How to Effectively Wield the Power of “No”

by | Nov 2, 2020


After working with hundreds of entrepreneurs I have seen many patterns emerge that distinguish the ever striving but never succeeding entrepreneur from the truly great ones. One of the key differences is the ability to say “No”. I know, we are supposed to be the generation of leaders who are open to new ideas and empower our people to self-manage… but without clear direction and rigorous adherence to the all-consuming “Yes” of our company our employees will never be free to dream big or lead.
Let me list out just a few of the areas it is essential to wield the power of “No”.

Opportunity knocks

“No” to that new business idea that you can just run on the side until it gets legs. If you were to take that same time (whether yours or your employee’s) and money and invest it in your current business what difference could you make? I am not suggesting you close your eyes and ears to opportunities, just to the ones that are not in line with your vision. Be intentional about the new businesses you incubate and let your team back the decision. It is their resources you are pulling.

Top Rated Sales Executive

“No” to that extremely talented and successful sales candidate who almost fits your culture. I don’t care if he/she is a top producer. If they cause unhealthy turf wars, mistrust, or an unwanted class system in the company, their added productivity will be more than offset by the overall team’s dysfunction.

Large but burdensome client

“No” to that client that makes up 10% of your revenues but uses 30% of your time, half of your mind space and all of your teams patience. There comes a time to fire some of your clients. What could your team do with the extra energy and time when the sap on their attention and joy is returned to them? Imagine replacing them with four clients that energize your team and love the offerings you currently have instead of always griping and driving down your prices and margins.

There are many more things to say “No” to as you grow your company but the courage to do it will only come when you are crystal clear about your Vision and the resounding “Yes!” that that Vision inspires. If your vision isn’t that clear, that loud, that compelling, then connect with us and we can show you how hundreds of other companies have discovered theirs.


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