Top Leaders Never Say "That Won't Work"

BY Kathy Crosett
Featured image for “Top Leaders Never Say "That Won't Work"”

If you’ve been put into a leadership position, chances are it’s not because you say "no" frequently. Management has asked you to take on a bigger role because they believe you can make a difference in helping the company to reach its goals and grow. Whenever you have to say no, and sometimes that is the right answer, follow up on your negative response with a plan about what to do next. That’s Dan Rockwell’s advice at Leadershipfreak​.blog.

Whether it's coming from your manager or your team member, you’ll sometimes be tempted to reject an idea for a new product or a new way of tracking ad effectiveness. Instead of flat-​out refusing to consider what’s being proposed, think about how to amp-​up or modify the idea. Ask whether there’s a less expensive way to develop the same solution. Suggest ways to improve on the proposed product – with the expectation that it could be produced in a cost-​effective manner. Explain that you think the idea could benefit from wider discussion and bring other staff members into a planning session. All of these strategies show you're open to new ideas and to working with a team to develop them.

Despite your best efforts, you might still find yourself saying negative things or pointing out weaknesses more often than you’d like. That’s the perfect time to follow another piece of Rockwell’s advice – “notice three strengths for every weakness you point out.” After you notice the strengths, share them. Your team members will appreciate your positive feedback. They’ll also find it easier to come to you with ideas if you create and nurture a culture where new ideas are considered and discussed instead of being shot down.