"Learn to say no to the good so you can say yes to the best." - John C. Maxwell I love this quote, but I struggle constantly with implementing it. It makes total sense, but as a persuader, my leadership style is to include and to invite more and more into the conversation and the huddle. I have a hard time saying no, because for me that feels like I am excluding someone. I've learned how to do this, but it still goes against my natural leadership style.
But as leaders, we have to be willing to say no in order for our time and energy to be spent on the things that only we can do, as well as the few ideas or projects that will end up being the "best."
Reality is, the more influence you gain, and the more your organization grows, the harder it is to say no to the good. And with more influence, you have more opportunities. With more and more opportunities, the more we have to make decisions on what we will focus on and where we will expend our time, energy and resources.
The key is to know what you do really well. The areas you are great. Spend your time and energy on those things. Be focused. Give up on trying to do everything. On trying to be all things to all people.
Remember, saying no doesn't mean you don't like someone or something. It's not personal. You have to be disciplined and focused on a few things to be great.