A lot of people struggle with saying no in accomplishing their priorities. Many people and organizations take on projects that do not align with their goals simply because they could not say no.  Let’s talk about how to avoid this problem.

Opportunity cost filter:

For everything I take on there is going to be something I must sacrifice to get the most out of the project.  Is this project worth cutting something else that might be more important? Always ask yourself “If I commit to this what do I have to say no to?”

Passion/Purpose Alignment Filter:

Another way to screen ideas and projects is to apply them to your purpose or passion. Will taking on this thing help me accomplish my goals?  If not, you might need to say no.

Collaboration Filter:

Don’t decide in a vacuum. When it is possible, collaborate with others to understand the pros and cons of the decision at hand. It is helpful to use collaboration in reaching a decision, but you are still responsible for making the decision. When you collaborate and leverage the efforts of others it is like having a “super power.” I refer to it as my “secret sauce” for success. On your own, you can only give a maximum effort of 100%. By encouraging, empowering, and equipping others, you can multiply your effort from 100% to 1000% or 100,000%.

In my consulting business, I often run across organizations that have trouble making decisions. A project gets sidelined by endless meetings and analysis. By applying these simple filters, you can make a decision quickly and fully understand the cost of that decision.

Remember to live, lead, and finish well!