This word might be the most important word in the English language.
This word is an essential ingredient to assertive and responsible decision-making.
Here is the word: 

Proper use of this word will signal to the world around you who you really are.

It clearly communicates what you really believe, what you stand for, the value you place on your integrity and the limit of your courage.

When it is properly used, you do not have to write it in bold letters or italics or underline it. When you say it in a conversation, you do not have to shout it aggressively or feel like you need a bullhorn to announce it. Just a soft, firm “no” will work just fine if it is sincerely and assertively stated.

This two-letter word can be the most useful in a creative follower’s toolbox of words. It can prevent you from losing your integrity. Saying no can keep you from deviating from the unifying purpose. You can protect your boss from embarrassment. It can secure your role as a valuable follower. There are people who have a gift for making people say yes rather than no—and a creative follower must be on guard when in the presence of those who make it hard to say no.

When you are negotiating to buy or sell an automobile, a horse, or real estate, if you are not willing or not able to say no, you will never make the best possible deal—and you could get stuck with a really bad one. If the wrong person proposed marriage to you, would you say no? Of course, you would! But what would you do if the boss asked you to tell a lie? Would you be able to say no in the very same way? You can and you should be able to say it quickly and assertively in both cases.

While I was working as a restaurant equipment salesman, I negotiated a cost-plus contract to furnish all the equipment for a new restaurant. The buyer was a good-natured, easygoing man whom my boss perceived to be very trusting and naive. The boss told me not to let the buyer know the full extent of the discounts we received from the manufacturers because the buyer would not know our real cost.

This was my reply: “I will not lie to you and I will not lie for you.” The subject was never brought up again.

Learning how and when to say no is an essential ingredient for confident assertiveness and responsible decision-making.

Learn to say no.


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