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Knowing When to Decline
I'm flattered to have been asked
One important facet of leadership is not getting spread too thin and then letting everyone down.
As you develop your leadership skills, you are more likely to have people ask you to be on committees, hold offices in organizations, coach teams or clubs for your kids, etc.
If you say yes to everything, you will have no time for anything. So, it’s a good idea to think about where you would like to have an impact and put your time and efforts there, and to graciously decline when someone offers you a position that doesn’t align with your talents, interests, or priorities.
You can ask yourself these questions:
Who do you want to lead?
Where do you want to lead?
How do you want to lead?
Figure out in advance what is important to you and where your efforts will be best utilized. If you don’t know how to play football, you should not be a football coach. But if you enjoy mentoring young professionals in your field and teaching them the technical skills you have spent years mastering, find more ways to do that.
If sitting through hours of political discussions make you want to beat your head against a desk, don’t run to be your state rep. But if you love getting people’s opinions, building consensus, and working on legislation that you can use to make people’s lives better, maybe running for state rep is a good idea for you.
One size does not fit all, and while everyone can and should be a leader at something, no one can or should be a leader of everything.