I have a serious problem with saying “no”, specially when it’s something that I think might impact the world in a big manner. Over time this had led to an unhealthy lifestyle, with way too many all-nighters, and not enough family time. On my defense, “yes” to a lot of things does encourage innovation.
It’s equally as important to learn how to say “no” in order to keep teams focused, functional, and productive. Saying “yes” isn’t always a luxury that you can afford, and finding that middle ground can be among the most difficult, but important, lessons to learn.
I found out that I’m a bit of a “try-it-and-see-what-happens” decision maker. Which, in of itself, is a not bad thing. But I have to constantly think about why I’m doing this-or-that, and what I should turn away.
But saying “yes” too often has its drawbacks, too, especially when there are lack the resources. A healthy dose of curiosity is essential, but one can’t lose sight of their life’s purpose and goal.
Today’s recommended reading is very interesting, as it contrasts someone who says “yes” too much, with someone who was know to say “no”.
Steve Jobs famously filtered out what he called distractions, those projects that were outside of the company’s core focus. (He famously advised Google CEO Larry Page on product strategy, saying, “What are the five products you want to focus on? Get rid of the rest, because they’re dragging you down.”)
I am working hard to find a good in-between point. I want to be able to focus on one thing, and say “no” to everything else, but also be flexible to have the discipline to evaluate, re-evaluate, and make sure I’m having fun and heading in the right direction.