The BIG YES Accelerates Leadership
Warren Buffett said, “The difference between successful people and very successful people is that very successful people say ‘no’ to almost everything.” But there is a danger.
Saying no is a dead-end when you don’t have a BIG YES.
People who fight-against end up empty unless they have something to fight for. Don’t-want is energizing but dissatisfying unless you have a compelling do-want.
Know what you want before fighting what you don’t want.
“The art of leadership is saying no, not yes. It’s very easy to say yes.” Tony Blair
I’m tired of people saying, “I need to learn to say no.” What’s your BIG YES? One BIG YES enables a thousand nos.
You can’t say no because you’re saying yes to the wrong things.
Things you don’t want motivate change, but they’re never enough. What’s your BIG YES? Leaders worth following might begin with fighting-against, but they always focus on fighting-for.
Don’t-want leaders fight against.
It’s easier to fight what you don’t want than to pursue what you want.
The next time an angry person comes to you with a complaint, ask them, “What do you want?” They’ll tell you what they don’t want.
A don’t-want life is energizing, but dissatisfying. It’s exciting to fight against. Enemies energize, but don’t-want is a dead-end if you don’t have a BIG YES.
Fighting-against is fueled by:
- Feeling superior.
- Tearing down.
Leaders who fight-against are always disturbed, offended, or angry about something.
Fighting-for is fueled by:
- Seeking to serve.
Think clearly because a BIG YES calls for commitment.
What’s your BIG YES?
If you’re curious:
Saying Yes is Harder than Saying No
The Ability to Say NO is the Power to do What Matters
Say Yes + Other Tips for Accelerating Your Career
…what a great, crystalizing juxtaposition of the ‘yes’ versus ‘no’ mentality. Very nicely done!!
Thanks Gerry. Much appreciated.
In many organisations, the things they will “fight for” only exists on the poster in reception, but the things they will “fight against” are in the organisational DNA…
That’s the truth Mitch. Fighting against is easier than fighting for. When fighting against is the main thing we do, we’ve taken the easy way. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
“You can’t say no because you’re saying yes to the wrong things” speaks to me. I have struggled with this for most of my life.
Thanks Jackie. Sometimes a sincere desire to be helpful motivates us to say yes to the wrong things. The longer we say yes to the wrong things the more ineffective we become.
Knowing your “Big Yes” gives you:
–energy and enthusiasm
–clarity and conviction
–the ability to no to all your “Little Yeses”
Thanks Paul. If you want to be able to say no, say Yes to something that forces you to rule other things out.
“A don’t-want life is energizing, but dissatisfying. It’s exciting to fight against. Enemies energize, but don’t-want is a dead-end if you don’t have a BIG YES.” I hear you. I agree with you. Why is this SO HARD? We’ve been brainwashed for so long to say yes…
Thanks Bardohn. Like it or not, bad is stronger than good. When something bad happens you think about it more frequently, with greater intensity, and more clearly, than when something good happens. It’s human nature. It’s also the reason a positive leader is so valuable. Cheers.
This is my absolute favorite post of the year. So far. I don’t want to limit your potential, Dan.
Thanks Jackie. It’s always a pleasure to be of service. Thanks for the good word.
Hi Dan, clear, concise, timely, and so immediately applicable. It has never been enough to be against something, you must be for something. There is the old adage “If you don’t stand for something you will fall for anything.” I think that in this day and age there are a lot people that are against a lot of somethings, but when pressed to declare what they are for and have it meet the criteria you listed they would be severely challenged. I personally will be printing this off to reflect on as there is a lot to meditate on in here. Thank you for these thought, and action provoking articles.
Thanks Gene. I hadn’t thought about the “stand for” statement. That explains why a lot of us are wasting time and energy doing things that don’t matter.
I’m intrigued by the interplay of the Adam Grant’s Give and Take, a guy like Mark Miller who posts his cel phone on everything he writes and tells people to call him, the power of serendipity, and the reality that if you say yes to everything, you’re also saying no to some things,