The great Peter Drucker admonished us to "Focus, focus, focus." (He never said it once.) "Focus, focus, focus" drives us to pay attention to those few things, those critical initiatives that determine relevance, viability, and success in the future—and this reverberating phrase walks around with many of us who worked with Peter. We can focus only if we learn to say no to opportunities that aren't right for us, individually or organizationally. In this way, we continuously define ourselves as well as our purpose in life.

The Power of No

I first discovered the Power of No early, long before I met Peter Drucker. When I was six years old, in first grade, I brought my first report card home. My father ...

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