Yes or No?

April 24, 2015
  • Bob Chapman
  • Bob Chapman
    CEO & Chairman of Barry-Wehmiller
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A few weeks ago, at Conscious Capitalism 2015, I had the opportunity to meet Tony Schwartz, founder and CEO of The Energy Project.

Tony is an author whose books include The Way We’re Working Isn’t Working: The Four Forgotten Needs That Energize Great Performance. He also writes a regular column for The New York Times called “Life@Work.”

I first read one of Tony’s columns a few weeks ago, when he wrote about energizing your team members. His writing reflected much of what Barry-Wehmiller believes about offering our team members meaningful work within a caring environment. “What companies really need to measure is not how engaged their employees are, but rather how consistently energized they feel,” he said. “That means focusing not just on inspiring them and giving them opportunities to truly add value in the world, but also on caring for them and providing sufficient time to rest and refuel.”

Tony recently wrote another column that resonated with our core beliefs. In this installment, “Starting With Yes,” he talks about creating an environment of positivity to encourage the people you lead and to help them unleash their full potential.

“When a leader starts with ‘no,’ he shuts down others,” Tony writes. “At an emotional level, the word ‘no’ translates as ‘I don’t value what you’re saying,’ and ‘I don’t trust you.’ Fear, anger or resignation set in, all of which kill creativity, increase distrust and discourage engagement.”

As leaders, we want the lives in our care to feel valued. We need to create environments in which they can flourish. That means listening to them, giving them the responsible freedom to make decisions and believing in them.

Are you a leader who starts with no or yes? Read Tony’s article and think about it.


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