Weekly Rant - The Most Important Leadership Word is ____

Weekly Rant - The most important leadership word is ______

Created by Chet Gladkowski at 11 Mar 2013 @ 13:49

Rory McIlrory walked off the course in the middle of the Honda Classic the other week. Sometimes it might feel like you need to "walk away" from something. Here are 4 suggestions and the most important leadership word.

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Thanks Sam - really appreciate the feedback and encouragement. Next week's RANT - Why One Question is Never Enough. Have a great week - Chet
Alex - one of my early mentors told me "if your're going to 'borrow'- borrow from the best." Not certain about the overall morality of it, but this is an open forum where we all contribute, learn and (hopefully) take away. We are honored and happy that this prods thinking. Have a great morning - Chet
Thought provoking discussion, and good rant Chet. I think Piet nailed it.
This is a GREAT thread - all thought provoking comments. Piet - welcome to the community and excellent comments. If you don't mind, I may steal your analogy on strategy!
Piet - thanks for writing and sharing your journey. It is an honor to do the "RANTS" (which by the way when I say "yes" to doing them, I also say "no" to doing other things as I don't have unlimited time, energy or resources.) As you say, having the goal does not make us immune from distractions, detours or delays. Have a great week - Chet
A thought that struck me as I was reading this thread: I once read somewhere that "strategy is a process of denial." This always rung true to me; sadly, I can't remember who said or wrote it. As I listened to your video and read the comments, I was able to expand on that thought. In business there are many things we can do. Countless things. Innumerable. Our strategy helps us to say "no" to those that are wrong. But, when do we say: "Yes"? We say yes when a TACTICAL opportunity presents itself which benefits the business but has no strategic impact. It does not change our strategy, but it is a good thing. So, our strategy is not like driving our car towards the steeple that we see in the distance, ignoring the boulders and ravines in our way, or the fuel guage that reads "empty". Our strategy is like driving at night, with a map to help us at the crossroads, but otherwise watching out for the road markers on the side, we don't want to cross over to the other side of them, we say "no". Every once in a while we are presented with a straight, well-lit stretch of road, and we can speed up. Or a filling station where we can refuel. That is saying, "yes". Thank you for helping me with this.
FYI - I just got a LinkedIn email/notification with "NO!" as the subject (I kid you not). It really got my attention.
Thanks Melinda - I worked for a high tech company and we made lots of "fast" decisions, but fast should not automatically translate into "yes." The idea of saying "Yes" and then making a fast recovery can be a good approach so long as saying "no" is an acceptable choice while in recovery mode. Today, working for myself. I always tell prospects that the goal of our first conversation is to quickly get to yes or no about a next step. And "no" is a great answer for us both. When was the last time you saw a demo/sales presentation when someone said "No" to a question? A good "No" is a great answer and people appreciate it. Also, a good "No" adds value to all the "Yes" statements. Make sense? Thanks and have a great week - Chet
Arthur - very interesting insight and conclusion. I wonder if saying "No" is far more important to smaller companies. With less resources, the drive for revenue might dilute their focus and take them into areas that waste precious resources (people, time, money.) As a small business owner myself, the "addiction" to say Yes to things that are not in my wheelhouse is ever present so I completely understand. It's a difficult balancing act. Thanks again - Chet
I agree with the company size & culture comment. My husband's tech business always talks about making mistakes "fast" and being good at recovery, vs. wasting a lot of time trying to plan for all the possible outcomes. My business is just the opposite - conservative, slow, careful, plodding. I think our cultures and size dictate to wisdom in saying yes.
Saying"Yes" is far more important to small businesses struggling to survive, and far more dangerous to large businesses that turn like battleships. Small business can change course quickly, and if they don't like the direction, change back quickly. So I agree with the premise but suggest that the size and culture of the organization have a lot to do with how often you should say "yes".
Thanks Randall - yes, it's an industry and cultural phenomena, there are so many interconnections (data, systems, procedural, workflow, inter-personal, etc.) that it does make it hard to get things done. In his writings, Robert Merton popularized the "law of unintended consequences" as well as the "self-fulling prophecy." While I agree that larger organizations/organisms can have a greater problem, smaller ones can also be tied up in knots. Delegation/distribution of responsibility is key here. For example, Physicians thought that the brain controlled walking but recent research shows that while the brain says "walk" that the details for how to walk are actually saved much closer to our legs. There is much to learn and "chew" on here.
Thanks Jeff for being so open and transparent about saying "yes" too much. This was a big and long-standing area for me because I want people to "like" me, so I tend to tell them what I think they want to hear (i.e. yes.) With some mentoring and strategies, I've been able to say "yes" when I need to.
Liked your suggestion that leaders need to be good at saying "no" more often than yes when it comes to decisions that impact the companies strategies/resources. I tend to suffer from that ailment (saying yes too much).
Plenty of great stuff here to ponder Chet. I love the comment about "sidebar proliferation" and the domino effect - I found that to be right on the money! It is such a double-sided issue. On the one hand, if you don't pay attention to side bar issues you get a lesson in the "law of unintended consequences". On the other hand, I have found that the bigger your organization gets, the more people fret/stress over the domino effect, and the harder it becomes to get anything done that falls outside of the current "plan". Interested to hear what others think about these issues...
Title Weekly Rant - The Most Important Leadership Word is ____
Creator Chet Gladkowski
ML ID 10296
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Created 11 Mar 2013
Updated 01 Sep 2014