Winning Is About Yes

by Sandy Nelson on October 1, 2012

In my first career as an architect, I had the privilege of leading teams that won quite a few prestigious design competitions. Most often, we won because we had the courage, audacity and confidence to put forward and build compelling business cases for big ideas.

The big idea is almost always simple. The big idea is almost always obvious – once revealed. In virtually all cases, simplicity is synonymous with essence.

To find the essential in any opportunity requires a willingness to do the hard work of patiently, persistently, and doggedly peeling away layers, an artist’s mindset – open and non-judgemental – and a willingness to risk failure.

There are few more valuable skills today than reducing complexity to essence. This unique way of listening, seeing and communicating lies at the very heart of effective leadership.

Keeping in mind that leadership is an outgrowth of influence, not title, the push organization wins by being open to and creating space for leadership to emerge at any level.

The same is true for you and me. If we want to win in today’s creative economy, our job is to let go of and step away from that pesky inner voice that so often tells us no.

Winning is all about yes.


Sandy Nelson

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