Spotlight Naysayers: Do You Need One in Your Life?

I led a workshop recently for a team that included some veterans of the corporate world. Just a few hours into the session, one of them blurted out, “This bigger game stuff is incredibly simplistic. I don’t see how it can be of any use to anyone.”

Well, thanks for your positive feedback!

I let this naysayer get to me and had a very restless night. I was hurt. And feeling insecure! Yet, when I woke up the next morning, there was a fire in my belly. I wasn’t angry. Instead, I was very clear about why the Bigger Game is an important tool, especially for those who’ve become cynical and resistant to fresh approaches. I realized that this guy needed me much more than I needed him!

I rocked the second day of that workshop. I came up with concepts, contexts, and content that had never occurred to me in the past. Mr. Naysayer proved to be a terrific ally, a gift that just kept on giving, because he inspired me to up my own game. And he ended up receiving great value from the workshop!

AlliesI think we should all embrace folks like this in our lives. They can drive you to make your game bigger and better. You may not like them. You may even curse the fact that they’re in your life. But anyone or anything that motivates you and fuels your passion is an ally in some way.

Henry Kimsey-House, cofounder of The Coaches Training Institute, first taught me the leadership principle that says resistance is our friend.

Tap into any resistance coming your way and use it to your advantage. Don’t get mad… get creative! In fact, it could be that your own naysayer might have a point. You should consider that too.

Your allies can also include competitors and arch foes. Where would Hertz be without Avis? Coke without Pepsi? Fallon without Kimmel?

Overcoming the challenges presented by competitors will make your success all the sweeter!

My former boss David Overton, founder of The Cheesecake Factory, embraced the concept of competitors as allies. He welcomed it when other restaurants moved into the same areas as his own, because he believed the more people who saw his restaurants, the more who’d want to visit them. He also felt that because there was usually a wait every night for seating at The Cheesecake Factory, the competitors provided other options for diners. David clearly operates from an abundance perspective. He believes there’s plenty of success out there for all to share, and rejects the idea that it’s merely survival of the fittest or that there’s only so much success available in the universe.

The point I’m trying to make is pretty obvious. Our allies can come in all shapes and sizes, and in people and things that you least expect. Don’t just engage with the obvious allies in your life. Remember to get curious when the next naysayer shows up. It might just make a world of difference.


More to come-



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