielle Devero

    Being a leader means you will automatically gain apposing views. Unfortunately, not everyone in the world will agree with you but that’s just life. It is important to remember this as you go into your role as a leader. Mr. Jolley said that leadership goes against popularity. He also advised us to choose decisions that are right and consistent. I totally agree with him. Keeping a mature head on your shoulders will help you lead with criticism and disagreements. A leader must accept all views of the crowd and do what is right.

  • Tanner Gore

    The best way from my experience is when you do receive constructive criticism if possible talk to the person who gave you the criticism in a one on one talk to better understand why they gave you the criticism and what you can change or need to explain. While if the criticism is to harsh and just used to hurt you. You can talk to the person to figure out what they have against you or the subject. Sometimes a better understanding will help with a better feeling.

  • Mariah Wagner

    2. I think the ability to take criticism is a great attribute to have, but it is a very rare one to have. I think that when you are faced with criticism of a vindicative nature, you must take out the tone of which the person is saying the criticism, and figure out if they are being truthful, or if they are just angry. When receiving criticism, you must always decide if the person is knowledgable about what they are saying, and if they are giving you constructive criticism to help you become better at whatever they are criticizing. You should always take criticism with an open mind so that you can fully appreciate what the person is saying to you. As Senator Jolley said, “you should always take the criticism that somebody gave you, and see if there is any truth in what they said.”

  • Ashley Sells

    I believe to be a better person or a better leader you have identify your problems or places your lacking in. Sometimes you don’t know you may be doing something wrong, but if you take criticism it will help you identify and fix those problems. In softball my coach was always yelling at me and I would complain to my dad about how he would only yell at me my dad said, “He yells at you because he sees something in you, and wants to make you better.”

    I believe if you are getting judged then your doing something right. Your standing out and being a leader. Leaders are always going to have someone judge them an I think it’s good if your a leader and accept everyone has different opinions.Try to see if there is any truth in what they are saying about you and fix the problem.

  • Kaley Everson

    Constructive Critisim should have one purpose- seeking the better of human nature. It should positively reinforce ourselves and our society. It should not leave a path of destruction.
    When we, as a society, fail to adapt through the insight of others, we fall short of bettering our society as a whole. “Leaders must learn how to adapt and adapt quickly”- senator Clark Jolley. Listening to diverse opinions allows us to gain stronger ground on our beliefs and platforms. Without consructive critisim, we would never be able to better ourselves or the economy . Truth can be painful, but it is necessary for growth. Critisism can be made constructively or destructively- both having an impact. Either one, however, implements change. It is simply how the thoughts are represented.

  • Beth Rawlins

    Senator Jolley’s advice to take what is helpful from criticism is a key principle to go by. The defining difference between constructive and vindictive criticism is the result – whether it builds us up as leaders and as people, or if it is destructive to the person and/or goal. Of it is constructive, it is important as leaders that we learn to put our pride, established opinions, and preconceived concepts aside in order to be open to growth. If it is destructive, we have to develop the ability to separate our personal emotions from the facts, and rationalize the criticism as detrimental to our function as a leader. If we can rationalize negative criticism, it becomes irrelevant, enabling us to act according to the facts and not react based on our emotions.

  • Rachel Payne

    It is often quite easy to distinguish between constructive criticism of a vindictive criticism. The latter usually has very little if no merit and the source has aimed to hurt your credibility and your cause. Constructive criticism on the other hand is meant as advice to build you up and to help you prosper. It also usually comes from someone who cares and would like to see you succeed and has a few ideas on how that can be a reality. Because the two are so different and so easy to identify handling them should not be extremely difficult. We should receive constructive criticism with grace and an open mind. We also must remember that it is indeed constructive– meant to build up and serve a useful purpose. When it comes to deflecting the vindictive criticism there is no shield in life to keep it away so when it does hit us square in the jaw, because it will, the best thing is to not retaliate. We should turn the other cheek and keep on going because that is the only way to defeat it.

  • Andrea Allison

    It can sometimes be hard to see the value in constructive criticism while also blocking out the vindictive criticism. Everyone is going to have an opinion about who you are and what you do but it is your decision whose opinions you take into consideration. To be a good leader, you must be open-minded to criticism or you will never become a better leader.

    You have to pay attention to the critic just as much as the words they are saying. Is this person credible in the field that they are discussing? What is this individual truly trying to get across to me? Is what they are saying beneficial or just a negative thought?

    You must also ask yourself a few questions. Can I use what they are saying to better myself, my leadership abilities, and those around me? Did I alter anything in my thought process because of there criticism? Am I willing to let go of my ego and consider the words that this person has said to take their negativity, turn it around, and better myself?

    We all want to be well-liked and respected in whatever field it is that we are a leader in and we must learn to put aside the vindictive criticism so that we can use the constructive criticism of others to better ourselves and those that we are leading. We will not be liked one hundred precent of the time. What matters is that we give our one hundred percent all of the time.

