Saying No to say Yes

In The Secrets of Consulting (a book, along with its sequel, about a lot more than consulting), Jerry Weinberg offered the Law of Raspberry Jam:

the wider you spread it, the thinner it gets

I thought about that a lot a few years ago when I attended the AYE conference (an experience I heartily recommend), along with the “Yes/No Medallion” that Jerry borrowed from Virginia Satir. Years onward, I am still struck by the  notion of saying No to say Yes. My inclination and habit is to say Yes to many projects, many features, many business ideas, many of everything. This has obvious benefits but also has a cost – sometimes I am spread too thin to have the impact I intend.

The fewer things I (we, you) focus on, the greater our impact on those top priorities. Of course there is inevitable pushback from associates, customers, and family members about Nos. This pushback is worth facing, because the more Nos, the more powerful the Yesses.

(An aside: in a half hour of online research, I was unable to definitively conclude where the name of the above Law originated.)