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How true this is… When we suffer overwhelm or feelings of not being able to get the important stuff done, it’s so often the results of jumping in and saying yes too quickly.

Although Josh Billings (the nom-de-plume of Henry Wheeler Shaw) was known as a humourist in the 19th Century, he was really using humour in his writings and lectures to make important points, such as this.

As Jack Canfield tells us, if you want to achieve your goals you simply cannot say “yes” to everything you’re asked to do, and will sometimes even have to say “no” to some good ideas and opportunities in order to retain your energy for the great ones.

Too often, leaders find themselves saying “Yes” as it seems a quicker solution than showing the person asking how to do the job themselves. And so they get into a spiral of not delegating, but doing more and more themselves.

When one of your team asks you to do something, think about it. Is what they’re asking within the range of their OKRs / responsibilities? How does it fit within your culture of accountability? Is it a learning opportunity for them?

Remember, one of the biggest CEO mistakes is that of Centrality – controlling all decisions, believing they can do any task better than anyone else, and so on. And the temptation (#2 in this list), all too common among CEOs, of choosing popularity over accountability – believing that by saying “Yes” they will be more popular.

So, the next time you’re asked to do something, take some time to consider whether it will move you towards your personal and/or company goals, or whether it should more correctly be given to somebody else.



I work with successful owner-led businesses to enhance their growth, profitability, cash flow and business value.

If you’d like to have a conversation about your business, its culture and team dynamics, or any other business challenges or concerns, book a free 30-minute call with me here. I’d be delighted to talk with you.


#BusinessFitness #Accountability #Attitude #CEO #Culture #Disruption #Focus #GoalSetting #Leadership #Learning #Overwhelm #People #Productivity #Teams #WorkLifeBalance #QOTW


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