  • Elizabeth Larios Rodriguez

    2. Provide your thoughts on how to receive constructive criticism while deflecting criticism of a vindicative nature.

    Well for me, I’ve always just “listen and except the good, listen but throw out the bad.” At the end of the day, you know deep down what your doing right and wrong. If someone calls you out on something examine your life truthfully and honestly and if there’s need for change, then change. But if they call you out on something and it’s just them being negative, still listen and measure it up, and when it doesn’t align with your life, throw it out.

  • Chantell Hay

    I have personally found that constructive criticism is very difficult to accept. It’s a challenge to not take offense to it, but it is imperative to remember that it is for the betterment of ourselves. I can see how it might be difficult to notice the difference between constructive criticism and criticism with a malicious intent. You just really have to sit back and ask yourself if this person is trying to help you or not. Being able to accept criticism is important to become a better leader and better person. You can’t improve or reach a higher potential without it.

  • Christina Traverso

    For the majority of my life, I’ve absolutely hated politics. As the daughter of parents who are very politically informed and believe it is important for everyone else to be informed as well, I quickly learned that politics was a necessary evil. Combined this with growing up in a very conservative home and a very liberal, well, everything else, politics has been a pretty big part of my life whether I wanted it to or not.
    As I entered an intelligent high school and was surrounded by more well-informed peers, some of which actually knew what they were talking about when they said “affirmative action” or “sequester” or whatever else was going on at the time, I realized that not everyone opens their loud mouth and makes rash opinions based on what everyone else around them said. So maybe if my peers had a valid basis for their opinions, maybe the individual voices behind the screaming matches on CNN actually meant something, instead of a lot of arguing and getting nowhere.
    So when I dreaded both going home to hearing rants about Obama and going to school hearing rants about Romney during the 2012 election, I realized something important about the extreme ends of the United States political electorate–we, as voters, do not respect each other. At least, not when it comes to very important, divisive issues today. If you believe abortion is murder, it would be extremely hard for you to argue/debate against someone who is pro-choice and at the end of the conversation say “I disagree with you, but I respect that you believe that”. Why? Because you’d be much more likely to say “I disagree with your belief that mothers should kill their babies before they even get a chance to live, and I can’t respect that you think that because that’s an innocent baby’s life you’re messing with.” And that would start a whole new round of arguments. So here’s the point: many issues are so divisive and crucial in our country that its extremely difficult to respect the other side.
    But it’s not impossible. Here’s what we should do: present your own facts, personal observations, or whatever it is that makes your opinion valid in your eyes. Let the other person speak, and, whatever you do, don’t interrupt. I think we can all agree that’s the hardest part–especially when we fervently believe we’re right, or maybe the other person said something that’s just plain wrong. (I might sound like an expert on this, but I’m probably the worst at sitting down and shutting up when the other person is speaking.) Here’s the nice part about all that: after they talk, you get to. And at the end of the discussion, shove all your emotions aside, whatever they may be, and say “I may disagree with everything you just said, but everyone is entilted to their opinion, and I respect that.” If you can’t respect their opinion, you can respect that it is their own, and that’s a great quality of the American political system. As Senator Jolley said on Tuesday, attack the policy, not the person. If politicians and voters can do that, we might actually get somewhere.

  • 1)
    The current political environment is the equivalent of a toddler throwing it’s toys against the wall. Politicians have never been the best at getting along, but It’s hardly ever been this bad before. Republicans hate Democrats because they are communists; Democrats hate Republicans because they are gun totting libertarians. The whole situation is a cluster-fuc….cluster-funk.Politicians seem to have forgotten that their “opponents” are still people, people who in their just want to help this country. If they could just put aside their party bias for a few days and act like adults, maybe they would be able to bass a bill.

  • Reagan Perry

    To be a good leader we must learn how to compromise and take constructive criticism from our peers. Knowing how to give and receive constructive criticism is a quality I’ve had to work on over the years and have come to the conclusion that it’s one of the most important attributes a person can have. Constructive criticism has one big purpose and that is to help make something or someone better in a positive way. Try asking yourself how this could help achieve my goal and keep an open mind to ideas. Getting different view points from your peers can help you consider options you hadn’t thought of before. Giving and receiving constructive criticism well is something everyone should aspire to do. It will help transform us into the great leaders we are all capable of becoming.

  • Jessica Casey

    I view our current political environment as one that is not united..but divided. Some people hate President Obama and will disagree and criticize every move he makes; whereas, others will stand firm and defend his every decision. I feel like there’s a fine line between not agreeing with someone’s actions and flat-out hating them for it. Eventually, that attitude will lead you to hating that person no matter what they say or do. As Senator Clark Jolley stated during his presentation, “You shouldn’t care as much about the politics, as you do the policy.”

    I recently heard an interview on the news, referring to our nation’s politicians, “The problem with our political system is that no one trusts one another. Republicans don’t trust Democrats and Democrats don’t trust Republicans.” I really wish this was not true. I believe we should support our president in good times and in bad- whoever it may be. I also think we should all be an example to those who are misinformed and encourage them to vote for change the next time they strongly disagree with the policy.

