Recently, I was contacted by an artist, that were I to mention their name to you, you’d most certainly think I was awesome. I could play it all cool and name drop it like it’s hot and you’d probably look at me differently and would say something like, “oh man, do you think you could get me tickets or an autograph or…”
I know this because even a couple of my closest friends, who I love and respect did just that.
Funny how that works!
Now I’ve been blessed to work alongside some truly gifted people. I’ve watched oceans of fans, scream and worship at the altar of adoration. And I’ve been a part of some of the awesomest experiences you could ever imagine!
It would have been a great joy and honor to work with this particular artist, and maybe one day I will.
But as of right now, who knows.
I’ve not been told yes, or no.
And that’s frustrating.
But it got me to thinking about how many other times in my life, I’ve sat waiting for a response of some kind.
So many times I’ve either mustered up the courage to ask for help, or cried out in agony seeking help, only to be on the receiving end of a giant abyss created by the absence of response.
As a man and father, I’m teaching my kids, especially my boys, the power of their words. But even in that message rests an even greater truth – that the absence of our words says more than our spoken or written words ever could.
Something mystical happens when we speak words into existence or write them down. (that would be an awesome tweet)
I’m learning that as a leader, one of the greatest gifts I can give someone is the gift of a no.
And if you’re anything like me, that’s hard to do. I want to please everyone, make everyone happy. I exhaust tremendous amounts of energy trying to stay one step ahead, managing everyone’s expectations and trying to ensure their needs are met.
This is dangerous, not to mention, an incredibly unhealthy way to live.
But we don’t always choose to live healthy lives, do we?
Instead we do whatever it takes to meet our perceived need or unmet longing – many times at the risk of being healthy.
That’s why we refuse to respond sometimes, or resist to set a boundary, telling someone no. We’re afraid we’ll make a mistake, or even worse, hurt someone’s feelings.
It’s one of the simplest definitions of character and integrity, letting our yes be our yes and our no be our no.
I can’t tell you how many times I would have loved to hear a simple no.
Whether it was from an employer, or from a friend, to have been told no would have been so much sweeter to hear, than the cavernous echo of nothing.
What would you rather hear?
Being told no can be a beautiful thing, because it sets a boundary, and boundaries are good things. (another awesome tweet)
Have you ever been on the receiving end of that cavernous echo?
Have you ever been in a situation where you were glad to hear a no?
Share your comments below!