You know you need to say no to some things. I have an idea about what might be holding you back.
Every day, people want your time, energy, money, expertise… you name it, someone wants it. And as hard as you’ve worked to build your capacity, you know you have a limit. No one has unlimited resources.
At work, if a colleague, client, subordinate or the person you report to comes to you for something, what do you do?
Do you take a beat and give yourself a chance to say no? Or do you instantly start to problem-solve?
Lots of high performers blow past their chance to say no in their rush to put out a fire. They’ll say they aren’t in a position to say no, either because of who asked, or the urgency of their work, or because they are the only person who… you fill in the blank that fits for you.
The truth is, you have the right and responsibility to say no to your colleagues, clients, subordinates, and superiors if that’s what needs to happen.
C-Suite readers, this is especially critical for you because your board pays you to protect and grow the company. To do that, you need to:
In other words – you need to be especially comfortable saying no to people. What’s more, you can’t jump in to rescue the senior staff who aren’t able to say no. If you do, they train their managers to bail their people out. Everyone is weaker for it.
Listen, there’s no shortage of opportunities for you to say yes to people. Trust me. You’ve got mail. It’s up to you to see the opportunities to say no so that you can protect capacity for the things that matter and deliver real value.
What do you need to know about saying no to people at work?
I’m working on an article called Top 3 Things High Performers Need to Know About Saying No. And if there’s interest, I might follow it up with: How to Say No the Right Way.
When you think about what really stopped you from saying no to something or someone this week, or what you think would need to change for you to be more comfortable saying no to people, is there a shift that you think I could help you with? Drop me a line if you have an angle you’d like me to address in the article, or if you want to discuss my consulting and coaching services. Either way, I’m curious to hear what you need to know about saying no. Cheers!
Are you subscribed to my monthly newsletter? Subscribers occasionally get exclusive articles, which is what Top 3 Things High Performers Need to Know About Saying No will be. If you haven’t signed up yet, sign up now so you can get this important article.
There are a number of reasons why only 30% of family businesses survive into the second generation. Jump clients are beating the odds because they learn to manage the unique challenges of business families: family dynamics, succession planning, family governance,
“A family in harmony will prosper in everything.” Chinese Proverb
Successful business families need to balance the financial well-being of the business with the emotional well-being of the family. When I work with family business leaders, I help them leverage the strengths family members bring to the business and firmly establish a framework for the business and the family’s success.Continue reading…
The first thing you need to know about having a high productivity day tomorrow is that it starts with the last thing you do today.
Habit 1: End your day with a plan for the next day.
One of the biggest pits I see busy managers and leaders fall into is that they work to exhaustion and leave the office without setting a plan for what they need to get done the next day.
Starting the day with a plan for what you have to achieve is key to having a highly productive day. That plan can and should be crafted in advance so you can: Continue reading…
Odds are you could be far more effective at work if you didn’t spend quite so much time working.
One tenant of energy management and workplace effectiveness is to take breaks every 90 – 120 minutes. But convincing bright motivated people to take 5 or 6 breaks in a day is no easy task.
In theory, hiring a friend onto your team should be a great idea. You know them. You already trust them. You have mutual respect. Why wouldn’t it work?
The reality is that transitioning a peer-to-peer friendship to a manager-subordinate relationship rarely goes smoothly. Why? Because people don’t create new contracts upfront.
Expectations weigh on all of us. But there are expectations, and expectations.
Managers are busy people, but if you’re non-stop busying yourself with meetings, emails and day to day operations you aren’t really doing what you were hired to do.
You weren’t hired to make the inevitable happen. Continue reading…
Just as a complete breakfast sets you up for the day, starting your work day with a complete plan can set you and your team up to accomplish great things. Ideally, most days you start with a plan.
But when demands are at their peak, people often convince themselves to skip the plan and just dive in.
That got me thinking, what if there was a recipe – a fast and easy to remember checklist – of the leadership ingredients you fundamentally need to best serve your team; a Leadership Smoothie if you will.
Let’s do it.
Take a minute to think about the most important project on your plate. How big does it feel? How much weight does it have? How much time should you devote to it?
Now here’s the big question. What if you only had one hour to do it? That’s it. Just one hour. Gulp.
How would you prepare for the hour? How would you prioritize it? What would you absolutely have to get done? How would you wrap up it up effectively?
In golf, winners dole out fewer strokes than their competitors. In management, the opposite is true.
A “stroke” is a unit of human contact and recognition: a pat on the back, applause, a congratulatory note, a hug, an award, or praise. Continue reading…
If you are like most people I work with, time is scarce right now.
For those of you looking for a quick exercise to wrap up the year and step into 2011, try this. Continue reading…
In every human culture, stories are used to pass down knowledge, history and wisdom. They are used to entertain, inspire and motivate. And they are used to connect people through recognizably similar experiences.
So why don’t more leaders share personal stories?
If you are holding back from sharing stories for any of those reasons, here’s why you need to get over them. Continue reading…
Last month, a colleague came to me with a sad, but all too common story.
A senior member of his team was under-performing and putting a wrench in the works for everyone. My friend was so focused on dealing with the fallout and figuring out how to handle the senior player that he dropped the ball on checking-in with the rest of his team.
Then whamo! During a real week from hell, one of his solid performers – a woman who did a GOOD job and operated quietly under the radar – up and quit, leaving a serious gap in his team. Not surprising. Continue reading…
Chris Obst’ article Inspiring Action with Emotion, published by BCB Communicator magazine is posted here with the permission of the publisher.
In the article Chris explains how effective management comes from both the head and the heart.
Chris Obst’s article Managing in Tough Times, published by BCB Communicator magazine is posted here with the permission of the publisher.
In the article Chris explains how relationships, creative connections and dialogue stimulate opportunities.
Chris Obst is interviewed for the Enterprise magazine article The Dreaded Performance Review. It is posted here with the permission of the publisher.
In the article Chris explains how both the employer and employee should approach performance reviews.
Chris Obst’s article Go Team, published by the BCB Communicator magazine is posted here with the permission of the publisher.
In the article Chris explains how to position and empower teams to deliver their best performance.
When people plan big meetings and corporate events they usually (hopefully) have an objective.
They want to motivate people toward a strategic goal. They want to team-build. They want to educate and energize people. Generally speaking, the people planning meetings want attendees to leave the event ready to DO something.
My summer is off to a great start. I’m up at 6AM watching the World Cup before I start work and I go out with a buddy for lunch to grab a mid day game. Go Germany! I admit to getting swept up in the action.
And last weekend I competed in the infamous Test of Metal mountain bike race with 999 other racers. It is a 67-kilometer cross-country mountain bike race with over 1,200 meters of climbing. The pros complete it in 2.5 – 3 hours. Mortals like me take 4 – 6 or more.
I’ve never trained for anything so hard in my life.
I want to share something l learned from all this about rest and recovery. Continue reading…
You and I are knowledge workers. We use our mental and emotional energy to do the heavy lifting at work.
Leading one-on-one meetings, delivering presentations, analyzing, writing, motivating, coaching – as much as these tasks can feed us, and give us a buzz, they can also drain our mental and emotional energy. Continue reading…