  • 1. My perceptions on the current political environment on leadership and respect is that it is very organized and leaders are not showing up because of fame. Senator Jolley said something very true, “A good leader share a little bit of blame more than a little bit of fame.” As leaders, it is very important to have integrity among themselves. I came from a country which government, I think, is very bias to only some ethnicity, and they do everything just to get their names out to the country so that citizens could vote for him or her when the next election approaches. Fairness was always an issue and leaders do not take the blame even when things have gone wrong. I must say that I am blessed to be here in the States because everyone is treated equally and I could rarely hear people saying something bad about the government. Leaders here definitely get the respect of the citizens!

  • Our current political environment is an example of a broken leadership system. A handful of radical politicians have hamstrung the ability of the government to effectively pass legislation that appeals to majority of the country’s voting populace. Compromise and civility have been left by the wayside, as each side attempts to pass radical legislation to appeal to an increasingly polarized base. Biased media and sensationalist pundits spout their own interpretations of each and every move of politicians. And all of this is going on while the world changes at an ever faster pace. Violence and wars erupt in the Middle East on a nearly monthly basis. Conflicts with foreign powers threaten American interests. And allegations of illegal surveillance programs have marred the image of America as a bastion of freedom in the eyes of our enemies and our allies.

    The political environment needs an overhaul. The “leadership” of our politicians and elected officials has proved inept and unprepared for the global challenges of the modern day. We need new, smart, energetic, capable leaders who can make compromises in tough situations and get things done. Maybe then the rest of the world and the American people could have some respect for the American government.

  • Kayla Auffenorde

    Leadership is not an easy position to fulfill. Victories are not easily achieved without a few bumps along the way. Failures and criticism come with the territory of being a leader. However, what sets leaders apart is the way they react to such criticism. No one likes negative feedback but it is not always bad. It is important to stay humble and realize that we are humans with flaws. Even though criticism can be tough to take, it is a great opportunity to learn what we need to change to be more successful. Leaders need to stand up for what is right, not what is popular. Therefore they need to be more focused on the current moment. The criticism we receive is in the past. We need to accept it, see if there is any validity, apply it, and move on. Not to say we just disregard them, but we can’t dwell on them either. Some criticism is just hateful and has no source of truth. In these instances, take one glance and then throw it out. What other people say does not determine who we are. We build our character through such criticism. There is always going to be that one person that disagrees, so always anticipate the criticism before reacting.

  • Shelby Eddleman

    In response to question 1, something Senator Jolley said really stuck out to me. Though he obviously stays true to his conservative beliefs, he said that policy should always trump politics. I think that he’s absolutely right. When he said that, I thought about our political leaders. I feel that a lot of their debates focus on mudslinging and berating the opposing politicians. As Senator Jolley said, we can disagree with the policies of others all we want, but attacking the person is never a respectful answer. I feel that politics have become too much about the political party. Some of our leaders have set this precedent, and the American people are following suit. I’ve heard many friends, if they vote at all, say that they will not even listen to what a candidate for office has to say if they are of a different political party. As much as I hate to admit it, I have had trouble keeping an open mind and listening to Republican candidates, because I disagree with their politics. I didn’t even take time to listen to their plans. If we are too close-minded to get informed, how are we supposed to know who is our best candidate? As a nation, we must stop attacking our leaders, even if we do disagree with what they have to say. These people lead our country, and we must show respect. I’m so glad that Senator Jolley brought this point up. I think it’s something a lot of us needed to hear.

  • Hawley Austin

    2. Constructive criticism is hard to hear, but it is even harder to act upon it. No one wants to be told that they are wrong, but it takes a strong person to take it in and then act upon it. The point of constructive criticism is not to put the idea at hand down, but to build it up and make it stronger. Senator Jolley spoke about how to accept criticism. One must “look for any truth” in criticism. When receiving constructive criticism we must remember that this criticism isn’t supposed to make us angry, but it is to act as a helpful tool in making the idea better than what it was. Those who use vindictive criticism want you to fail. They receive joy in knowing that you failed, but we cannot let that negativity get to us. So often in the world today, the leaders of our nation let vindictive criticism get to them. Instead of focusing on constructive criticism, they automatically turn to those who give vindictive criticism and change their goal. If our politicians focus on how they can improve instead of seeking out the anger in others, then our government would be at a better place.

  • Denton Scherman

    1) I believe our political environment is in a world of hurt. We truly do have a lack of leaders in congress. They are choosing party over policy, which is opposite of what Senator Jolley says a leader is. They are afraid to stand up and do what is best for our country. There are a few strong willed representatives in DC but most are afraid to go against the current. For instance the healthcare debate at the capital is becoming very heated. The republicans in the house had a great triumph thus past week as they voted to cut health care spending. Two democrats voted with the house and not with their party. The democrat controlled senate will over turn it and keep funding for the healthcare bill. They are worried about their party and not that country because if they keep funding, around mid-October we will have to raise the debt limit yet again. Democrats said it is good the republicans voted it down because it makes them look like “kamikaze cheerleaders” and it will get more democrats into office. They are not respecting one another and are worried about what they will look like. Our leaders need to get a spine and vote on policy and make our country better.

