The power of saying no

People respect those who can stand their ground, say no, not beat around the bush. People respect those that can plainly, simply, and directly, say NO.

[ I’m an oddball leader who likes to test by trial by fire ]

I had a young intern.
I encouraged him to shoplift something to test his resolve in an awkward situation.
Soft-spoken, below average height, always smiling, and always polite
S____# looked me dead in the eyes and firmly said, “NO”.

He didn’t stutter. He didn’t flinch. He didn’t weigh the politics or financial ramifications of disappointing or confronting his boss. He said NO. And what that no meant was clear. That was, “Fuck off. Go fuck yourself. I’m nobody’s bitch.”

The best leaders in the world want lieutenants and soldiers that can comply, but when it doesn’t make sense, be able to boldly communicate their position. I was and am proud of S____#. He’s a fine man. One I hope my son grows up to be like.

Leave a reply