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  • Writer's pictureYehuda Israeli

No we can't Yes, we can... protect our limits by saying no

Nate never had the ambition to manage people. He was a tech guy in his soul. Since he was 12 years old, he connected with the computer and remained connected. Since then the magic to be a hacker consume him even more. The commanders of the cyber unit in his military service recognized his talent and passion and he climbed up the rank ladder. When he finished his army service, he and two of his partners understood what an intellectual treasure they have. Their ideas and knowledge had a big value. In the civilian cyber security industry investors were standing in line. In the army, he managed a small team but that did not prepare him for the job he was about to take.

The other two partners were not as people-oriented as he, so reluctantly he agreed to take on the CEO role. Now he was the one that needed to face the dozens of people that demanded something from the company. Employees, suppliers, clients, and board members, all needed something from him. The most difficult thing for him was to say "No!" which lead to exhaustion. He sought psychological support when it became clear that it is just too much. He couldn't meet all the demands that were thrown at him, especially a certain client who demanded a change that would divert the whole direction of product development.

When we met he was still trying to defend the thought that all his objectives were just as important, but when we did the simulation of what would he do if just couldn't like if he was sick, covid, pregnant wife or you name it, it became clear that if forced, he could prioritize. It is the disappointment of others he couldn't bear. When he agreed to do things he couldn't it only made the relationships more complicated with the people who threw their demands at him. The straw that broke the camel's back was the dilemma if to satisfy this particular client or keep on going in the line of development that was planned. He agreed with some helplessness that he cannot always satisfy everyone and he stopped sacrificing himself to the stress. He stopped feeling guilty, stopped blaming others for his guilt, and with compassion, he said again and again "I'm sorry I can't". To his surprise, people accepted his helplessness and found other solutions.

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