5 Reasons to Say No

Leaders like movement and have a bias toward action. The chief characteristic for those in leadership is they are taking people somewhere.

Therefore, conflicting feelings spring forth when the best decision is to do nothing at all. Leaders frequently struggle with signs that say STOP, Yield or Do Not Enter.

Opportunity does not equal obligation.

In 2010, John Heyman of SI.com reviewed the top 20 decisions in baseball over the previous year. When you review the list, the most common trend was six decisions were to stand pat or do nothing at all. Those decisions were:

  1. The San Diego Padres’ decision not to trade Adrian Gonzalez and Heath Bell.
  2. The AL West leading Texas Rangers’ decision not to fire manager Ron Washington.
  3. The Detroit Tiger’s decision to keep Magglio Ordonez in line-up and let him achieve his incentive bonuses.
  4. The New York Mets’ decision to retain manager Jerry Manuel.
  5. New York Yankees pitcher Andy Pettitte’s decision to continue playing.
  6. The Atlanta Braves’ decision to re-sign pitcher Tim Hudson.

It is often said in sports the best trades are often the ones not made. “I’ll have the usual” is what these teams wisely said.

The following are five reasons I say “no” to some opportunities that come my way: 

1. My wife feels uncomfortable about the decision or we are not in agreement.

God gives our wives a sixth sense about decision-making. Unfortunately, I have learned the hard way the results of not listening to her protective counsel.

2. The option does not allow my family to thrive

The most important leadership role I have is husband and father. If the decision benefits me but forces my family to regress educationally, relationally or spiritually, I decline the opportunity.

3. What does the Bible say? 

Jesus is for me. What does God say about what I’m facing? Here’s what I know—Jesus Christ knows me better than I know myself and wants the best for me.

4. Does it align with my family’s core values? 

This is very closely tied to the Bible. If the options I am considering do not line up with who we are as a family and what we are trying to accomplish collectively, I decline.

5. Does it make financial sense.

Whether it is purchasing a home, going into debt or making a career change, good decisions are often made by simply using a logical foundation. Quick note, the best book on money ever written is the Bible. It is packed full of sound guidelines.

Let’s learn from Major League Baseball and make some great decisions by passing on opportunities that do not benefit us as leaders. 

What are some of the great decisions you have made by making the decision to pass on what is presented to you?  

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Brian Dodd
Brian Dodd is a church stewardship & leadership consultant. See www.briandoddonleadership.com for additional insights.