Great Leaders Have To Say NO So They Can Focus On The Right YES

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Leadership Principle: Great Leaders Have To Say ”NO” So They Can Focus On The Right “YES.”

Here is the thing about effectiveness – when people see that you are competent at doing things, they’re going to ask you to do more things. 

Congratulations! You’re effective. 

BUT – it is likely that no one else is clear on just HOW busy you are. 

If you’re going to remain spiritually and emotionally healthy, you need to take responsibility for building your schedule and regularly reevaluating your commitments.

You and I will become less effective, and less helpful to God and others when the pace of life is left unchecked, unmanaged, and unconsidered. 

Three things need to change for us to restore ourselves and protect our boundaries:

1. Practice Saying “No”

Sorry – you CAN’T do everything. 

Allowing more and more tasks to be added to the schedule is not only slowing you down and overloading you, but it is also keeping you from doing MORE of the things that only YOU can do (and SHOULD be doing).

You too will need to disappoint people. 

Either you will be a slave to random whims of a thousand people (who usually don’t understand your priorities), or you will get fed up enough to quit allowing others to hamstring your effectiveness.

2. Do Less

Your current set-up/schedule gets you exactly the results you currently have. 

For you to experience greater effectiveness, you will either have to do EVEN MORE (which you can’t do very long) or you will have to do LESS of what matters less.

And doing the latter will require you to build in tighter boundaries.

Try this: 

  • Refine your priorities and build your schedule around those.
  • Commit to fewer things in a particular period of time.
  • Delegate what you can. 
  • Have a few things you do each week that are about replenishing YOU! 

3. MOVE Deadlines That Can Be Renegotiated

Artificial deadlines are powerful tools that keep us progressing and cause work to get done AS LONG AS you can permit yourself to move those deadlines when you need to.

I start every week with about thirty things I’d like to accomplish. Of course, I can’t finish them all, so I decide to finish the six that are truly the most important.

We have to be able to make the audible call that specific deadlines can be moved or reevaluated to see if they need to be done at all. Perhaps the game has changed!

This may mean entirely DROPPING what doesn’t need to happen IN THIS SEASON (this doesn’t mean it’s not important, it just means it will be there to do in another season, and you CAN walk away from it for now).

It may also involve going to a teammate and saying, “Hey – that thing you’re asking for by Tuesday. . . I’m sorry for agreeing to Tuesday. The earliest I can have that done is Friday.”  

Will you disappoint them? Maybe. Maybe they’ll be relieved because they’re insanely busy too!

Even if they are disappointed, unless you literally have the job title of “Never-Disappoint-Anyone-Expert” you have to take care of yourself emotionally (obviously your boss or leader gets the final say but why not at least ask?)

The only one responsible for your schedule is you. That means if it is going to be FIXED, YOU have to fix it.

Leadership Principle: Great Leaders Have To Say ”NO” So They Can Focus On The Right “YES.”

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Posted on November 27, 2018

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