04How often and what do you say "Yes" to at the workplace?
And I do not mean the "Yes, but" or the "I am saying yes, because I need some time to find out plausible reasons to refuse or to show you this will never work". I mean the Yes that truly has a commitment behind it.
Saying "Yes", committing and then delivering is a trait of high performing people. People that are not afraid to go out of their comfort zone and do something new, something extra and often times something seemingly "impossible".
Recently a colleague forwarded to me a brilliant Richard Branson quote - "If somebody offers you an amazing opportunity but you are not sure you can do it, say yes – then learn how to do it later!"
However there is a problem with amazing opportunities and it is that unfortunately they rarely present themselves as such. Oftentimes they are masked as challenges or even threats and it takes time and practice to recognize them for what they really are. They might be even impossible to achieve at first glance – an impossible target, an impossible deadline or project. Things that make you mobilize all your creativity, wits, flexibility and knowledge, learn a new skill and ultimately expand your horizons while at the same time making you a better professional with a broader and deeper understanding of the subject matter.
You will not only gain expertise, but that expertise will provide you with competitive advantage when you decide to advance your career as well. Say "Yes" often and you will notice your network expanding, your reputation as a reliable and trusted partner and expert growing. Colleagues will be coming to "knock on your door" asking for help or advise when in a jam, generating even more opportunities for you.
After a while on this path you will start noticing a pattern and will be able to recognize how one opportunity will unveil others that you weren't able to see before. Like a climber that has climbed on top of the highest peak he was able to see from the bottom, knowing that from this new vantage point he can see many others that are higher!
If you happen to manage a team, make sure you cultivate this ability in your team members. Invest energy and explain what it is that you see over the horizon, point out successful examples from the past, and share your experience. Soon others will join with their own perspectives allowing you not only to expand your mutual success, but making team goals and assignments much more easily achievable.
So next time when you're about to say "No" or waste your creative energy into finding reasons to say "No", stop and think about it. You might be passing by exactly that opportunity that opens the door to everything that you ever wanted in your professional life.
Best regards,
Some food for thought: Reflect on your last year at work – how many impossible things have you accomplished?
P.S. You can read Sir Richard Branson's quote and story around it here:

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