Tip 30Say “No”

The quickest path to missing your commitments is to make commitments that you know you can’t meet. I know that sounds patently obvious, but we do it every day. We are put on the spot and we don’t want to disappoint our leaders, so we agree to impossible work being done in impossible timelines.

Saying “yes” is an addictive and destructive habit. It’s a bad habit masquerading as a good one. But there’s a big difference between a can-do attitude and the misrepresentation of one’s capabilities. The latter causes problems not only for you but for the people to whom you are making your promises. If I am your manager and I ask you whether you can rewrite the way we track shipments in our company’s fulfillment system by the end of the ...

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