The “Yes Man”: every team needs one

thumb-up-441938The person who always gives an unqualified yes can be irritating and easy to hate for their peers, dangerous for their leaders and aggravating for their subordinates. If you couldn’t tell from that summary, they’re not my favorite archetype. This may be because my tendency to say exactly what I think, regardless of the consequences, makes myself and the Yes Person like oil and water.

I have faced an executive leader and laughed so hard at his idea that I nearly fell out of my chair. In retrospect, that was probably not the wisest move, but he found it “refreshing,” so I was forgiven. In contrast, the stereotypical Yes Person in the same situation would nod, agree and find a way to make it happen, even if the idea was laughably inappropriate for the organization.

Over time, I have learned that while I do not want a team full of this type, the Yes Person serves an important role in any organization. They have the ability to say “Yes.” It may not be the best strategic decision in the history of humanity, but gosh darn it, we’re going to make it happen. And that will to make it happen, the unwavering belief that impossible is unacceptable, makes the Yes Person a vital part of a well-balanced team.


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