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Take critics in stride

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in Leaders & Managers,Workplace Communication

David Fincher, the movie director notorious for Seven and Fight Club, learned early to let criticism roll off his back.

Already successful from television commercials and rock videos, Fincher later struggled, first when he tried to salvage Alien 3 and later with his own projects.

And while Fincher has succeeded, he’s still just as reviled as ever.

When Fight Club opened in 1999, Roger Ebert called it macho porn and The Hollywood Reporter called it morally repulsive and socially irresponsible. They saw the film only on its violent surface—people hitting people—and didn’t get the underlying message of youthful alienation.

Today, people consider it a cult classic, and Fincher, who’s way out there on filmmaking’s bleeding edge, still has no time for critics.

Lesson: Stumble and struggle, but don’t take the easy way out and don’t bow to criticism.

“Do your best work,” he says. “Work as hard as you can on any given day and try to live it down.”

—Adapted from “The Curious Case of David Fincher,” Brian Mockenhaupt, Esquire.

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