Early in my career I began noticing a troubling trend. Many of my colleagues appeared dead set against virtually every new opportunity they encountered. The reasons for their reluctance included:
I’m too busy to consider any new opportunities now, regardless how good they might be.
I know someone who tried that once and it didn’t work out well for them.
If I took advantage of this opportunity, someone would expect me to learn new skills or do things differently.
There are just too many unknowns at this point. I prefer to wait until there’s no risk involved.
Repeatedly, I watched capable, talented individuals forgo opportunities that would have allowed them much personal growth and enrichment. It got my attention and revealed a life-changing discovery: Leaders say “yes” to success.
In Leaders Ought To Know: 11 Ground Rules for Common Sense Leadership, I detail how saying “yes” can be a commonsense opportunity to jump start our leadership success journey:
• Saying “yes” represents a conscious and intentional starting point. It has been said that “a thousand mile journey begins with a single step.” Agreeing to begin is the first step in that process.
• Upon saying “yes,” more will be expected of us. Count on it. So the impetus will be present to respond to and deliver on those expectations. Expectations, specific outcomes and deadlines can all drive us to a higher level of performance, leading to even more opportunities.
• Saying “yes” catapults us into a whole new strata of high performing individuals. Instead of hiding out at the water cooler offering lame excuses for why now is not a good time to get involved, we are in the game, interacting with others who are committed to making good things happen instead of waiting to see the good others make happen.
For me, I’ve discovered success is essentially an equation: Success equals choices. As a leader, I consciously look for a reason to say “yes” knowing yes will lead to more choices. How about you — are you willing to say “yes” to those choices for success awaiting you?
For an effective way to evaluate when to say “yes,” check out Chapter 11 in Leaders Ought To Know: 11 Ground Rules for Common Sense Leadership.
Phillip Van Hooser
Leadership Expert, Keynote Speaker
Author of Leaders Ought to Know: 11 Ground Rules for Common Sense Leadership