How to Say “No” to Your Boss

Or Worse: Your Boss’s Boss

Preston Smalley
Aug 23, 2018 · 5 min read
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An Exec gets an idea from a teenager that lives next door. Imbued with optimism, the higher-up urges you and your team to drop everything and put all hands on deck. This is where we should be focusing right now.

1. Stop Thinking in a “Yes” and “No” Binary

2. Identify the Issue

3. Enable Your Team Members to Weigh In

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4. Sleep On It

If the circumstances allow it, give yourself a chance to process the findings before presenting them.

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Whiteboard drawing of “NASCAR-style” PayPal icons down eBay Search Results (2002)

5. Present a Data-Driven Decision


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Product Management Insider

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Preston Smalley

Written by

Product & Tech Leader for digital TV entertainment, two-sided marketplaces and mobile apps used every day by millions of people. http://www.prestonsmalley.com

Product Management Insider

The exclusive data and insights that enable 17,000+ product managers to win. Subscribe via email at productmanagementinsider.com. We are powered by Alpha.

Preston Smalley

Written by

Product & Tech Leader for digital TV entertainment, two-sided marketplaces and mobile apps used every day by millions of people. http://www.prestonsmalley.com

Product Management Insider

The exclusive data and insights that enable 17,000+ product managers to win. Subscribe via email at productmanagementinsider.com. We are powered by Alpha.

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