Just Say Yes for Success

Commitment to taking personal responsibility for your success is one of the keys to career and life success that is part of my Common Sense Success System.  I discuss it in several of my books: Straight Talk for Success, Your Success GPS, and 42 Rules to Jumpstart Your Professional Success.  If you want to succeed, you must commit to three things.  First, you must take personal responsibility for your success.  Only you can make you a success.  You need to be willing to do the things necessary to succeed.  Second, you must set high goals — and then do whatever it takes to achieve them.   Third, stuff happens; as you go through life you will encounter many problems and setbacks.  You need to react positively to the negative stuff and move forward toward your goals.

I love the Dilbert comic strip – even though it often points out the how dysfunctional our workplaces can be.  Sunday’s strip was a classic.  Dilbert approaches one of his colleagues and says…

“Could you make these changes in the database?  It will only take five minutes.”

Colleague: “Ooh I don’t know…

Dilbert: “Wait.  Are you planning to spend ten minutes explaining why you don’t have five minute to do this task…Or as you so incompetent that a five minute task will take an hour…Or are you limited by a company policy because you’re a feckless waste of carbon?…Or are you the agreeable but unorganized type who will say yes and lose my note, and forget who asked?

Colleague: “I was planning to tell you this doesn’t need to be done and refuse to change my position even after you give me good reasons.”

Have you ever experienced something like this?  I have.  Worse yet, have you acted like the colleague.  That behavior is a perfect example someone not committing to taking personal responsibility for his own success. 

I have a motto – “Just Say Yes!!!”  I do my best to say yes to everyone who asks a favor of me.  This means that sometimes I have to work a little longer or a little harder – but I think it pays off in the long run.  I have worked hard to build a reputation as not only the Common Sense Guy, but the guy you can count on to help you out.

The other day, a colleague sent me his new website and asked for my comments.  I took the time to look over the site in detail and then provide him with (what I hope) were thoughtful, helpful comments. 

I asked if he would be willing to participate in a book launch I’ll be doing in January for 42 Rules to Jumpstart Your Professional Success.  He said yes, but had no give away.  I told him that I would help him create one.

I’m not suggesting that you need to go this far, but you do need to commit to taking personal responsibility for your own success.  The best way to do this is to “Just Say Yes!!!” to requests for help. 

“Just Say Yes!!!” by volunteering for projects inside your company.  In yesterday’s post, I mentioned how you can become known in your company if you’re willing to share your knowledge with others.  I once got a promotion because I volunteered to chair the local United Way campaign for my company – it’s never fun to ask people for money.  In performing my duties, I met several senior executives, one of whom offered me a job when he had an opening a few months down the road.

The common sense point here is simple.  Successful people commit to taking personal responsibility for creating their personal and professional success.  You can demonstrate your personal commitment to your success by adopting the motto “Just Say Yes!!!”  When people ask for your help, give it to them willingly and pleasantly.  You’ll gain a reputation as a team player – someone who is willing to pitch in and do whatever it takes to get the job done.  A “Just Say Yes!!!” attitude is rarer than you might think.  Sunday’s Dilbert cartoon illustrated this point perfectly.  By saying yes – and delivering, you will set yourself apart from others and demonstrate your commitment to your career and life success.

That’s my take on saying yes and success.  What’s yours?  Please take a few minutes to leave a comment sharing your thoughts with us.  As always, thanks for reading.


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  1. Sanjeev Sahgal says:

    Bud, could noty agree more, like Woody Allen said ‘80% of the job is done by just showing up’. I have also personally seen the benefits of this approach, consistently I have seen people commenting ‘dependable’, ‘mature’ when they describe my work style. Great post!

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