I hate disappointing people. Every time I say the word “No”, someone isn’t happy with my answer. Yet, the reality is there are good reasons for a leader to use the word. It is not the dirty word many leaders have made it to be.
There are so many requests on a leader’s time. I’m using examples here of ones I receive frequently.
“Can you officiate a wedding – this weekend?”
“Will you write a guest post for my blog?”
“Can we have lunch/dinner this week?”
“Will you mentor me?”
“Can I have an hour of your time – today?”
They are all legitimate questions. Usually there is nothing wrong with any of them as questions. And many times, I say yes to questions such as this. Many times. But sometimes I don’t say yes. I say no. And I personally think it’s one secret to my success in ministry and leadership.
This article is to explain why there are good reasons to say no. I’d love for some of my friends who know they can’t seem to say no to be inspired, encouraged, and challenged to use the word more. In leadership, even though it is an unpopular word, it may be one of the most valuable words we use.
The fact is I get far more requests for my time than I could ever accommodate. Ever. There’s only one of me. One is not enough for the number of requests I receive.
So, I had no choice but to learn the power of saying no. Believe me, I’m still learning. Sometimes I do better than other times. It requires discipline.
Learning the power of the word “no” also means taking the heat at times from the ones who disagree with my answer. I’ve learned, however, that my failure to say no costs me far more than developing a discipline to not always say yes.
7 Good Reasons to Say NO:
1. Your family.
We once had our then 87-year-old Pastor Emeritus talk to our staff. He has since passed away but served at the church 25 years before he retired. While there he admitted the way ministry is done has changed over the years, but one thing he wish he had known then and would encourages all of us still in ministry to do is to “protect the family.” He also said, looking back, it might have been more important than anything else he did in ministry. Golden wisdom!
2. Your work.
One one the good reasons to say no is you can’t do everything and do everything well. You may think you can – and others may think you should, but you can’t. Expectations, whether personal or placed upon us, do not dictate ability. Your efficiency depends on your ability to prioritize.