All About Flex: Saying Yes


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During the Reagan presidency, First Lady Nancy Reagan championed the advertising slogan “Just say no” as part of a “War on Drugs” campaign. The message of the campaign was intended to protect children from the harmful effects of illegal drug use by offering various ways of saying “no.”

With due respect to Mrs. Reagan, it is important to recognize that within a business context, turning the slogan 180° is also a very important message. The world of printed circuit fabrication and contract manufacturing are generally business models of custom engineering. Suppliers of these products and services often run into unusual applications, requiring special processes and stretching beyond what is comfortable. A balance is necessary, but a message supporting a strategy for new customers and part numbers could be (over)simplified to a statement of “Just say yes.” A further refinement might be to modify the statement to, “Just say Ye$!” This helps convey the message while properly reflecting the incentive for being adventuresome.

I found a wonderfully related summary explaining why this makes sense. Not only for companies, but also for individuals. It was taken from a commencement speech that the Google President Eric Schmidt made at Boston University several years ago. In his speech, Schmidt encouraged the graduates to do the following:

Find a way to say “Yes” to things. Say yes to invitations to a new country, say yes to meeting new friends, say yes to learning a new language, or picking up a new sport. Yes is how you get your first job, and your next job. Yes is how you find your spouse, and even your kids.

Even if is a bit edgy, a bit out of your comfort zone, saying yes means that you will do something new, meet someone new, and make a difference in your life–and likely in others’ lives as well. Yes lets you stand out in a crowd, be the optimist, stay positive, and be the one everyone comes to for help, for advice, or just for fun. Yes is what keeps us all young. Yes is a tiny word that can do big things.

Say it often.

Schmidt goes on with more words that resonate with this message.

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