Leadership On the Go: Saying No

So, the first blog of the year comes eighteen days after the fact….

There are all sorts of leadership blogs, breakout sessions and books devoted to the art of saying, no. Most leaders will advise people to say, no every once in a while, in order to be more effective. However, in this short blog/thought, I would like to pose a different perspective on the matter. Imagine if you were a leader trying to accomplish a given task, and all you hear is, no… Now, imagine that you were the staff or someone directly involved with the task and all you heard from the leader was, no…


I do not mind the answer, no, if it is required. But I do mind the answer if it is not backed up with another option or directive. Leaders, instead of saying, no to subordinates or requests from others, give guidance and options. Example: Someone asks you to be the lead on a particular task, while you are knee deep in another. Instead of quickly answering, no, give an option along with the response. Example: That project sounds great, however I am heading up another assignment at the moment, how about ________________ (fill in the blank). Hopefully you get the point. Instead of saying no like a broken record, give options, solutions and guidance in order for others to accomplish the overall mission.

Hopefully this did not come off as a ramble.

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