How saying NO can make you better leader? #57 Mentorship Lessons

I am a sales manager that leads a team that is 20+ motivated sales professionals.

I lead and manage. I interview. I train. I do sales reports. I conduct sales meetings. I answer emails. I develop and coach others who want to get to the next level. I help others create a road map for their careers. I do service calls. Just to name a few things.

When people talk to me about what I do, they often talk about the rejection sales people encounter vs the victories in helping and being a valuable resource to others.

Is that the hardest part of my job? Helping others deal with rejection? No! The hardest part of my job is saying no. Not just saying no when someone asks me to do something they are fully capable of doing. But saying no to myself and limiting the amount of work I do. You can relate I am sure; leadership is not a finite task.

At the end of the day work follows us in many forms ranging from smart phones etc. There is always more to be done. No matter that how much you have done in given day or week or month.

  1. You can always answer another email.
  2. You can always spend more time analyzing reports
  3. You can always spend more time organizing files
  4. You can always spend more time reading and learning.
  5. You can always do more.

There is a great satisfaction that comes with knowing that tasks have been completed. And for a lot of us, it is unnerving to know that things are not finished. But that is the nature of being a leader.

If there is one lesson, I have learned is that there comes a point we have to stop. There comes a point when saying NO is more important than saying YES.  Recently I read a book called Essentialism. It talks about asking yourself, “what is the trade-off?”  For a lot of leaders, the first thing to go out the window is self-care: being rested, spending time with family, alone time to regroup. Next to go is often the little things behind the closed doors, self-development.

And the eventual trade off of not saying no…BURNOUT!

That nagging voice in our head says that if only I could work a couple more hours, then my work will improve, the numbers will grow. Sure it can happen temporarily, but it’s not sustainable.

So if you are at point where being a leader is losing its luster and you feel like work never stops. Ask yourself how NO can be the biggest step in being a better leader.

One of my initial biggest challenges in my role was finding other leaders, this is when my mentor said to me, “Are you surprised that you can’t find leaders? Why would anyone want to duplicate 80 hours a week? Then it hit me. My issue wasn’t working. My issue was saying NO! No to me!

Here are 4 ways to learn to say no.

  1. Set limits- Set limits for emails. Set limits for extra work. I have learned my staff respects me more because I am willing to say no.
  2. Ask yourself, what is the trade off? By continuing down the path you are heading what is the trade off? Less family time. Your health.
  3. Schedule “you time- Steve Jobs, Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates all scheduled ME time. Time to think. Time to unwind. A healthy leader is stronger leader than a tired leader.
  4. Care about others-If you see someone else that has an issue saying no. Tell them no. Rather than get sucked into their world. Stop the rat race. Encourage them to take care of themselves.

Saying no has become a life changer for me over the past years! The saying less is more is right on. I have accomplished more in less time. Happier staff. Happier life!

Are you wondering the impact of NOT saying no is having on your life? Take the Energy Audit.

“When you say “It’s hard”, it actually means “I’m not strong enough to fight for it”. Stop saying it’s hard. Think positive!” – Unknown

Equip, Educate, Empower, and Encourage others to become better leaders!

Tony Jalan

Thank you so much for reading!   Thank you for your follows, your views, your shares, your likes(the thumb) and comments. The journey is just beginning.

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  1. Mckeown, Greg(author). Essentialism, The Discipline Pursuit of Less
  2. Schwartz, Tony (author). Be Excellent at Anything, The Four Keys to Transforming the Way We Work and Live

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