Search
Close this search box.
Search
Close this search box.

Why You Need To Be Positive And Keep Saying Yes

If we allow ourselves to yield to naysayers whose arguments are loud but without merit and against our better judgement, we fail both the enterprise and ourselves.

positiveIt will never work!  It’s a waste of time!  You’re spinning your wheels! I already tried that!  They’ll never go along with that!

These are not exactly the words that inspired entrepreneurs want to hear as they tirelessly pursue their responsibilities, their goals and their livelihood.  I’m not sure what motivates folks to say such things.  They may be repeating what they’ve heard others say, they may be speaking from experience, perhaps they’re trying to protect us from ourselves or maybe they’re just uncomfortable with change. I tend to think it’s more of the latter.  It certainly can be wearing though. After all, it’s usually the entrepreneur taking all the risk and calculated risk is part of any success formula.

Change is inevitable.  Competition comes and goes and customer needs change.  Market demand increases and decreases.  When opportunity presents itself, in any form, whether born from your own creativity, evolved from a competitor’s circumstances, triggered by a change in customer preferences or presented by an entity that stands to profit from your cooperation, beware the naysayers.  Heed your instincts and ‘keep saying yes to the opportunity until you have a good reason to say no!

A few examples: a local furniture store was facing more and more competition from new entrants to its market…mainly larger regional and national companies.  These new entrants were driving prices down and the local store had a choice; meet or beat the lower prices and sacrifice profits or offer customers something so unique that price would be a secondary consideration.  The owner’s extraordinary solution – unheard of at the time…‘buy it today, get it today.’

‘No way that we can make this work,’ ‘we’re not set up for this,’ ‘we don’t have enough storage space,’ ‘we only have two delivery trucks.’  Imagine, that was the blowback from the store’s own employees.  The owner could have folded but didn’t.  Instead, he kept saying ‘yes,’ and sought out resources that were able to help him overcome the obstacles that others feared.  And the postscript, sales (and profits) increased no less than 20% each of the next two years as buyer’s remorse, traditionally experienced due to the lag time between purchase and delivery, was neutralized.

And from my own experience while CEO of a manufacturing company: a major Japanese firm contacted us hoping to end their working arrangement with one of our stateside competitors and to buy our technology as a replacement.  While in Japan as part of a preplanned trip, one of our shareholder directors met the Japanese company’s CEO.  His conclusions were much like those of the naysayers.  ‘We can’t sell our technology,’ ‘we can’t risk having our intellectual property compromised’ and, ‘we can’t even think of shipping our product to Japan – the freight cost would be prohibitive.’  Along with the senior management team, I kept saying ‘yes.’  We invited the executives from the Japanese company to visit us in the states and by the time they left we had a technology licensing agreement, paired with a shared approach to development of products and manufacturing techniques; and…we didn’t sell our technology!  As far as I know this agreement continues in some form to this day, now almost twenty years later.

The point—if in fulfilling our commitment to preserve and enhance the enterprise we allow ourselves to yield to naysayers whose arguments are loud but without merit and against our better judgement, we fail both the enterprise and ourselves.

Lesson learned—it can be lonely at times but be positive and keep saying ‘yes’ until you have a good reason to say no!

Read more: The Skills Of Being A Good Listener


MORE LIKE THIS

  • Get the CEO Briefing

    Sign up today to get weekly access to the latest issues affecting CEOs in every industry
  • upcoming events

    Roundtable

    Strategic Planning Workshop

    1:00 - 5:00 pm

    Over 70% of Executives Surveyed Agree: Many Strategic Planning Efforts Lack Systematic Approach Tips for Enhancing Your Strategic Planning Process

    Executives expressed frustration with their current strategic planning process. Issues include:

    1. Lack of systematic approach (70%)
    2. Laundry lists without prioritization (68%)
    3. Decisions based on personalities rather than facts and information (65%)

     

    Steve Rutan and Denise Harrison have put together an afternoon workshop that will provide the tools you need to address these concerns.  They have worked with hundreds of executives to develop a systematic approach that will enable your team to make better decisions during strategic planning.  Steve and Denise will walk you through exercises for prioritizing your lists and steps that will reset and reinvigorate your process.  This will be a hands-on workshop that will enable you to think about your business as you use the tools that are being presented.  If you are ready for a Strategic Planning tune-up, select this workshop in your registration form.  The additional fee of $695 will be added to your total.

    To sign up, select this option in your registration form. Additional fee of $695 will be added to your total.

    New York, NY: ​​​Chief Executive's Corporate Citizenship Awards 2017

    Women in Leadership Seminar and Peer Discussion

    2:00 - 5:00 pm

    Female leaders face the same issues all leaders do, but they often face additional challenges too. In this peer session, we will facilitate a discussion of best practices and how to overcome common barriers to help women leaders be more effective within and outside their organizations. 

    Limited space available.

    To sign up, select this option in your registration form. Additional fee of $495 will be added to your total.

    Golf Outing

    10:30 - 5:00 pm
    General’s Retreat at Hermitage Golf Course
    Sponsored by UBS

    General’s Retreat, built in 1986 with architect Gary Roger Baird, has been voted the “Best Golf Course in Nashville” and is a “must play” when visiting the Nashville, Tennessee area. With the beautiful setting along the Cumberland River, golfers of all capabilities will thoroughly enjoy the golf, scenery and hospitality.

    The golf outing fee includes transportation to and from the hotel, greens/cart fees, use of practice facilities, and boxed lunch. The bus will leave the hotel at 10:30 am for a noon shotgun start and return to the hotel after the cocktail reception following the completion of the round.

    To sign up, select this option in your registration form. Additional fee of $295 will be added to your total.