The power of No

150px-Stop-hand_731 The only way to grow a business, to reach a goal or to make something
important happen is to say 'Yes'. 'Yes' is one of the most powerful,
affirming words in our vocabulary. Everything that comes into being is
as a direct result of someone saying to themselves, 'Yes' they want
that to happen. And then it does.

We all like being near and working with people who say 'Yes' and who make stuff happen. It's contagious.

there is also power in 'No'. And this is one which far fewer of us
wield correctly. Sure there are lots of naysayers who will explain in
graphic detail why something can't be done. I'm not talking about them.
They cast a negative vibe which none of us needs in our lives. I mean
the power of an affirmative 'No', if that's not an oxymoron. Saying
'No' to the minor, trivial stuff which distracts us from our greater
goals and mission is an essential, and often under-used skill.

'Yes' to everything indiscriminately doesn't help you and is unfair to
your team. You only have so much time and energy. Both are finite. It's
up to you where you allocate those resources. Saying 'Yes' to the
non-essentials is easy at the time. It feels good to commit, to help
people and to see the smile on their face. But only if you are able to
deliver, otherwise you are eroding that trust and letting your team,
and yourself down. You'll get snowed under a weight of peripheral
actions which prevent you making the big stuff happen.

You have
to say 'No' to the minor things so you can say 'Yes' to what matters.
In fact, individuals and organizations are often defined as much by
what they decide not to do as by what they say 'Yes' to.

So next
time someone asks you to do something, think about your goals. What's
important? What can you and you alone deliver? How does this request
fit within that framework? And if it doesn't, then simply say 'No' to
it. If you explain why, you'll probably be amazed at how understanding
people can be. If it's important, the task will get done. If you're not
confident in saying 'No', then practice in declining a few minor tasks.
Perhaps it's just proof-reading an email for someone else, or assisting
with the admin. You're not being mean or unhelpful – you're saying
'No' to this so you can say 'Yes' to something more important. And over
time, that will help you say 'Yes' to the things which really matter.