When To Say No And Become Better Leader

To be a leader requires more than just being a boss, even if you have a small office, you are a freelancer or you are an important CEO; your leadership requires making decisions and if you take better ones, then the most probability to improve your success.

Many decisions CEOs must take, involve data analysis and in today’s world, data is available anyplace and every time you need them.

Taking the right calls improves your leadership, saying “no” is part of your success. Knowing when to say “no” is as important as knowing how to say no.

When To Say No And Become A Better Leader

Saying “no” must be part of your daily routine at work. Not just for rejecting tasks to free up your time, but to lead your team to a better sales an to a better customers.

There are many times when you can or you must say “no”, but I’m just providing with the most common.


First: Say NO to a bad idea.

I like to start by saying that there is no such thing as a bad idea. When you have a problem and you are doing some brainstorming, every idea counts, it doesn’t matter how good, simple or stupid it may seem, every idea is a good one.

But, it turns into a bad idea after you decide so. Any idea that doesn’t fit your business goals or that doesn’t improve your actual situation is bad and you must say NO to it. Be careful not to say no to people, but be specific about saying no to ideas.

You know the consequences of a bad decision. It takes away your time, your team’s motivation and your credibility, so, as soon as you realized about an idea to be bad, say no to it immediately.

Second: Say NO to a good idea.

Wait! How am I going to say NO to a good or to a bad idea? Well, I’m approaching this way to say no when you have too many good ideas that it is impossible to accomplish every one.

You may have five or six excellent ideas of resolving a problem, but then, you probably should choose one or two. Trying to do every task of good ideas can increase your waste of time. People would get tired trying to solve the same problem in three different ways at the same time.

It just a matter of taking care of your resources, which I’m pretty sure, are limited. You probably don’t have 15 people waiting to solve one particular problem unless they do different things (you could have them working for you in the same problem, all of them with similar skills, but then you should be grateful to have such kinds of resources).

Third: Say NO to customer

This is the most difficult part of knowing when to say NO and become a better leader.

Nowadays, with all the competition and lots of people trying to taking us out of business, saying NO to a customer may seem a wrong decision. And I’m not saying is an easy one. But customer (bad customer in this case) could be problematic and some of them can drain all kinds of resources from your organization.

Have you ever experienced a customer that buys from you one in two years but they request support every week under the promise they will buy from you soon? but that “soon” never comes?

Sometimes they ask for more than a price discount, they ask for things that hurt your business, and those times you have to put your business and your reputation before your customer, then it’s time to say NO.

Other times when you should say NO.


The three points we explore before are the most common like I said, but, there are other times you should say no.

For example, when you know you won’t accomplish a due date or if something will cost you some health.

Manufacturer conditions are also examples. They usually change their delivery conditions, quality of their products or something that hurts your products or services, it’s time to say NO to them also.

When you need to hire someone you can say NO to a candidate you are not sure will do the job, no matter how many good recommendations, if you are not into him/her, then, say NO.

I hope this article is useful for you and you learn a little bit more when to say no and become a better leader. It’s part of our day to day basis in sales and management.

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