I saw a raucous 4 year old running like the bulls of Pamplona. Didn’t take a degree in nuclear physics to predict the outcome. True to form, his momentum and his gait got discombobulated and he splayed on the concrete like a spring calf. With a bloodied lip, he looked back at his dad and said, “Boy, life is tough!”

What a great lesson to learn at an impressionable age – life is tough. Things don’t get easier as we grow. We learn to cope and compensate; to get along, we must go along. Somewhere along the road, we learn that pleasing others is the best course of action to get along. Depending on a policy of making others happy won’t help us make the hard decisions.

Leaders have to do things they don’t like – firing people, budget cuts, telling vendors their services won’t be needed, etc. In a culture that emphasizes political correctness and being non-offensive, few have learned the value of saying “NO”.

We’ll be better workers and persons when we learn that saying “NO” is good. Life is tough – emotionally intelligent healthy persons know that an internal toughness is needed to truly get along. We garner more respect and get things done better by saying “NO”. An internal mental toughness is developed that help us make balanced (facts over emotions) decisions.

Ways to develop the value habit of saying “NO”:

* Come in early to get work done vs. staying late or taking it home.

* Consciously say “NO” to something or someone every day.

* Skip the company candy jar and eat a carrot.

* Resist the temptation to tell just one more story and end the conversation.

We don’t have to be rude when saying “NO”. We are to treat others with grace and respect. Realizing that a good tool in the toolbox to have is the “NO” word, means we’ll help out our company and ultimately ourselves. BTW, saying “YES” is also an important tool in the box!! Increase your value by adding “NO” to the box.