  • Rebekah Murphy

    Criticism is something I struggle with. It’s difficult for me to take in a positive manner; and let my feelings get hurt too easily. However, the way I try to avoid letting it get to me is to step back and really process what the other person is telling me or suggesting I do. I take into account their opinion and how it could benefit myself. If after evaluating what they are saying and it comes off in a negative way then I just push the comment aside. Just like Senator Jolley said, you can’t make everyone happy and as leadership we need to strive for the principal of things over the popularity. We should evaluate the opinions people tell us and use them in a way that will make us grow personally and as leaders.

  • Cale Parnell

    I really liked Senator Jolley’s view on how to take criticism. I think if you don’t listen to What’s being said about you, you “block out” ways to improve yourself. If you don’t listen to it, how can you ever know what you need to change? But you have to know what to listen to. I think criticism is criticism. The constructive or vindictive views are really just whatever you want to make of them. Now what do I think of the current political environment? The generations in Washington right now are completely crooked. Men and women who once believed in changing the political system cave in to the views of others just so they can receive funding and win the office. We have two dominant political parties who think money and the welfare of their own parties are greater than the nation as a whole. They sit deadlocked at Capitol Hill because the lack of progress could potentially put a hole in their pockets that they may not be able to plug. I think our generation, full of radicals and rebels, is just what we need in order to change our political system, but I don’t think it can happen until either we come together to create a more powerful political voice, or the current generations in power leave office. The world is obviously changing, and we could create a much better place for everyone if we just changed with it. But those in power don’t see it like that. So the sooner we start uprooting the current generation in power, the sooner we can start making changes for the better.

  • Lexi Banister

    First, I believe it is important to realize what is meant for constructive criticism and what is meant to hurt someone’s character. It is important to find the difference in the two so you aren’t constantly beating yourself up over things people meant out of anger rather than a helpful motive. Moving on from that, I believe it is also important to not look at everything and have an immediate reaction of anger. I often times find myself getting angry at someone who is only trying to help me. As leaders, we need to understand that we are not perfect and there is always room for improvement, so when someone gives their two cents about what we may be doing we should filter it, meaning find the stuff that you could see yourself needing to improve and trash the rest. If what someone is saying helps you identify flaws you could improve then that is when that bit of advice should be taken and carried out. It’s important to have a thick skin but a realistic view on ourselves; we are human, we make mistakes, and sometimes we need other people to point them out so we can better ourselves and our platform.

  • Lauren Walker

    #2. I believe that being a leader, you must learn how to take constructive criticism. Its not always about giving it to others, but learning to listen as well. A leader is someone who can be patient and understanding. We must realize how to deflect or ignore the vindictive criticism and take it with patience. Being a leader has taught me its not always about being the boss and giving orders, but also to listen to others. It is important to acquire these skills to be a well rounded leader today!

  • Cierra Chastain

    2. As a leader you must be willing to listen to those closest to you. Not only do you need to listen, but acting upon these recommendations is necessary to strengthen leadership skills. This is especially true if there is a common thread of needed change. I also believe trust is a critical aspect in any leadership role. With trust they have your best interest at heart and want to help you grow.

  • Tre Fairbanks

    Today’s political environment is extremely secretive. Our government uses tax dollars on various superfluous activities and places well speaking leaders on the front to appease the public and make them happy. This has a lot to do with our voters being politically ignorant, and some of the population doesn’t even care about the state of our society. Respect wavers for our leaders depending on the current state of the nation and how well the leader can explain what’s going on.
    Personally, I enjoy constructive criticsm. I am a firm believer that there is always room for improvement, and I often seek out the opinions of my superiors so that I can receive helpful tips on how to be better. As far as deflecting negative criticsm, it is up to the individual to decide how they will let the words effect their opinions of themselves. Maturity is an aspect of life that will allow one to discern between constructive criticsm and criticsm of a vindicative nature.

  • Ilyssa Owen

    I believe that everyone sitting in Constitution Hall the morning of Senator Jolley’s speech could agree that they have been victims of criticism many times throughout life. Today’s era of technological influence and the ability to express yourself and your thoughts through social media mediums in just moments also opens the door to be criticized at the same speed. Throughout my leadership career I have found that technology is one of the best ways to lead and spread information and that it can be one of the most beneficial tools a leader has. People will always be waiting to challenge our beliefs and actions however, and social media is no exception. Senator Coburn’s Facebook replies and criticism from a stance that he took was one example that Senator Jolley used to describe how easy it is to scrutinize others through technology. My thoughts on how to receive constructive criticism while deflecting criticism of a vindictive nature is that I believe that there is not really a difference in criticism, it is all the same, it is how YOU choose to receive that criticism. Senator Jolley mentioned, “The more you do, the less people will like you.” I agree with Senator Jolley from personal experiences and believe that if you are going to be a leader you have to let all criticism be constructive and not let anyone else’s thoughts or opinions break you down. When I am criticized I look at what I am being criticized for and ask myself “is what I stand for good, honest, and helping others?” If its not I re-examine my actions, but if it is I use the criticism to strengthen my beliefs. If you are leading to truly help people than you will always have critics but they will never matter.

