Leading a Life of Yes
used to give an affirmative response.
I often tell people, when I wake up each day, I do this wonderful thing called, "Whatever I want!" It's a great way to live life, but hasn't always been the case. This has been something I've grown into and something I've come to really appreciate about myself. That said, saying no is sometimes just as important as saying yes - because a life of YES can be a REALLY exhausting place to be if you don't have healthy boundaries.
I've found myself in some odd (sometimes really odd) situations of YES and this weekend, I found myself in a situation just like that. I was at the 2021/2022 induction ceremonies for the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame and was with a group of wonderful high performing people being inducted. One of the inductees is an incredibly engaging leader who happens to be a very close family friend. She and I have a lot in common and often find ourselves discussing psychology, change, happiness, motivation and inspiring the best in people. She was giving a virtual Key Note to a group of about 800 people on Tuesday morning and she started pondering my support and participation in her Key Note. Of course ... I said "YES"!!! She spoke to the organizers of the event, shared my resume and my biography and we were off to the races with less than 24 hours to integrate my content into her presentation and come up with flow.
We spent 90 minutes working together on Monday night and pre-gamed on Tuesday morning ahead of the Key Note. The topic she'd selected was Understanding High Performing Teams - including tips and tools to help the attendees leave with something special and unique. We created layers to the Key Note with her speaking to the team that had seen her win a CIS Championship in University, which was also the same team that had been inducted into the Sports Hall of Fame that weekend. Together with her storytelling, I facilitated the "science" of Tuckman's Stages of Group Development in a meaningful way, linking the theories and practices back to the success of the Championship winning team. It was a great success with about 500 people on the line.
Her opening remarks were strong, with the idea that all we wanted was for people to leave the session feeling "different" - empowered, inspired, curious, calm - whatever that meant for them. It was a powerful session and we received very positive feedback from the organizers and the employees we started the day with.
So ... coming back to the main thread here, this was a YES situation that put some pressure on, but because it was something I know very well, it felt almost effortless and was really exciting! (I get it, not everyone likes public speaking, let alone to 500 faceless people on a video that's being recorded!)
Do I say YES all of the time? No, I certainly don't - but I say yes a lot of the time and it's enriched my life in many ways. A life of YES can lead to you feeling and being more interesting to spend time with and allows you to experience the kindness of strangers, which in turn, feeds your confidence. This is also an opportunity for you to learn how to fail in a positive way and will allow you to become more creative and stronger in your resiliency as a result.
There's no time like the present to embrace or approach life in a new or more exciting way!
So how can you live a life of YES that works into your comfort zone and personality type?
Here are some tips and tools for you to consider on your journey to YES:
Understand yourself - what do you need? Are you extroverted? Introverted? Introverted with a sprinkle of extrovert? This is important to making the right decisions on what to say YES to.
Understand how you currently spend your time - saying YES means you're likely going to need to make a trade for things you currently do. This is also an opportunity for you to identify what you're saying YES to that maybe isn't serving you. (*coughTikTokcough*)
Make a list - What do you WANT to say YES to? Want to hike? YES! Want to podcast? YES! Want to learn a new language? YES! Want to be a tourist in your own city? YES!
Don't compare - Your YES life is going to be different from anyone else's. Embrace your unique wants and needs and don't allow comparison or fear to steal your joy.
Use YES in your leadership style - enable your team members or peers to lean in to your desire to say YES!
Be okay being a bit unconventional - people are going to raise their eyebrows at you and possibly question what your intent is in living a life of YES - remember, this is YOUR experience in life, the only thing we leave behind us is the legacy we create and how we made people feel. A life of YES allows us to have maximum impact!
Want to discuss your journey of YES or how to bring YES into your team dynamic? Reach out, a call doesn't cost a thing!