The Delicate Balance Between Yes And No

Yes or no buttonsAs a leader, I prefer to say yes. I love when our staff comes to me with a proposal for a new ministry or a new expenditure and I can simply say, “Yes, go for it!” I love being the guy who gets to encourage another person’s big dream. I am not a fan of micro managing. Saying yes allows me to empower others to do their work well.

Even so, in my position, I often have to say “No”. I have to consider the amount of money and energy expended as it relates to the entire church organization. Honestly, there are times I feel like the dream killer more than I get to be the dream enhancer, because I often have to be the “No” voice, but the fact is, as with any organization, we operate with limited resources and sometimes saying no is the right decision at the time. In these times, I have to walk the delicate balance between saying yes and saying no.

Some of the questions I try to consider when weighing a decision between yes and no are:

  • Does this decision benefit the entire church, or just one ministry? It is okay if it helps only one area, but that has to be a part of the equation in making a decision.
  • Is this decision in keeping with the overall vision of the church? Ultimately, it is important that the entire organization is heading in the same direction.
  • Has this decision been thought out adequately and any known fatal risks eliminated?
  • Does the leader of this area have the experience or expertise to lead a successful venture? If he or she is not qualified for the task, then is he or she willing and able to solicit help from others?
  • Are there other areas that have greater needs because of current demand or potential within the organization?
  • Will this decision solicit adequate buy-in from the entire staff and organization?
  • Is this the best timing for the new venture? Would waiting enhance or inhibit the decision’s success?
  • Is the cost reasonable compared to the benefit received for the project?
  • Is the volunteer or staff labor adequate to sustain the effort?

In the end, it is often a judgment call of whether to say yes or no, but thinking through the answer is one of the keys to making wise decisions and ultimately to leading well.

How do you balance the difference between saying “yes” and saying “no”?

For more thoughts on leadership, click HERE.

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