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Why Saying "No" Matters

David Emerald Womeldorff (of TED: The Empowerment Dynamic) published an intriguing blog today on the importance of being able to say "no".

One key takeaway: if we say "yes" to everything, people won't know what we truly value.

While David’s focus seems to be on individuals, I wonder how many CEOs and other leaders feel comfortable saying "no" to customers.

How clear are you about your product or service and the value it provides in the marketplace?

Do you say "yes" because you don't want to upset a customer or lose a revenue opportunity – even if it's mis-aligned with your core expertise?

Does "yes" intensify internal chaos and decrease employee morale?

How confident are you that your employees or your customers can articulate exactly what your company does and does not?

If any of the above rings true or makes your heart skip a beat, I'd like to hear about it. Contact me at

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