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October 15, 2004

News & Opinion: Don't Save Nanoseconds: Say YES, when you want to say NO!

By: Dylan Schleicher @ 2:08 PM – Filed under: Management & Workplace Culture

Want to save a few seconds? "Don't say yes when asked to do something, Say NO." is the standard advice. After all, everyone is busy, has full plates, is overworked and over scheduled. Makes sense? Maybe.
The people who turn serendipity into success behave in the counterintuitive manner described in How To Create Your Own Luck and make the effort, expend the energy and often say YES, when no would make more sense.
When "Joe's " son was seven it was time for him to join a soccer team. Dad knew nothing about soccer as he is a 49er, San Francisco Giants, mountain biking guy. But, he agreed to be the assistant coach only to find out that noone signed on as coach. This time commitment exponentially increased because he not only had to go to practices and games and meetings, he had to learn the rules.
None of the Dads ever showed up. However, when the team started winning, they started to attend the games. Bonds were forged, friendships started.
Joe got to know the other parents, the sponsors, the league officials and stayed in touch over the years periodically because he believed in community.
Eight years later he wanted to make a career change and instead, built a second career/business to augment his day job. Guess who his clients became? The parents of the kids he coached and other members of the community who he met through soccer league and Little League.
"Joe" didn't want to coach soccer... but said yes instead of no. And the payoff in friendships, quality of life and the client base for his business has been worthwhile. He embodies the eight trait of 'you never know it alls'... and he created his own luck.

About Dylan Schleicher


Dylan Schleicher has been a part of the 800-CEO-READ claque since 2003. Even though he's stayed on at the company, he has not stayed put. After beginning in shipping & receiving, he joined customer service and accounting before moving into his current, highly elliptical orbit of duties overseeing the ChangeThis and In the Books websites, the company's annual review of books and in-house design. He lives with his wife and two children in the Washington Heights neighborhood on Milwaukee's West Side.