leadership incorporated blog

January 11, 2010

Inspired to Succeed: What is CAN’T costing you?

This week, one of my clients, a leader in her company, was presented with a huge opportunity for her company and their client.

Her first reaction? We CAN’T.

Why not?

Well…in the past, stakeholders had not been open to similar ideas.

She couldn’t ask a struggling client to step up and do their part.

She felt timeline and resources would not support moving forward.

(In this case, money wasn’t the issue, but I often hear that one, too.)

She was ready to walk away from a phenomenal possibility, based solely on her own thinking about past circumstances and current conditions.

And she was angry, disappointed, resentful, frustrated and felt powerless.

She knew this could have been a very very good thing. If only…

Can you relate?

How many times in the past year did you not move forward with an opportunity – business or personal – because of the CAN’TS in your mind?

What did not moving forward cost your business?

What did it cost you personally?

By the way, the opposite of can’t is NOT can.


When my client shifted her thinking from can’t to how might this be possible? she came up with all kinds of potential solutions:

A different approach to presenting to stakeholders.

A strategy for approaching the client.

A way to negotiate the timing issues.

She involved others from this perspective and was able to:

• Effortlessly get buy-in from the team. How might this be possible? engages people, gives them ownership, generates ideas, creates new possibilities and improves morale.

• Secure enthusiastic involvement from the client.

• Creatively solve the time issue.

And from all this…another, even greater, opportunity presented itself, that no one could have foreseen.

This opportunity took the whole project to a new level, increased everyone’s excitement and commitment and is now offering the potential for tremendous financial reward.

Can’t shuts down thinking.

Can’t closes off possibilities.

Can’t keeps you stuck where you are.

Can’t is usually fear-based.

Can’t is inconsistent with successful leadership.

I’m not saying that just because you reject the notion that you can’t do something, means that you should (we’ll talk about should another time) or have to do it.

What is most important is to:

· question your assumptions
· get clear about your vision
· know what you are (and are not) committed to
· Become willing to step into the unknown to find solutions that make your vision possible.

This week, watch how often CAN’T comes up.

See what happens when you shift to How might this become possible?

Let me know how it goes.

Sharon Rich helps people lead the way to new possibilities for themselves and their businesses. For more, visit www.leaderhshipincorporated.biz


1 Comment »

  1. Excellent points Sharon. Learning how to identify risk and how to negate it fits right in as well. This is part of the process I take new business owners through when writing their business plans. It ensures they have consider all possible issues that may arise and in-turn reducing the fear that tends to immobilize and prevent success.

    Comment by Ted Saul — January 12, 2010 @ 3:57 pm | Reply

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