May 4, 2012
Yes You Can by Gina Breslin
“Yes you can!” These were favorite words of my father throughout his life. More often than not, these words were followed by an incredulous, “Why couldn’t you?”
Dad exemplified this can-do attitude continually, not only as an entrepreneur and a small business leader, but also in his personal life – in day-to-day relationships as well. He always encouraged others with his unwavering belief in them, and pushed them out of their comfort zone to do the things he knew they could do, but for which they lacked confidence. Dad didn’t ask you to do what you knew you could; he pushed you to do what he knew you could do.
Recently, I was approached by one of Dad’s close friends, a small business owner in Lancaster County. He asked me to take a moment so he could share with me his gratitude for how my father’s “Yes you can” attitude and encouragement changed his life.
This man had a business that was doing well and meeting his needs for 25 years. However, as is common in small family businesses, he endured hardships that at times seemed insurmountable, and even at times threatened the viability of the business.
In spite of the hard times and on more than one occasion, Dad encouraged him: “You’ve got to expand your business. I know it’s risky, but you can do it. The potential rewards outweigh the possible risks. Sure, expanding means buying more property, hiring more employees, taking on inventory, and of course all the insurance expenses that go along with these things; but you can do it. I’ve seen what you’ve done with your current business, and well, why wouldn’t you succeed in expanding as well?”
The man deliberated for a long time, wrestled with my dad’s suggestions and encouragement, and finally, a few years after my father passed away in 2004, took a leap with a major business expansion. To this day, he continues to run a successful business.
As John C. Maxwell, in his book Developing the Leader within You, states:
The disposition of a leader is important because it will influence the way the followers think and feel. Great leaders understand that the right attitude will set the right atmosphere, which enables the right responses from others.
Maxwell reminds us how important it is for leaders to possess a great attitude, not only for our own success, but also for the benefit of others.
Who have you encouraged in the last day or week? Have you said “yes, you can” for yourself and others?