  • Blair Summers

    Mr. Jolley had said that if you move something, you will be criticized even before you think you have done something criticizable. In this world, that is so true. I think that before someone takes a stand or builds a platform, they should acknowledge the other side, and prepare for the opposition and harsh words that lie ahead. Even though it may be difficult at first, I believe it is wiser to submerge yourself in ALL of the feedback from people instead of tuning it out. Because once you scab over, some truth within the garbage may reveal itself. It is a matter of training yourself to realize that you are not perfect, and some people are going to want to point that out. However, instead of becoming defensive and frustrated, why not, with an open mind, analyze every comment made and search for the constructive advice on how to better yourself and your performance?

  • Joseph George

    Everybody in this cruel life will get criticized no matter who they are or what they are, but it is our job to take it in different ways. Taking constructive is very hard at times, especially if it’s a habit that you are not willing to change or if it is something one you are very passionate about and willing to fight for it. One way to take constructive criticism is by having an open mind to everything that one person “advises” you about. And one thing about being a leader is having an open mind to anything and everything -that is in their morals of course-, without having an open mind we will not be able to successfully thrive as a leader. If we are not able to have an open mind then I don’t how one will be able to build themselves up as a leader.

  • Shelby Allen

    When placed in a position of leadership, I think one should be ready to assume the criticism that will naturally come along with it. From our childhood beginnings, criticism from family members and loved ones help us to grow and mature properly into adulthood. Leaders should accept with humility that their ideas may not always be the best for the task, and accept readily the assistance and feedback from others around them.

    Unfortunately, in today’s world criticism seems to be based in slander and hate more than anything productive. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, but as leaders we have to sort through the criticism based on our actions from the criticism based on our own character. Unless it is a person who is deeply invested in your life, leaders should look past comments regarding themselves as a person to the comments regarding themselves as a politician, lawyer, doctor, teacher, etc. Perception of how those around you view you will only make you stronger, and chances are a few comments will come along that will be worthy of consideration.

    I believe leaders should take the time during their adulthood to find the few mentors and friends who they trust to be completely open and honest from them. It is can be detrimental to your leadership to always receive criticism from those who your decisions are affecting. As humans, we lack perspective on ourselves, and habitually act without notice sometimes. It can be crucial to personal growth and success to live as if you can always be better. It is a decision that requires patience, courage, and humility, but can reap great rewards in the end.

  • Allison Cox

    Senator Jolley had some great thoughts regarding criticism throughout his speech on Tuesday. He made some great remarks that, in my opinion, were very beneficial to the progressing leader. He stated that, “if you lead, you’re likely to get a lot of the blame”. I think that this is entirely true because as a leader, you aren’t going to make everyone happy. Every single person has an opinion about everything, whether it’s positive or negative. This also pertains to criticism. Criticism can have a powerful effect on someone, but it can always be used to your benefit whether it is constructive or vindictive. Senator Jolley said that instead of reacting to every critical comment made towards you, change it into something positive and use it to your advantage. Criticism in general is very challenging, but you have to learn to accept it and go on.

  • Samuel Corrales

    Regardless of who you are, you’re always going to dislike criticism. It’s natural, we don’t like it when people shoot are amazing ideas down, no one understands our ideas they way we do. With that said however, you got to learn to deal with it and use it to your advantage.

    I used to dance everyday but Sunday in high school. As a dancer, it’s normal to want to choreograph. After all, our bodies are our tools, and no one knows them better but ourselves. Believe me when I tell you all, but my choreography sometimes got SHUT DOWN. As artists, we nature our art, we love the idea of it so much, that if anyone says one negative thing about, we freak out.

    As a good leader, you have to learn how to roll with the punches. Not everyone will have your same view point. You have to think BIG PICTURE. Ask yourself, How will my audience respond to this?” “Is this move appropriate for the event?” “Is the choreography too scattered for the audience to focus?” When you’re being critiqued, hear what they are telling you. Now ask yourself the same questions when you need to finalize something leadership related. “How will this come off to the crowd?” “Is it appropriate to host this at this time/place?” “Is my project too broad that I won’t be able to focus and complete it all?”

    Feedback is always great, so I don’t think it’s a bad thing to ask someone if what you’re doing seems well. Sometimes we get carried away with how our idea sounds that we don’t take the time to think if it could actually work out.

  • Matthew Frech

    Question 2:

    I believe the difference between helpful and hurtful criticism is in the eye of the beholder. As a fairly laid-back person, I feel like even when people are giving me criticism in which they’re trying to hurt my feelings, I try to find something useful out of it all. Even if everything that someone has to say is negative, we should still try to look for things we can work on to help better whatever it is we’re doing. That being said, if someone is making negative claims with no grounds outside of hurting feelings, it is best that we just let it roll off of our shoulders. When someone is putting you down just to put you down, that person probably isn’t worth listening to in the first place!

