This word has long been in the minds and vocabulary of human beings. To many parents it seems to be the only word their two year old knows. It is the response we are taught as children to have when confronted with illegal and damaging behavior. Teenage boys fear it because of its potentially tight hold on their romantic confidence. It is the enemy of the people pleaser and the friend of the prudent. In a world of grey hues and fence riders it is one of the last remaining concretes that allows us to take a stand verbally. It takes our hand and leads us through every stage of our lives, yet many businesses are releasing it's grasp and clinging instead to the hand of the "yes man."
In my short and incredibly humble time as a contributer to society I have noticed this trend with many companies who are in growth mode either as a company or regionally. They are so desperate for business they take on unrealistic or unclear projects the client throws their way in an attempt to gain market share or professional respectability. If the contributors are not able to deliver however, the opposite unfortunately occurs. Time and resources are spent and after weeks of spinning and churning the product is frustrated contributors and an unhappy client. Had Mr/Ms Salesperson declined the project and continued to dig for more feasible opportunities would the company have been better off?
Let me be clear. My stand is not to look adversity in the face and quickly retreat. The '66 UTEP Miners and the '80 USA Hockey Team were both historical proof that perserverence through seemingly impossible circumstance can end in victory for the under dog. The imperative aspect however is those two teams had a definite time line of either success or failure. When the buzzer sounded they were either winners or losers. Time outs, half time, and periods were their opportunities to make adjustments.
Perhaps time limits and intermissions are the answer to the difficult decision of whether or not to take an opportunity on. Have the contributors give it their best for a set amount of time with an intermission half way through to reevaluate and if they do not deliver to the client's specifications when the time clock expires simply walk. Of course this theory is incredibly simplistic and naive. After all the fault could be in the contributors and I acknowledge that. However, if you find yourself with a team of contributors you trust and no results for the client, take it from Nancy Reagan and "Just Say No." If you have the killer instinct in you and want to swing for the fences atleast put a time line on it. After all, even baseball sends you back to the bench after three strikes.