The Power of Saying No

For years I have sat in the same chair, looking at the same objectives and developing the same type of systems and tools. It’s been great, I’ve enjoyed it and have grown a ton in the process. I said “yes” to nearly everything because I thought that was my job, and for the most part each request was very similar - the same framework, same technology, same design.

But over the past year my boss has been challenging me to embrace a new direction. Something different yet unknown. To say “no” to everyone’s enhancements on the tools I have come to be proud of having built and help the organization go after a new goal. Embracing that challenge hasn’t been easy. How do I change our “yes” culture towards a maybe, probably not culture. Will people understand? Will I ever get “done” with my unending list of things I already said yes too? Without more staff, is it really possible?

###The new has arrived

The past few months have been full. I’ve learned to say yes to less while working on clearing my existing plate. It’s been tough. I’ve been pushing harder at challenging my norm and have found success - both to my and my boss’ unbelief. My everyday is no longer my everyday.

It feels almost like starting a new job, but I’m at the same desk with the same chair. Yes, I still have to support the tools I have developed over the last 5 years, but the past month I’ve been able to dive into some new technologies, and it’s been rewarding as result. I enjoy the challenge of not knowing the anwsers, but having confidence that they are out there.

At the end of the day, the end result will mean finding a balance between the two - the “old” and the “new”, and I’m embracing not knowing what exactly that looks like currently because the discovery will be part of the fun.