I am a Yes Man!
Remember this commercial for Monster.com that debuted during the 1999 Super Bowl? When I grow up… I think this commercial is brilliant, clever and really funny. “I wanna be a yes man!”
Continuous improvement argues that it’s good to be a yes employee – given the right context – as stated in the second commandment:
Think “yes we can, if…” instead of “no we can’t, because…”
Thinking “yes we can, if…” does not turn you into the stereotypical yes man. It’s not about being a puppet. “Yes we can if…” is about perspective. It’s about making the effort to look at problems from a new vantage point. Instead of the most natural human approach — thinking of reasons why something can’t be done, start looking at scenarios where it can.
Children are especially good at “yes we can, if…” It’s the parents who play the “no you can’t, because…” card all of the time. Give your child a reason why they can’t play outside, build a fort out of the couch cushions, or eat a snack, and they will always invent scenarios where they can.
Seth Godin says this “yes we can” attitude is a strong characteristic of a Linchpin (someone indispensable to the success of a company). A Linchpin always finds a way to say, “yes, it can be done.”
If you want to be revered as indispensable – a Linchpin in your company – the next time you meet an opportunity where “no, because” is on your lips… reign it in with an experimental “yes, if…” and just see what happens.
(Be sure not to go Jim Carrey with the whole Yes Man thing though…)