April 26, 2022

This Yes


It’s easier to sign up for too much than too little. You do a good job – your team does a good job – you get asked to do more. More jobs, more interesting jobs. And under pressure, the more in that sentence can overwhelm the good in the previous one. You take on too much – quality suffers, deadlines are missed.

Let’s say No. Let’s encourage the kind of realism that asks, if we take on X, what happens to A and P and Z? Let’s make sure we only say Yes with our eyes wide open, knowing what this Yes does to all the earlier Yeses. Let’s be willing to negotiate deadlines rather than accept them, unthinking, obligingly, accommodatingly, without putting them in context of all the other things on our desk. Let’s be honest with ourselves, our team, and those who rely on us.

Skippy strategy: Don’t say yes, unless.