It Starts with Yes

My boys were watching the 2008 film, Yes Man, last week. The film is a romantic comedy starring Jim Carrey and Zooey Deschanel. In the film, Jim Carrey is struggling with life after his divorce; nothing seems to be going his way. Then he attends a “Yes” seminar where he commits to saying “yes” to all opportunities that present themselves. When he starts saying yes, his life turns around and positive things start to happen.

The film is a good reminder that we need to be open to new opportunities. We need to have the courage to try new things and expand our horizons. As leaders, our teams are always watching us. It’s our responsibility to show our team a leader who is courageous, open to new ideas, flexible to change, and willing to say yes.

When a team member comes to you and suggests a new idea or a new way of doing things, do you tell them we’ve tried that before, or we can’t do that, or that won’t work. Or do you say, YES, let’s give it a try?

This week, let’s see how many times you say no to new or different opportunities. Try to keep track of times when you are not fully open to a new idea or opportunity. Then next week, try to make a change by starting with “Yes.” See if you can record more Yes responses than No responses. When you start with Yes, your teams will also start with Yes. And you’ll create an organizational culture that is innovative, creative, nimble, confident, and courageous. But remember, it all starts with you and it all starts with YES.

Thanks for reading,

Ways to follow Dr. Jim Earle:
Twitter – @jvearle
Blog –
Facebook – JVEarleConsulting
Book – 100 Yards of Success: Leadership Lessons from College Football,


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