Creative Leadership

Start Identifying the “No” People in Your Life

There are a lot of gatekeepers in life (many self-proclaimed) who’s job it is to tell you a big fat “no.”  Small minded managers, insecure bosses, human resources people, and even narrow-minded family members.  Most “no” people have taken the job because they don’t know how to inspire or motivate people – so they figure they might as well be good at something – and saying no is pretty easy to do.

The challenge for you is to know which “no” people to listen to and which ones to ignore.  I got a speeding ticket the other day and decided the cop was a “no” person I should probably listen to.  However, a former business associate who was always full of reasons we couldn’t land a client, or the friend who told me why I shouldn’t waste my time writing books, or the college professors who liked tenure more than risking it all for a great cause – are all people I’ve chosen to ignore.

Learn priorities –  what’s important to you and what isn’t.  Once you’ve got that figured out, you’ll be surprised how easy it is to say “no” to no people.

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  1. Very good and valuable observations.

    As a friend and very successful colleague in the entertainment business told me a long time ago, “Being told ‘No” only means that you’re not talking to the right person.”

  2. OK Phil, how? How to you tell who’s no to listen to? What if I spend my life trying to break into show-biz and I should have been a carpenter?

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