Bring it on!
Early in a career or business, we tend to say yes to every thing. Yes to every project, meeting, client or opportunity. Yes is the magical word that builds each step in our credibility ladder to success. A leader shows his or her ability to handle the load by responding with one word — “yes”.
A “yes” to everything is an overcommitted mind and quick route to diluted energy.
“Yes” ability? Sounds need-oriented or knee-jerked. What about strategy? There’s no time to be strategic. Out goes creative innovation and, without it, your value may be short lived.
I invite you to look at your internal springboard before “yes” leaps from your lips onto the next project or new client. Stop, breathe, and ask yourself two important questions.
“Do you know where’re you going to? DO you like the things that life is showing you? Where are you going to? Do you know” — lyrics from Mahogany
Walking out into the street while focused on tweeting or IG can be a short-lived experience. Driving without thinking can lead you somewhere you never intended. “Yes” without knowing why could be harmful or helpful. The only way to know is to stop and consider. Perhaps this is the time to see why you say “yes” and what you’re saying “yes” to.
Take in oxygen. Let your body listen to itself. What is your soul’s breath telling you? We often ignore the language of the very being that supports us — our bodies. Your body is always speaking but we are not necessarily listening. Notice your shoulders, your temples, your hands — your posture. Tightly drawn shoulders or clenched hands could mean excitement or anxiety. Please don’t keep running on “yes” fuel. By now could be “yes” fumes, but we’re on superhuman autopilot.
Pay attention to what is being said versus what you’re hearing. Did you hear promotion when you’re really being asked to take up the slack? What is your environment showing you? Are you reacting to being asked or the opportunity? It may not be the person asking or the new opportunity but the thrill from a need to be accepted or included.
What is the impact of the opportunity? This great new opportunity may be the very door to the break you have been working towards! It may keep you up late hours or away from family. A yes will get you in. Once you’re in, will it be worth occupying the space? Some things we may not know until we have the experience. Taking time to consider the outcomes can help prepare you to manage the possibilities.
Am I being the kind of leader I desire to be? Take your mind back to what makes you — you…your purpose for being part of this world. Reconnecting with who we are at the core can redirect us our authenticity and intention. Do you need to always say “Yes” to be a leader? If so – how does it feel to be a “yes” man or a “yes” woman? An individual focused on “yes-ing” to the top, and not the value of the journey, may arrive to a place no one wants to follow. A leader can not say yes to everything. She or he realizes “yes” is a commitment to what she or he believes and honors.
“Sometimes you should say no, so that you don’t spend the years to
come regretting why you said yes at that time.” — Gift Guga Mona
If there is a “yes” to be said, let it be a “yes” that follows your values, your intentions, and frees you for living this adventure. A “yes” towards showing up in self-awareness and authenticity. Now you can respond from a place of responsible leadership.