Last week I delivered a keynote speech for the Sunny Peaks Girl Scout Leaders on Doing Our Best By Doing Less. The retreat was held at a Forest Service cabin near Parks, Arizona and I had the opportunity to speak outside with a beautiful backdrop.

As a former Girl Scout myself, I love supporting the organization. I know how dedicated these women are and I wanted to support them. Girl Scout leaders focus on doing their best for their daughters and the girls in their troops. They care so much that they often end up overcommitted, stressed, and pulled in too many directions. It can feel like they cannot say no. However, if we don’t say no we are unable to focus on what matters most and are unable to do our best for the people we care about most.

I have been there. I am guilty of saying yes to too much and not being able to do my best for any of the people and organizations I care about. We all do this. This is a rampant chronic problem in volunteer-led organizations. Our generosity and volunteerism is our greatest source of strength. It is also our achilles heel.

It is difficult, but when we practice saying no and setting healthy boundaries for ourselves and our teams (or troops), we gain more clarity and focus. We feel grounded.

I know what you are thinking… but my girls need me.

They do, and that is exactly why we need to take on this challenge. We need to be courageous and say no to things we previously would have said yes to. We are leaders and their is someone watching us who needs us to be the example.

In this short video clip I tell a story related to that:

I then went on to show the leaders a few practical tips for how to say no, set priorities, and focus on what matters most. I give you permission to say no. When you do, you will be asserting your power and gaining strength as a leader. We need more caring, generous leaders who are also powerful and strong. You’ve got this! Start doing less so you can do your best.

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