    On another note, Senator Clark Jolley seemed like a pretty good guy and I really liked his presentation;
    However, he could not be MORE WRONG on his comment about Wayne Gretzky… Saying that Gretzky is better than THE Michael Jordan is like saying that Matt Frech is as cool as Jarrett Jobe, there just isn’t any comparison. Gretzky might be the best hockey player ever, but he is nowhere near the pedestal that Jordan sits on while looking down at all of us mere mortals. Gretzky played for what, 20 years, and only won the Stanley Cup four times. Not to mention he made it to the Cup a total of SIX and lost two of them! Jordan was in the league for 12 and a half seasons (We aren’t counting the Wizards, so just cut that out!) and he went SIX out of SIX in the NBA finals. Need I say more? If so, I’d be happy to!

  • Maddisen McCleary

    Taking criticism is essential to the learning and leadership process. How can you learn from others if we all had the same opinion or advice? We cannot. I believe that when criticizing, to never take another’s perspective personal. In order to grow and learn, we have to take criticism and apply it to ourselves and our situations. Although sometimes criticism may not be constructive, we must try to take a step back and step in another’s shoes to get a better perspective. If someone were trying to criticize you, and it happened to be vindictively, you must draw the line between the emotional and factual criticism. There is always a lesson to learn or another perspective to look from!

  • Malana Smith

    When you’re a leader, a lot of times you receive more criticism than you do affirmation. That can be good if the criticism is beneficial, but a lot of times, most like to take a stab at whomever is leading if they are not leading in the direction they want to go. The only way to tell if criticism is actually constructive is to 1) see if it holds any truth and 2) ask if this will help your leadership in any way. One must also be willing to stand firm in their decision, but if found that it was a mistake, let go of one’s pride and be willing to admit it and fix it.

  • Daniel Fijalka

    Your reaction to criticism is something that can determine the type of leader you are. Receiving constructive criticism is such a valuable skill for any leader. Constructive criticism can be very helpful depending on how you look at it. When you receive constructive criticism, think about what that person is saying and how it will make you a better person or leader. Being open minded will help you look at situations differently, and you might have ideas that you previously wouldn’t have thought of. People give constructive criticism to help and to raise you up, not to bring you down.

    When you are faced with harsh criticism, remember that there are always going to be people who may not like your ideas or who will get mad. As Senator Clark Jolley said, you “Have to grow thick skin.” Having thick skin will help you deal with the negative criticism. Quoting Senator Jolley again, “Read over every criticism and look for truth in it.” No matter what kind of criticism you might receive, think about the truth that may or may not be there. Harsh criticisms still might contain truth, so it is important to listen to any kind of criticism.

  • Chelsea Ratterman

    My views on the current political climate are fairly in line with the rest of America, I would think. The politicians are there for themselves and not for their constituents. They would rather let the government go unfunded, millions of people lose pay and default on our nations rising debt for the sole purpose of sticking it to President Obama and his healthcare law, a program that is already starting to go into effect and by removing funding from it would be a worse case scenario than amending it. This seems disastrous and counter-productive, and shows a lack of leadership from those who should have thought all this out and passed a budget, as opposed to continuing resolutions, years ago.

    Senator Jolley’s points about taking criticism was brilliant. We as humans don’t like to hear ourselves criticized but if we take it to heart, we can do so much more by improving ourselves and by extension our environment.

  • Jared White

    I feel the leadership in our state and or country could be better. The reason I say this is because look at our country as a whole do you feel secure with our leaders at this point cause I don’t. We may have rules and we have leaders that try to be leaders but they can’t bring our country together as a whole we are honestly becoming a divided country. Yes I feel this why but you may not I just feel our political leaders or President of the United States could be more you or I then all about me me me but that’s just my opinion. Well I feel constructive criticism could be a great thing but you as a person has to take it the right way. To me constructive criticism is a challenge an I accept it every time if more people were opened minded and did everything in life as a win or lose situation which in some cases I feel this is a true statement our country would be better off. Why because the person that could lead our state or our country would show up somewhere and we as a whole would be better off. But overall listening to Senetor Jolly I feel a lot better about where I could go or are state could go or where our country is going.

  • Christen Hickey

    Question 2:

    Criticism of any nature is often hard to swallow. The need to feel like other’s “like” you and agree with you runs deep in human nature, and trying to accept that you need to ‘better yourself’ in any aspect is often disheartening. However, Senator Jolley also talked about how being a leader doesn’t mean you will be popular. He said your principle will matter more, and amount to more, than your popularity. All this being said, criticism, when used in the best way possible, can be a viable tool for self development. To first decide if the harsh words are beneficial, I would suggest doing exactly as Senator Jolley said – look for the truth. Try to read through the words/ listen to the person as if you aren’t the one they’re directing them to. Figure out how the person writing/ speaking feels about the subject, and piece together what they may see as their own truths. Then apply the view you’ve taken on to your own opinion. What does it make your opinion look like? Does it make you feel unjustified? Look for the truth, and instead of just ‘reacting’, take ‘positive action’ based on your principles and what you now see as ‘right’.

