Is it yes or no? Umm...maybe.
Is it thumb down or thumb up? Umm… shaky hand.
Is the glass half full or half empty? Hmm... what if I just drink it?
Is it difficult for you to kill an idea or business opportunity? Hell, yes!
One of the values of my old employers was ‘focus’. It’s not a bad word and quite a decent piece of car if you’re into that kind of thing. But focus as a value… It doesn’t make sense until you explain it. When you define it in a way, which allows you to say ‘no’ to something so that you can free your resources to other things it suddenly stands for something big. There’s just one thing with saying nos: we’re wired to say yes and agree instead of saying no and disagree.
“No ‘nos’ leads nowhere.”
As we are living in a chaotic world, where there are endless possibilities emerging around us, it’s crucial to focus on those that allow us to flourish and build business. The only way to do that is to say no to some of the possibilities. I personally think that strategy is more about defining the ‘no-go’ zone than the target area. Unless you have the energy and guts to say “no”, you’ll be going everywhere, which means you will arrive nowhere.
Tony Blair has stated that “the art of leadership is saying ‘no’. It’s very easy to say yes.”. My thought on this is “no, I couldn’t agree any more with him”.
It’s not only business opportunities that are difficult to say no to - think about all the firefighting you are doing every day. You can’t let your business burn down, but you will have to balance your resources between preventing fires starting in the first place and, yet, if they do, putting them out. But when you think about it.. don’t modern buildings have fire alarms and sprinkler systems in place? You think your business is modern and you’re a modern leader? Then why are you still patrolling around by foot like a neighbourhood watch and carrying buckets of water to throw into the flames?
Business is about picking your battles. Pick wisely. Pick the ones you must confront, your must-win battles. Understand that there are fights you want and need to say “no” to. It’s all about knowing what you stand for and how to express it.
Curiosity didn’t kill the cat.. but indecisiveness will.