Friday, July 4, 2014

Quote-A-Day: Day 184

The only definitive way to succeed is to take every "no" as an invitation to find a "yes." #QuoteADay #Day184 #edchat #edu #GetToYes

Success is all about how we respond to failure. 

To really be successful in whatever we do, we have to be willing to take a “no” for an answer, as a means to investigating how to find a way to turn it into a “yes.”

This is different from not taking “no” for an answer, which always seems to emphasize the fact that we should push and push and push until we get our way.

This process isn’t really productive, however, as it just elevates tension and angers everyone involved.  Instead, we should be totally comfortable with “no,” and take the steps to figure out how we can use that response as an invitation to search for a “yes.”

To see this in action, we only have to look as far as our young children (or students).  Toddlers, and elementary school students, are particularly adept at using a “no” response as a way to find an alternative pathway to a “yes.”  Often, they don’t yet have the ability to respond with an “I’m going to do what I want” (and actually carry it out) as teenagers might.  Instead, they’re forced to alter the request slightly, as a means of finding a different way to succeed.

We can take this lesson from our youngest learners and apply it to our leadership practice.

Rather than getting discouraged when faced with a negative answer, we need to be respectful, take a step back, and consider how the new knowledge we’ve gained from this experience can help us find a different pathway to achieving our goals.

Nobody ever wants to say “no.”  So, if there are alternative pathways to getting something done that allow everybody to feel that they’ve “held their ground” and achieved their goals, then why not keep exploring?  

After all, there are a million ways to succeed, but only one way to fail (and that is by giving up).

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