John Maxwell’s Hatchet Committee

Frazzled ineffective leaders can’t say “no.”

Leaders who can’t commit to priorities end up over-committed to trivialities.

Over-committed leaders fall short of their potential.

power of no
Bag it before you snag it:

The power of “no” is it’s ability to create clarity by eliminating options.

Choose what not to do so you can decide what to do. Throw most options in the garbage before you decide which option to snag.

Progress begins by leaving things behind.

Hatchet committee:

Come at decision-making from the back door. If you can’t decide which option to choose, eliminate less desirable options. Eventually – through the process of elimination – the best options emerge.

I asked John Maxwell how he made choices in a world full of options. He told me about the hatchet committee.

Maxwell in his own words (1:44): 

If you can’t say “no,”, form a hatchet committee. Gather some tough-minded advisers, who don’t have a dog in the fight, and ask them which options are least desirable.

Don’t keep all your options open. Sometimes it’s easier to figure out what you don’t want to do.

A good “no” often reveals a great “yes.”

Tom Peters said, “What you decide not to do is probably more important that what you decide

to do.”

Power of no:

A good no…

  1. Narrows focus.
  2. Eliminates waste.
  3. Maximizes energy.
  4. Clarifies results.

Deciding what to do is easier if you decide what not to do, first.

Stop and chop before you go and grow.

Today’s decision-making tip is, “Learn to eliminate options. If it’s difficult to say “no” on your own, form a hatchet committee.

How has the power of “no” helped you?

What decision-making tips for choosing between several options can you add?

Read John Maxwell’s latest book: “Good Leaders Ask Great Questions: Your Foundation for Successful Leadership.”