It is only by saying No that you can concentrate on the things that are really important. – Steve Jobs
I used to be really good at getting people to like me. I was Mr. ‘get it done’ and was very agreeable. The dark side of that is that is also involved never saying No to people.
It was easy, since I was so very effective. I learned the lesson ‘the customer is always right’ very early on, as I started my career in customer service Having the People Pleaser archetype can make one effective very early on – it generates a lot of motivation to please others, and thus you learn the skills necessary to ‘do a good job’.
When you are doing a good job
Very quickly what happens is that you get known for doing a good job. Leaders, managers, and people who have become effective at leading organizations are always on the lookout for people with this skill, and the People Pleaser archetype.
I got known as the guy who got sh*t done, and it launched my career into the stratosphere. I was a Solutions Architect, leading large cross-functional programs of people before the age of 30.
But did the skills that got me there, serve me once there? Not a chance.
People Pleasing comes at a cost. Not learning to say No can cost you dearly.
Before I knew it, I had competing demands for time, resources, and concepts. If I kept saying yes to all the people I was serving, it would have very drastic consequences.
I was architecting the Next Generation of 911 systems, and it was going to be the pioneer system for all of Canada. So you can imagine that there were a lot of competing desires technically, and politically.
Saying Yes to everyone almost lead to complete disaster in the first year. Things dragged on and on, decisions couldn’t get made because there was never a situation where everyone could be happy.
I had to learn to say No to certain people, at certain times.
I had to learn how to have my own vision, my own truth.
And I had to take everyone on the journey towards that vision, with me.
Why not come with me now, and learn to say No, paint a vision for others, and bring them on the journey WITH you?