Contributed by Steve Herz, a talent agent for broadcast journalists. His new book is Don’t Take Yes For an Answer: Using Authority, Warmth, and Energy to Get Exceptional Results was released in June 2020 (Harper Business).
1. What do you mean when you say we shouldn’t take “yes” for an answer?
In the book, I lay out my argument that three factors over the past 30 years have created an artificial sense of excellence and created an echo chamber of “yes” for many of us—the participation trophy, grade inflation and the lack of firings by businesses, in lieu of euphemisms like downsizings and reorgs.
So the person on the wrong end doesn’t even know they could have done something better. And without that signaling, we get stuck in what I call the vortex of mediocrity.