One of the most important characteristics a leader can possess is the ability to find a way to say yes.  This can be difficult in a world where most people are looking for any excuse to say no.  Great leaders look for reasons to say Y-E-S.

Recently, I had the opportunity to visit a few college campuses with my daughter.  The visits were all basically the same . . . they give you the grand tour and then you go to the admissions office for a short presentation on how their campus is the greatest place on the planet.  You walk away feeling as if you would be the luckiest person alive if you were admitted to their school.

However, one of the Universities was different from all the rest.  Why?  Because someone was looking for a reason to say yes.  At this particular place the admissions counselor made a great statement.  She said, “We are the office of admissions, not the office of rejections.”  One simple phrase and she had me!

When it comes to your business or organization are you looking for ways to say yes?

Leaders who say yes have a few things in common.  Check out the following and give yourself a grade on each one:

1. Yes Leaders understand that they are in the people business.  Products matter very little unless people matter a lot.  If you are in the “no” business you will soon have no business!  Unfortunately, many leaders feel entitled by their position and flex their power toward followers.  Not cool!

2. Yes Leaders go the second mile.   Not only do Yes Leaders say yes, but they often go above and beyond what is requested.  I recently had a business leader take responsibility for a mistake he had made.  He more than tripled the request I made of him.  Very cool!

3. Yes Leaders see what they do as more than just a job. Great leaders are passionate about their product.  The best ones have discovered their strengths and have found their market niche.  If money were no object, they would likely work for free just to have the opportunity to do what they love doing.

4. Yes leaders are generous.  Good leaders are quick to offer a word of encouragement or appreciation and are often times very generous.  It is okay to make a profit.  It is not okay to be ruled by greed.  Yes Leaders exist to serve and add value to others.

Try to identify one action step you could take in each of these areas and focus on being a better “Yes Leader” in the coming days.  Your followers will be glad you did and you just might too.