The Monday morning staff meeting started like any other.

The VPs gave their “state of the business” in clever snippets, the CEO shared something inspirational he had meditated on over the weekend, and junior staff kept their mouths shut.


At the end when the team leader asked if anyone had anything to add the room was quiet. 


But, today I had something to say. In fact, I waited all weekend to say it! 


I had an idea, a BIG idea! I wanted to run it by the team and get a few head nods so I could move forward. 


Surprising everyone around the big glass conference table, I raised my hand and started to speak. 


I was nervous, anxious, and probably talking way too fast. I don’t think I took my first breath until I was done presenting. 


At first I was met with awkward silence.

Then my petit boss with a love of hierarchy started to speak, and it wasn’t good. She was listing out all the reasons why my idea wouldn’t work.

Of course she started every sentence with “thank you for your effort,” like that was going to cushion the blow, but it didn’t. Instead it made the sting even worse. While she was uttering her last objection she began to close her notebook as if to signal this meeting and conversation were over. 


I was stopped in my tracks. I was devastated.


Later that day another VP called me into his office. As always he was cool and collected as he pushed his glasses up his nose.

He instructed me to sit down which meant I was in for another one of his “back in my days” lecture. I figured he was also going to list out all the reasons why my idea sucked.

And that’s exactly how he started. I wondered if my entire day was going to be filled with every boss calling me into their office to share their top ten list. 


But, something interesting happened.

After listing out a few obstacles and pitfalls I might face, he then proceeded to ask me questions about how I might solve them. Was the conversation turning? We bantered around some ideas, he shared his 30 years of wisdom, and then asked me to take the first step in bringing my idea to life. 


I was shocked! He didn’t shut me down at all.


That day I learned an incredibly valuable lesson. I learned that there are two types of naysayers. There are the ones that try to stop you and the ones that try to support you. I learned it’s important to know the difference between the two.


“Stopping Naysayers” want you to fail. “Supporting Naysayers” want you to succeed


My petit boss with the love of hierarchy was a “Stopping Naysayer.” She wanted to stop you in your tracks, elevate your frustration, and sabotage your efforts. She did this throughout my entire career with her.

My cool boss with the glasses was a “Supporting Naysayers.” At first he seemed negative, pointing out all the possible obstacles and pitfalls in my ideas, but then he’d help me figure out how to avoid or minimize them.

I used to avoid him, but then I realized that was a huge mistake. I needed to seek him out because he could help strengthen my ideas and chances of success.


You are surrounded by both. Know the difference.


In fact, let me be that “Supporting Naysayer” for you, today. 


If you don’t learn how to innovate in changing and uncertain times, you are going to struggle. 


If you don’t learn how to communicate your ideas for buy-in you’ll never get the traction or success you deserve. 


And, if you don’t learn how to unlock your innovative mind when it’s your greatest competitive advantage in a competitive world, you will be exhausted, playing catch up your entire life. 


Now, like a “Supportive Naysayer” let me help you solve all of that. In fact, I hope you’ll let me make it easy for you. The Everyday Innovators Online Toolbox has the top tools, insights and community to help you be your absolute best, achieve more and gain the edge  in our uncertain world. 


A series of micro-lessons, live events, weekly nudges, Q&As and more, ready for you, when you need them most. A wealth of insights like this one, and easy to apply tactics to help you be razor sharp, proactive and ahead of the game. 


And because I’m feeling like a very “Supportive Naysayer” today, here’s a code for a discount (valid only for today, Friday April 29th)


You guessed it, the code is naysayers


The code is good for individual and team purchases.