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How to use "NO" in your favor

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Kevin Anderson's picture
President, CVG

CVG is a leading North America workforce solutions provider to the Energy, Oil & Gas, Industrial and EPC industries. Kevin has had a lengthy and distinguished career that spans over 25 years...

  • Member since 2020
  • 20 items added with 27,965 views
  • Mar 26, 2021

I was reading an article recently regarding leading without authority.

I know what it is like to join a new company team and be solely responsible to administer, lead and champion the company’s Talent Acquisition/Recruiting programs.

The amount of emotional energy that it takes to implement flow charts and meetings can be daunting. On top of that, being the new person in a culture of legacy employees can cause one to feel like the “odd person out.”

If you have ever joined a team and tried to make similar changes, you probably can identify with me.

In fact, If I can look back at every stage of my career I was challenged to lead, even though I was not in charge.

Most of us believe that “leaders” are people who occupy certain roles that come with some sort of official authority. The CEO is a leader. The president is a leader. The quarterback is a leader. We often believe leadership is solely based upon someone’s role or title.

Yet, when we say people “rise to the occasion” or “take the lead,” and “you are on point “, we are basically saying that people with no official authority sometimes go beyond what is expected of them and exercise leadership.

Leadership then, is not at all about a role. It is the act of getting a group of people to do something that is in their best interest, or in the best interest of others. This act occurs regardless of having the authority to command those people to do what you want them to do.

At the end of the day, leading without a title comes down to influence, persuasion, and passion.

Studies have shown that when asked a question, people are 80% more likely to respond with a NO. So, If you are experiencing resistance within your team, try these influencing phrases to have a no work in your favor.

Is it unrealistic for me to ask that you… (Insert your request)?

Ok then, in a Spirit of cooperation and teamwork would you please help me… (Insert your request).

How can we bridge this gap together in order to work more cooperatively, efficiently, productively, synergistically, etc. as a team? (Choose corresponding word to fit your need)

Is it unfair to ask (Insert your request)?

Is it unreasonable for me to ask (Insert your request)?


Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Mar 26, 2021

At the end of the day, leading without a title comes down to influence, persuasion, and passion.

I love this, Kevin! Of course hierarchies exist, but the way to advance career-wise into that next stage is to demonstrate leadership before the official titles are handed out to you

Kevin Anderson's picture
Thank Kevin for the Post!
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