  • Callie Thompson

    I think when you are dealing with any type of criticism it is very important to consider who it is coming from and their true incentives. If it is someone credible whom we trust then it is easier for us to accept it and use it to better ourselves. We also have to keep in mind that some people are not so credible and will try to use vindicative criticism just to keep us from reaching our goal. This is why is it very important to know who the criticism is coming from and what their incentives are. If they are trying to help us we can take it to heart, but if they are only trying to bring us down we must rise above them and ignore their comments and keep working toward our goal.

  • Regan Pogue

    When choosing on whether criticism is constructive or vindictive you have to look at where your criticism is coming from. Who is that person? Do they know who you are as a leader and what do they stand for as leaders? I personally find it hard to take both constructive and vindictive criticism because I have a very dominant and head-strong personality. However, as a leader, you have to be willing to change, grow, and evolve. Listen and take their criticism to heart and look and see if what they’re saying about you has any truth to it. If what they’re suggesting is going to further you as a leader then maybe it was good criticism to begin with. All I can really say is live as if you were a semipermeable membrane; let through what is necessary and discard all the rest.

  • Ashley Palmer

    Criticism is something that you can take positively or negatively. after someone criticizes you you can take a step back and think is what they’re saying true or not true visit. If you find it to be true you can say what can I take from what this person has said and how can I better myself as a leader in my community. Criticism also has effectively hurt many self-esteem of young girls criticism can also be referred to as bullying if it consists longer than it should. When I am criticized I generally like to learn and use that criticism as a growing experience similar to the first scenario. I’m not saying criticism can’t be hard but it should be something that you take and learn from. If it isn’t true you shouldn’t second-guess yourself as a person because that would be pointless and it would take time away from doing something effective for your community.

  • Kayla Standlee

    When I think of constructive criticism, I think of an experience I had in high school with my softball coach. His version of constructive criticism was telling me everything I did wrong without ever praising me for what I did right. It took a long time for me to figure out how to dissect his comments into getting the corrections without the negative comments he added with it. I had to learn to accept the corrections without listening to his opinion of how I played or who he thought I was as a person. To receive the feedback and criticism to make you better, your heart has to be open. Your mind has to be open. You have to accept that maybe you aren’t doing it 100% perfectly and that you need help to correct your mistakes. In the same nature, you have to have the ability to receive the vindictive criticism in a respectful manner and then do what my dad always says, “let it go in one ear and out the other.” The main concept is to always be respectful and to apply the changes proposed where they are most needed.

  • Katie Sheehan


    Senator Jolley stated that “If you want to insure that you are popular, DON’T lead!” Being a leader and wanting to make a positive difference is a lot of the time not the popular lifestyle. Choosing that lifestyle entails not taking the easy way out of things, speaking up when necessary, and refusing to be okay with mediocracy. With stepping out of the norm comes criticism, both helpful and hurtful deciphering between the two is key. I agree with Senator Jolley’s method and that is two take every piece of criticism and try to find any truth in it and then addressing the problem areas. As leaders we must not be arrogant but realize that we will make mistakes and that other people may have more efficient and effective ideas than us. With that being said we must understand that not all criticism is meant to hurt us, but rather to build us up into better leaders.

  • Question #2:

    One area of Senator Jolley’s speech really made a lasting impression on me and that was when he explained that the more active someone is in trying to bring about change, the more criticism that person will be faced with. This is because leaders must step into a territory where no one else has been before. People reject the unfamiliar, and often times place unnecessary blame on those good leaders because of this. When dealing with criticism, it is important to stop and take a look at the source of the criticism. This is an important step in filtering through what is vindictive criticism and what is constructive criticism. There are always going to be people with opposing viewpoints that may not always be helpful but it is very important not to disregard those offering constructive criticism. Criticism is still very essential because if no one challenges these new ideas, anything could be accepted, whether its right or wrong. Learning how to accept constructive criticism and knowing when to reject vindictive criticism is essential in taking part in leadership roles.

  • Madelyn Ferguson

    I think it takes a lot to be a leader in today’s society. Critics are everywhere and the will judge you no matter what choice you make. There will always be someone who thinks the opposite of what you do. And as a leader I think it’s hard sometimes because we want to try to please everyone. But that’s not always possible. What a good leader must do is be able to make those tough choices and take the critiques that come with that choice. And that is what separates true leaders from everyone else.

  • Ashton Smith

    Being an student athlete, I have been faced with critisicm by my teachers, coaches, classmates, and teammates my whole life. Constructive criticism is something you have to learn to take criticism and make it drive you to do bigger and better things. I picked the second topic to discuss because I feel like I relate very well to it. Receiving constructive criticism can be one of the hardest but one of the most beneficial things that can happen to you in your life. I believe that receiving criticism can go two ways. One you can just let it go through one ear and right out the other. Or second you can take that criticism and make the change that will make the difference while still being respectful of those who criticize you. I will be the first to say that taking constructive criticism may be one of the hardest things because we always want to believe what we do, say, think, is the best way it can be done. We’re humans, that’s the way we work. But over the past couple years I have worked hard on learning how to take the criticism people in my life have said to me and make it make me a better person in whatever it is.

