Many leaders love to say yes. But we need to love no much more. Completing 8 for 8 projects is better than completely 8 for 10.
Everyone’s bandwidth is different in terms of their capacity to take on and execute their commitments with excellence. If you find yourself in the mess of overcommitting and underdelivering, consider exercising uncharacteristic restraint the next time you’re approached by a colleague, friend, or family member. They may be unwittingly attempting to move you past your breaking point.
Our capacity to do is always more than our capacity to do with excellence. No reasonable person can resist a response like: “I truly would love to be a part of that, but I’m so cognizant of not wanting to disappoint you and others I’ve already committed to that I’ll have to decline. If something changes with my current level of commitments, I’ll surely reach out to you. Thank you so much for your trust in me.”
The shorthand version of this is, “Let me get back to you on that.”
What makes saying no so difficult for some of us?