Don’t say someone’s no for them.

March 23, 2012

I learned a leadership lesson through a joke I played on my Creative Arts team leader.

It was midday Saturday, and I sent him a text asking him to do what I thought was an impossible list of tasks. These would have to be done by Sunday.

I sent the request, expecting to hear a reply of exasperation. I would let him know I was joking. I was just trying to get his heart beating a little harder.

I can try.

That was his reply. Not what I was looking for, but it revolutionized my mind.

He was up to the challenge.


That’s ludicrous.


He was ready to go.

I can try.

That’s the attitude behind every movement that has succeeded. Big moves and bold action.

Why not?

We can try. Let’s give it a shot. I’d rather go down swinging.

Attempt great things for God. At a minimum, even if the target goals aren’t reached in full, you will have surpassed anything you’ve accomplished in the past with small goals.

Here is the lesson:

  • Don’t say no for somebody else. They may be ready to say yes.
  • When asking a high achiever to join your team: don’t say their no for them. Give them a chance to seize the opportunity.
  • Ask your disconnected friends to come to church. Do so without implying their no for them. Expect a yes.

This lesson translates well with your banker, real estate agent, etc.

Quit saying no for other people.

Those people may end up surprising you with, “I can try.”