To be a good leader, start by saying no

I don’t like to say no. In fact, one of our new team members at Sideways8 has taken to calling me the “yes” man and my business partner as the “no” man. I love to say yes because I’m a people pleaser by nature and I want people to like me. But, saying yes is destructive.

If I say yes to everything, all of my time fills up, I end up working on the wrong things, and what is most important takes a back seat. If I say yes to every meeting, every call, I will miss the important meetings, or worse, the family meetings. If I say yes to everything my team asks of me, I will lose focus on what I can do that actually grows the company and get lost in the details of their work.

I realize that good leadership, the leadership that defines you, starts with what you say no to. There are a million good things I can be doing, but I need to say no to all of them so that I can say yes to the best things, the things that matter, the things that bring growth.

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