I recently had a couple of unique brainstorming sessions with a good friend of mine. Afterwards, he mentioned how much he appreciated my ability to hear his vision and bounce ideas around with him. I thought nothing of it – I love new ideas and expanding upon thoughts. But for him, it was a me too in the room. He later said, “Sometimes people think I’m a bit crazy for the things that come out of my mouth or the ideas I start to talk about. You make me feel that I’m not that crazy and even if the idea is crazy you’ll entertain the idea for a bit. It’s such a relief.”
In response, I told him I really appreciated the compliment (because I work very hard at being a Yes person) and that there are two things that I’ve learned. One was from a genius, the other was from my mother (not to say she isn’t a genius too). The thing I learn from the genius was that it’s the crazy ones that actual change the world – he was Steve Jobs. And my mother, with her very entrepreneurial spirit, always said to me, “Think yes before saying no.”
In our current culture, whether that be the 9-5 job or at home or in our own country, we have a tendency to be nay-sayers, nitpickers and cynical towards one another. As soon as someone starts talking about something new or an idea or change, we feel our brain starting to ramp up the reasons why it won’t work. We are, at times, a culture of no. It’s our individualism. If we say yes, then we’re allowing someone else to have the initial idea. We have to take sloppy seconds when we say yes to the idea.
But, yes is so much more powerful! Yes, me too. Yes, I agree. Yes, let’s do it! What if we worked on creating a culture of yes? Would it change our organizations? Our country? Or perhaps, even our friendships?
Yes – the simple word has started revolutions, launched groundbreaking businesses, put men on distant planets, created game-changing technology and at times, given confidence to the crazy ones.
Challenge: Encourage one idea today or this week from someone else that you may not have in the past