I am not an overly optimistic person. I am pragmatic and rational. But I am a firm believer in the value of finding the “yes.”
I do not say “yes” because it’s easy or because it’s always possible. I say “yes” because I believe good followers need to be able to find the “yes” in what their leader is asking. Let me be clear: I do not think good leaders need “yes men” in the traditional sense of the phrase. Emperors need to know when they are naked! It is not loving nor following well to allow our leaders to be blindsided or shamed or fail because we neglected to muster the courage to speak truth. HOWEVER, I do believe that finding the yes communicates a number of important things:
“Yes” publicly affirms our leaders.
“Yes” acknowledges your position as a man or woman under authority.
“Yes” creates a culture of humility and hard work on your team.
“Yes” demonstrates loyalty and honor.
Romans 12.10 says “love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honor.”
What better way to demonstrate honor than finding a way to do what is being asked of you?
As a follower, I always want to be able to find the yes for my leaders.
As a leader, I greatly value those on my team who are able to be resourceful and creative enough to find me the yes. More often than not when someone on my team tells me “no” it isn’t because they can’t do what is being asked. It isn’t even out of defiance or pride or stubbornness. It’s almost always because they either aren’t trying or thinking hard enough.
It doesn’t take much discernment or intelligence to find the problems or list the challenges in any given situation. Anyone and everyone does that. People who can identify the problem AND execute a solution? Those people are invaluable to me. They are the ones I want in every meeting with me, the ones I put more weight down on, the ones I look to invest in and develop.
For those of you who are more like me- that is, off the charts in SENSING on a Myers Briggs and nowhere near INTUITIVE- and are working for a dreamer, big picture visionary, which many ministry leaders and pastors are, it is critical to be able to find the yes. Dreamers do not appreciate your wet blanket or excuses or Eeyore spirit. They might be able to understand your hesitation or concern IF you can communicate those things with honor AND if you can create an alternate path to the same destination. Those who can find the “yes” more often than not prove themselves trustworthy and capable. So when they need to come back with a “Plan B” for consideration because “Plan A” isn’t going to work, good leaders will listen.
Finding the yes doesn’t mean throwing caution and discernment to the wind. It certainly doesn’t mean violating your conscience. What it does mean is effort, investment, and ingenuity.
Find the yes for your leaders because the time will come when you will be counting on others to be able to find it for you.