There is a weapon of choice that is radically more effective than any other device for creating time and energy; it is one simple word, no. This word is not used enough, and when people try to use it, they often translate into fluffy, subjective, and confusing words and phrases, such as perhaps, not right now, and let me think about it. The word no is much more effective, and it should be used on a daily basis. This is the area where I see too many leaders being far too thoughtful when they need to be more ruthless and just say no.
I was speaking to a group of executives at Google’s Headquarters a couple of months ago, and I asked them what was the greatest barrier to accelerating their growth and they said “We say yes far too often.” It is typical when a company is in high growth, when there are endless ideas for breakthrough technology, radical new ideas, or disruptive ideas for your customers. But that is the very precise time you have to know how to say no. I let the Google executives know that one of the chapters of my book Thoughtfully Ruthless: The Key to Exponential Growth, Wiley, April 2016, was called The Power of No and I immediately lost my audience. No one was paying attention as they were all flipping through my book in front of them. “Page 64 is perfect!” one of them shouted, and they all flipped to it. “This is just what we need, the precise words to help us say no.”
You can download the Thirty Ways to Say No here.
Try this: track how many things you say no to over the next five days and note how much time and energy you save.
Dedicated to growing your business,