Young Leader // Forget The Practice of Saying No

Well, not completely. Here’s what I mean…

There’s a lesson many leaders and people in general get told that goes something like, “You’ve gotta learn to say no.”

I understand the sentiment behind that statement and it’s certainly a good practice in some cases… In a few cases. Sometimes, we have to say no to people in order to avoid burning our candle at both ends and burning out at a young age.

Sometimes, we have to say no to protect our time with our families and in order to concentrate on what’s most important. We have to say no on occasion, no matter who we are.


We should probably say yes more often.

You see, in saying “yes,” we get to experience new things and go to new places. When we say yes, we get to know people in new ways and impact people in larger measures. Every “no” we give someone when we’re asked to go somewhere or do something is a missed opportunity to grow ourselves and learn from the people around us.

If you’re asked to do something, go somewhere, to try something new, try to say, “yes.” Try to find a reason and a way to do it rather than looking for a reason to say “no.”

Just a thought. Your thoughts?


  1. Hal Baird

    One of the hardest lessons I had to learn was to say “No”. I’ve always been one of those people who, when asked, will take on a task (committee, new music group, announcing, etc.). It’s only been the last year or so when I realized I can’t burn the candle at both ends and be of help to everyone. It is still tough to do, but I am learning the skill.

  2. I think the issue of saying “yes” or “no” more often is really about the motive. Do we say “yes” because we are striving to please people, or because we want to serve in love? Do we say “no” because we are lazy and indifferent, or because we do need to refocus?

    1. Great point, Joey. Guilty of the whole pleasing people thing myself. Sometimes, it’s okay to do things to please someone, but if that’s always the motive, it’s a problem for sure. Thanks!

  3. As a leader your yes and no means so much more. While we cannot (and should not) say yes to everything maybe we should always be on the look out for more of those once in a lifetime opportunities and which will inspire others. I know I am guilty of saying no because I was afraid or overwhelmed. Thanks for challenging my thoughts on this.


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