On Monday I had a really great conversation with someone who I would have to say is probably of the same “mindset” as I am… ambitious, driven, goal orientated and not willing to let anyone tell them “it isn’t possible”. When I asked him what his “dream job” was he came back without hesitation and said “CEO”.. referring to the large company he works for. This excited me and made me look at him with respect… unfortunately this isn’t always the case with people.
More often than not, if you tell people a goal you have, a dream, an aspiration that they believe is “lofty” they will do one of two things… they will either a) laugh as though you have made the funniest joke ever, or b) say “come on really… be realistic” – these people are those that I refer to as “Nay Sayers”. They are the people who have boundaries blocking them from thinking big, from dreaming what they want to dream and they are the people who are responsible for “tall poppy syndrome”.
When I first started Nexus, the Nay Sayers said to me “why would you do that… why don’t you go back to a corporate job… less risk”… now those same people say to me “wow you are so lucky that your business is successful”… lucky??? no no… I gave myself the permission to think big, I had conviction of thought, I was unshakeable in my belief and ultimately I got rid of the Nay Sayers from my life. There was no luck involved… just pure belief.
No matter how successful you get, no matter how many goals you achieve these Nay Sayers will always be around… it’s up to you whether or not you choose to have them in your life and it’s up to you to choose how to react to them. This is what I call leadership.
I used to always think leadership was simply motivating people towards a common goal and it is… and more. Leadership for me now is having the conviction of thought, control of emotions, an unwaivering belief in my abilities and ultimately being able to say that “oh so powerful” word NO. NO to the Nay Sayers, NO to staff and even NO to customers.
I suppose I never got taught the art of saying NO… but it is the usage of this word that will either help you grow into that leader who inspires or simply.. not. Saying NO to the people around you takes courage, takes strength, takes clarity of mind and most importantly it takes giving permission to yourself to think big.
If you are one of the Nay Sayers… think before you speak and judge… you may think the person in front of you will never make CEO… but that is your issue, not theirs- maybe instead of laughing or telling them to be realistic, ask them “ok, how are we going to get you there?”
Be part of the dream… not against it.