There are times in your career you have to say “YES” to an awful lot to get where you need or want to be. If you’re fairly new in your career or coming into a new organization, you’re going to say “YES” a whole lot more than you’re going to say no while you build a foundation and gain perspective.
A time comes, however, when NO is the word that should be said more than YES.
Just before the year ended, I facilitated my final credit union strategic planning session before pausing for the holiday break. This credit union had one very big initiative, and the CEO and board are always taking on a lot. As we all locked in agreement on goals and direction for the new year, I asked a question that sucked the air out of the room.
“What could hold us back from accomplishing these things next year?”
The common theme was task saturation. A leadership team that had delegated very well over the last few years knew that some job descriptions might need adjusting, and they had to take a hard look at delegating more.
We made sure to prioritize action items and I shared this parable to hit home how they could be successful:
If you put big rocks (the most important things on your list) in a glass jar, you can add smaller rocks, sand, and water to fill it up the rest of the way. But put all that other nonsense in there, first, and you’ll never get the big rocks in.
Here’s to a successful new year where you prioritize your rocks before filling up with sand!