  • Brittney Rutledge

    Senator Jolley discusses that any person in a leadership role will be criticized no matter what they say. Jolley said that “if you want to be popular, don’t lead”. There is nothing anyone can say that will be taken well by all people. Especially with all of the social media and technology available, criticism is seen or heard by many people all over the world. In order for a leader to be able to make good decisions for all people, a leader must take criticism well and must be able to tell the difference between constructive and vindictive criticism. A leader must listen to the issues that people have had with their previous decisions and take that criticism while also keeping in mind what is best for all people, not just the ones who voice their opinions loudest. The best attributes a leader can have is tough skin and caring heart. In a leadership role, a person must remember that as long as they are keeping in mind the best interest of the people and truly listening to the helpful criticism that all of the negative and hurtful criticism should be forgotten.

  • Brady Sowell

    Part of what comes with being a leader is always being in the spotlight. When you are in the spotlight everyone sees your decisions, good or bad. Being able to accept criticism is a crucial part of being a leader. The best way I know of to distinguish between constructive criticism and just plain rudeness is check the source. With the technology and outlets of communication today, everyone has a way to voice their opinion but just because they can doesn’t mean they should. As a leader those people will always try to tear you down but you have to be able to distinguish them from people of wisdom who are trying to improve you not point out flaws. Ill use sports as an example. Check twitter during the NBA finals and you will see everyone has an expert opinion on the matter, but the people who are actually trying to help are the people down there in that locker room trying to invest and make the players better.

  • Olivia Cavazos-Hudson

    Whenever you are a leader or a spokesperson for something you will always be the 1st target of criticism. That is just how our society is. It does not matter if you had a say so in what is being said but you are the one who said it so people automatically take all their frustrations out on you. We as citizens need to be more adult and look into things before we decide to make a rash decision on what we are going to say on social media. We may not know all the facts or even who actually made the decision on what is being said. But leaders will always be criticized, sometimes because people are just jealous of what they are doing, sometimes it is because they do not agree with anything but that means that they need to go out there and try to show their side and stop complaining about what they wanted and how its not being heard, if you want that then you need to go out and lead. We need to learn how to take it and either throw it away or learn from it. Maybe they didn’t understand where you were coming from and that is the time to show them that they didn’t understand. It is a learning experience. Even though I know I always want to please people. There is NO WAY to please every single person in the world.

  • I side with the majority of Americans when I say that I am dissatisfied with the political dysfunction in Washington. The days of compromise and working together to finish legislation on a common middle ground seem far behind us. Whether it’s immigration reform, or just funding to keep the government running, our Senators and Representatives seem too keen to say it has to be their way, or no way at all.
    Every Election cycle in Oklahoma we hear all about how our elected officials will go to Washington to fight the president and repeal Obamacare. (The Score is currently 0-42 if you’re counting.) What we need to hear is how our representatives are going to Washington to fix the gridlock, work with Democrats, and get things done.
    The American system works when we as a people and as a government, despite our political differences, work together to achieve a greater good. Senator Jolley addressed this in his remarks about 9-11, after national tragedies we as a people forget our differences and come together as Americans to respond.

    It’s time to lay down our political pitchforks and torches, and start working together.

  • Amanda Davis

    I believe that when people step into the leadership arena, criticism is one of the first things to greet them. When being criticized, I think its important to try and find if there is any good that can come from it, as well as if there is any truth in it, Senator Jolley mentioned this and I couldn’t agree more with his comments on deciding to read everything about himself and see if there is truth to it. Sometimes people see things about ourselves that we never noticed before and if it takes criticism to see that, then bring it on. I, like most people, hate being criticized and would love to think there is nothing about myself for people to not like, but lets be real, that isn’t true so it may sting a little bit at first to hear things about ourselves we don’t want to hear but I think if you can allow it to better yourself, then the pain is worth it.

  • Sheyla Rabei

    Topic #1: These days in politics are the most vicious and cold-hearted. Though, it’s always been a cut-throat career journey, whether you’re the one running for a public office or you’re a biased journalist (which there are plenty of). Whether your position is to fight on, or to stay back, politics in America is, to say the least, a war. There’s no balance, no fairness and total rage. No matter which corner of the United States you go to, you’ll most likely find that state governments are biased, influencing the people of the state who waiver in between the two opposing parties. Turn on the news and you have to choose a side. Liberal MSNBC or conservative FOX news? It’s especially hardening on the less educated people of America, or the youth. By survey, over three-quarters of children end up taking the political side of their parents. The uninformed aren’t the only ones suffering. To get anything done, such as trying to get a bill passed or budgeting, it always requires the unfortunate banter between parties, the House and Senate, or individual politicians themselves. This country can’t run without political parties, but it would be much more efficiently run if political beliefs were set aside with good intentions to make a positive difference in people’s lives, especially at such a disheartening time like this. Politics in America today have hammered down our American belief of unity through all. Hopefully someday in the future, politicians would have the interest of the people of the United States instead of their own parties and constituents at heart.