Leading Out Of Your Heck, Yeah!

Leading Out Of Your Heck, Yeah!
Thomas Thompson
April 12, 2022
min read

I work with many leaders who struggle with overcommitment, saying yes to opportunities, meetings, projects that they CAN, but SHOULD NOT do.  

Because it is hard to say NO.

But good leaders learn to say no to the GOOD so they can say yes to the BETTER.

So how do you learn to say no?

You can say NO with confidence when you know what you have decided to say YES to.

In other words, Leaders know their Heck, Yeah!

When I first started coaching, I said yes to everyone.  If you were breathing, I should coach you!  

But as I have progressed in my leadership, I see that I am NOT the best coach for everyone.

There are people and situations that I am well suited for, and some where I am not.

And as I coach leaders towards focus and leveraging their leadership, I have to coach MYSELF towards that as well.

Good leaders STEWARD their time, energy, and focus with WHO and WHAT best gives them return on their investment.--Thomas Thompson

In other words, they know their Heck Yeah!

One way I steward my Heck, Yeah! is by using a filter to focus on which clients I work with. My filter was formed with two powerful realities:

REALITY #1: I bring my BEST when working with a client is a clear and motivated Heck, Yeah!

REALITY #2: I STRUGGLE to bring my best when I agree to work with a client that is not a clear Heck, Yeah!

When I have a clear motivation for working with someone, I CATAPULT out of bed on the day we work together. I think about how to serve them when I am in-between conversations.  I have energy to push through the hard or less than stellar sessions.

But when I work with someone without that clear Heck, Yeah! I find my attention drifts, my passion wanes, and my coaching heart deflates.  

And it almost goes without saying that working with someone that should be a Heck, No! is a values violation that hollows me out.  This would be working with someone just for the paycheck, or out of a lack of courage to say no.  

So when I consider working with a client, I want to land on a Heck Yeah!  To get there, I ask these five questions:

  1. Is this work deeply interesting to me?  

I get deeply interested when a point leader wants to level up their own leadership, scale their team, or navigate a transition in their life. I catapult towards these conversations. 

  1. Does this align with my purpose?

I find my life as I give it away towards Advancing God’s Kingdom, Seeking the Flourishing of the City, and Helping Leaders Steward their Lives to Finish Well.


  1. Will this engagement multiply my impact through the people they lead?   

I want to steward my life towards impact by coaching leaders of leaders.


  1. Does this value my investment?

I want to rightly value the exchange of my time, energy, and focus for coaching someone.  I also find my life as I give it away, so I look for opportunities to give coaching away to people and causes I believe in.

  1. Is there a clear problem with an agreed-upon finish line we can solve together?

My coaching heart activates when we identify a clear coaching gap and a sense of urgency towards closing it.

And the gut check to all of these is my sense of calling.

  1. Is God calling me to serve them?

Sometimes I step out of my filter because I sense God’s leading me.  This is one way God keeps me on my toes. 

This filter helps me live a life of intentionality, alignment with purpose, and stewards well what I believe God has entrusted me with.

What filter would YOU create? What is your Heck, Yeah!?

Take some time to begin drawing up YOUR filter. If you want a good place to start, begin by exploring these Two Questions to Narrow Down Your What’s Next.

When you are clear on your Heck, Yeah! you can confidently say no to good things to stay focued on the better.

Thomas helps leaders navigate what’s next in their lives, leadership, and teams.  If he can serve you in this, reach out to him HERE.

Photo by Frank Leuderalbert on Unsplash

I founded Thompson Leadership to come alongside leaders like you. Together, we will unpack your unique leadership, unearth your biggest challenge, and create an action plan to close the gap between where you are and where you want to be.
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