Yes I Can!
“Leaders always have Yes I can and Yes I will attitude.”
Opening Case Study :
Henry Ford –ALeader who believed in the Power of Yes I Can!
Henry Ford (July 30, 1863 – April 7, 1947) was an American industrialist and a business leader, the founder of the Ford Motor Company, and the sponsor of the development of the assembly line technique of mass production.
Although Ford did not invent the automobile or the assembly line, he developed and manufactured the ﬁrst automobile that many middle-class Americans could afford. In doing so, Ford converted the automobile from an expensive curiosity into a practical conveyance that would profoundly impact the landscape of the 20th century. His introduction of the Model T automobile revolutionized transportation and American industry. As the owner of the Ford Motor Company, he became one of the richest and best-known people in the world. He is credited with “Fordism”: mass production of inexpensive goods coupled with high wages for workers.
Ford had a global vision, with consumerism as the key to peace. His intense commitment to systematically lowering costs resulted in many technical and business innovations, including a franchise system that put dealerships throughout most of North America and in major cities on six continents. Ford left most of his vast wealth to the Ford Foundation and arranged for his family to control the company permanently.
There are many values visible in the life of Henry Ford that enabled him to be a highly successful business leader. However, it seems that his value of employees, belief in equality and emotional intelligence truly set him apart from others. Henry Ford’s leadership qualities enabled him to change the trajectory of workplace practices.
Ford set a terriﬁc example for valuing human capital. Though it was a shock to Wall Street, he increased worker’s wages to ﬁve dollars a day and instituted an eight-hour workday. He recognized that increasing wages and offering reasonable hours would serve to retain and motivate employees. “Because Ford had lowered his costs per car, the high wages didn’t matter – except for making it feasible for more people to buy cars” (Iacocca , Inc). Henry Ford even said “There is one rule for the industrialist and that is: make the best quality goods possible at the lowest cost possible, paying the highest wages possible”.
Henry Ford’s business decisions in the realm of diversity were a catalyst for the growth of equality in the workplace. He offered employment to women, African Americans, and disabled individuals long before most other businesses did so. In 1916, Ford employed individuals representing 62 different nationalities. At that time, the company also employed over 900 people with disabilities. Through the years, Ford went on to set standards of non-discrimination and equalize opportunities in many ways.
Before the term emotionally intelligent was even coined, Henry Ford appeared to embody this quality. His ability to understand that saving clients money made them feel more valued was a sure sign of emotional intelligence. He was sensitive to economic needs and took action to respond to customers in ways that showed he cared. Similarly, he was in-tune with the ﬁnancial and work life balance needs of employees. Because he hoped to show appreciation and understanding toward them, he implemented positive wage and shift changes. Ford even said “If there is any one secret of success, it lies in the ability to get the other person’s point of view and see things from that person’s angle, as well as your own.”
Like many leaders, Henry Ford broke away from standards. He was the ﬁsh that ventured away from its school and tried something different. He was also keenly in touch with people’s needs, which enabled him to know how to help them and in turn run a successful business.
How often do you ﬁnd yourself saying yes? If it’s often, good for you. I’m almost certain that you’re in a great place in your life. But, if you ﬁnd yourself saying no often, which is where many people are, do you realize you’re limiting yourself and closing the doorway to your best life?
Now, I’m not talking about saying yes to things that are truly no good for you, or being a “people pleaser” and saying yes to everyone and everything until you are completely (emotionally, mentally and physically) drained. I’m referring to saying yes for YOU! Yes to opportunities, new experiences, fresh ideas and discoveries that get you out of your daily comfort zone and attain the growth your soul seeks. When you say yes more often to what feels good (and is for your highest good) you open up the ﬂood gates of opportunity. Here, you gain more beliefs in your abilities. This newfound conﬁdence will bring even more positive momentum on your journey to success.
Saying yes brings miracles and opportunities that exceed your expectations. Google’s executive chairman Eric Schmidt said it best during his commencement address at the University of California at Berkeley: “Find a way to say yes to things. Say yes to invitations to a new country. Say yes to meeting new friends. Say yes to learning a new language, picking up a new sport. Yes is how you get your ﬁrst job, and your next job. Yes is how you ﬁnd your spouse, and even your kids. Even if it’s a bit edgy, a bit out of your comfort zone, saying yes means you will do something new, meet someone new and make a difference in your life, and likely in others’ lives as well. Yes is a tiny word that can do big things.
Say it often.” Saying “Yes” requires work, commitment and accountability, and sometimes that scares people away, especially if they feel unprepared or unmotivated. But here’s the reality: a yes will always give you more than a no. A no is guaranteed failure. Nothing is ever stagnant, so a no is usually backward progress. Sure, there is no risk in a no… but there’s no fun in it either. Saying yes can be very fun. In the fun is where you ﬁnd success”
- Practice saying “yes.” As soon as you wake up in the morning say, “YES, thank you for this day. YES, I know the universe will show me the way. YES, I am ready to receive. YES, I will move through this day with ease!”
- Be mindful of your responses. Next time you say “no” when your heart is really saying “yes,” ask yourself: Am I saying “no” out of fear? What would happen if I said “yes”?
- Take on the role. Do you want to be a better public speaker? Then, pretend you’re the best motivational speaker ever. Look in the mirror and then go over the top with animpression. Have fun. When it’s time for you to take the stage, remember this character.
- Add spice to your life. If you’re used to eating bland food, go to an Indian restaurant. If you love the water, take a ferry ride. Every week, try something new. It doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. Seek joy and adventure.
- Be supportive. If there is someone around you who is constantly saying, “No, I can’t,” then say, “Yes, you can!” Allow your afﬁrmative spirit to be contagious. Encourage others to take action and follow their dreams.
The three magical words, “Yes, I can”, become so very crucial and vital, as a ﬁrst initial step towards any positive thought or action. We can actually experience the unique power and wonder of these words especially during times when we feel very low, when nothing at all is going right for us. Telling ourselves “Yes, I can”with a strong belief and resolution can actually infuse a sudden current of zeal, alacrity, energy and cheerfulness in us. In one magic moment, a rush of positive thoughts and energy can drive away all the negativity we were drowned in even minutes back, encouraging us to suddenly spring up from a hopeless passive to an entirely new high feeling of enthusiasm, dynamism, creativity and optimism.