I have a private coaching client that used to say YES to the wrong people or the wrong projects a lot! It got him into all kinds of situations; and once it nearly cost him his business. I was reminded of this recently.
During the closing stages of one of our mastermind style business growth training programmes I began to hear several horror stories about how some of the participants had said yes to things when they should have said no. So, I asked the group the following questions:
- Do you tend to let other people’s priorities become your priority and steal time and energy from you?
- Do you let apparently urgent issues take over your day or diary?
- If so, do they stop or delay you from achieving your goals?
- Do you put you’re the firm’s big priorities behind small demands from others that ruin your business and personal plans?
- Are you always changing your diary to accommodate last minute challenges and requests that continually wipe out your day?
- Are you taking charge of your time or reacting and continually putting out fires or solving other people’s problems?
The comments made would amaze you
Most of the participants felt they were becoming victims, either from their colleagues or their clients. So, I reminded them that successful leaders and team managers need to stay focused on what really matters versus doing the bidding or work for other people. After all the top priority of a business owner, leader or team manager is to:
- Win highly desirable projects, with high margins from loyal, repeat business clients who don’t shop around for cheaper fees and prices.
- Develop & mentor their team in order to build a strong management team.
- Improve the firm’s business structure, systems and processes to increase project effectiveness and profitability.
- Hold everyone accountable for their targets, responsibilities and profit goals.
I found over many years that when we allow ourselves to be regularly interrupted, be asked to allow something that isn’t important or is self-serving, or make decisions for colleagues, your leadership abilities are reduced to almost nothing. Also, everyone is watching and forming an opinion!
So, your company stays stuck at the same level, achieving less than is required. Often you build respect, value and improved results by saying “No!”