Why Some People Succeed Where Others Fail

Yes…yes, yes, yes. I had a meeting yesterday to present an entirely new, untried concept to a potential collaborator. He listened. Asked a handful of tough questions. Voiced his reservations. Requested specific follow up and then he said the magic words: “Yes, I want to pursue this further.”

I approached him in the first place because he is very accomplished. He has led his economic development organization with an intense ambition that has helped him make his mark at a young age. By all accounts, he is successful.

I get asked often to describe what it takes to succeed in these tough, transitional times leading up to the renaissance. While there is no singular recipe for success, despite the volumes of self-help books that try to tell us otherwise, there is a spirit we can adopt that will move us ahead in these times. Say “yes” more often than “no.”

At Second City there is a rule: never say “no.” It sucks the oxygen out of the room. No kills. Always go with the flow, but cover your ass by replying, “yes, and….” Tack on any questions or additional ideas. Build upon it. Set boundaries following the “and.” But it’s all in the spirit of creating possibility.

It’s Friday….I’m saying “yes, and” to some fun this summer weekend. You?