AV integrators have a problem—and they’ve brought it on themselves: They just don’t know how to say no.
Laura Stack, founder and CEO of Leadership USA and president and CEO of The Productivity Pro, will talk to the 400 or so attendees at the 22nd annual NSCA Business and Leadership Conference next month and give them tips on how to more effectively say no—but not risk losing those key clients.
“People are afraid to say no, but you can do it—delicately and with some training,” says Stack, who will present a keynote address, “What to Do When There’s Too Much to Do” and lead a breakout session called “4 Things That Suck Productivity—and How to Fight Back” during this year’s BLC.
“We just don’t know how to say ‘no’ enough,” NSCA executive director Chuck Wilson said on a planning call with Stack for her upcoming BLC session. “We’re problem-solvers so we want to be there to fix things. We spend a lot of time apologizing when things go wrong.”
AVI-SPL’s Dale Bottcher says part of the issue comes when leaders are hesitant to delegate tasks to others in the organization.
“People want to keep their hands in everything,” he said on the BLC planning call. “It’s about having the willingness and creating the process that allows you to delegate and then shifting your role to one that’s more strategic than about what’s going on day-to-day with your business.”
Stack agrees that transition is crucial.
“There are one-offs where it’s better for you to do it yourself, but if you continue to do that, you’re not filling your own pipeline,” she says. “We get in our own way someTips for times.”
Tips for Increasing Productivity
Wilson says today’s non-stop reliance on technology could be to blame for the inability to say no.
“With all of these productivity tools, people can’t disconnect from work anymore,” he says. “People seem to be overly distracted when they’re multi-tasking and they end up not doing a good job on any of the tasks when they take on too much.
“We’ve overleveraged our collaboration resources to the point where we’re doing too much,” he says.
Stack agrees, saying, “We never really pay attention to any one thing.” She hopes those who attend her BLC session will hear that message but expects many will be on their phones or responding to emails.
“People are tired of hearing, ‘do more with less,’” says Stack. “You really want to be doing less and achieving more. If you don’t make time, it doesn’t appear.” When you set aside time for a specific meeting or task, she says, it’s crucial to have a plan for that time that maximizes it for everyone.
“We want to do things by design rather than default,” says Stack.
In her breakout session, Stack will highlight how the acronym TYPE (time, yourself, people and energy) are the four primary time-suckers and what to do to help with each.