Leadership Tip Of The Day
Leadership practitioner Dr. William Cummings brings tips to Eyewitness News USA every Monday and Wednesday. This Wednesday, he shared a personal experience to illustrate why it’s not only okay to be a “yes man”; it’s an essential ingredient of good leadership.
Here are Dr. C.’s comments:
“When I was fifteen years old, I delivered groceries on my bicycle for Whipple Grocery Store in Chicago. One morning, when I walked up the steps to my first customer of the day, she asked me to go back to the store and get her some milk. I said, ‘No, I can’t do that; I’ve got five more deliveries.’
“When I finished the day’s deliveries and returned to the store, the owner fired me. He said: ‘You never say no to a customer; you always say yes, and then you figure out how you’re going to do it.’ That’s what leaders do.
“If I want to be a leader, I need to develop a yes attitude. E-mails, phone calls, one-on-ones, staff meetings: every communication needs to be full of yeses. Saying yes means saying yes to my life as it exists today; saying yes to people who surround me; saying yes to all the challenges and surprises that come my way each day.
“I have to say no to drugs, no to evil, and no to taking revenge. But in a very real sense, those no’s are really yes to my value system.
“Every leader I have ever known was a yes person. You can be a leader too, if you want to.”