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Why ‘Yes’ Culture is a Big No

with Dave McKeown



Entrepreneurs should say yes to everything, right? Wrong. 

On this episode of the Making Bank podcast, Dave McKeown discusses his strategies to grow as a leader and a business. With many years of experience, Dave consults companies that struggle to keep up with their growth—or struggle to grow at all. 

“Say yes now, figure it out later” doesn’t actually work, and Dave explains why. He shares tips on how to involve your team and evolve as a leader. 

Listen to Josh and Dave discuss the Self Evolved Leader:

Dave’s Background (2:11)

Entrepreneurship runs in the family. Dave discusses how watching his father own several businesses sparked his interest for the field. As he grew up, Dave worked for his father’s consulting firm, coming to America to do so. 

Four years ago, Dave stepped out on his own and began his own business. 

Ignore the Noise (5:02)

One of the best things that Dave learned from his dad and his own company was to ignore the noise. Instead of politicking his way to success, Dave puts his ego aside to understand what is actually important for a company and how to get there. 

Sustained and Scalable Success (6:47)

Say yes now, figure the rest out later! That’s what countless entrepreneurs tell you to do. But does that actually work? Dave chats about the difference between saying yes and scrambling with a company of 20 vs. 2,000. He explains why that system is necessary in the beginning, but detrimental as you grow. 

Proving the Problem (8:58)

One of the biggest hurdles that Dave faces when consulting clients is convincing them of a problem. Oftentimes, companies either can’t see what is wrong or place the blame on its people. It can be easy to blame one individual or a group of individuals for issues much larger than them. Instead, Dave encourages companies to view their lack of revenue as a systemic issue that needs fixing. If you fix the system, you fix the problem. 

The Self-Evolved Leader (11:57)

Fast doesn’t always mean agile. The “yes” culture may seem exciting and fast, but ultimately, it takes longer. Dave distinguishes how making a quick decision doesn’t make an agile company. Anyone can say yes—but not everyone can deliver. Companies are agile, flexible and fast when they are clear on their roles and can deliver a product as opposed to making a snap decision. 

Executives of agile companies are what Dave calls self-evolved leaders. These leaders admit to what they don’t know and ask for feedback from their people. When a leader claims with absolute certainty that a path will work, Dave calls these hero leaders. They want to be seen as invincible, even when they aren’t. Self-evolved leaders grow as the company does. 

Developing Your Team (16:50)

One of the most important issues Dave touches on is delegation and development of the team. Oftentimes, leaders won’t delegate their work when they could be, or spending the time to help develop their team. However, you interact with your team every day. You may as well teach them and yourself how to be more skilled and efficient. 

Three Steps (21:51)

Zooming out, Dave identifies important concepts any leader in any field must follow to find success. He focuses on setting goals with your team, ensuring you give them the correct tools to implement those goals and figuring out your flow. By finding shared, compatible goals, employees will take on more accountability at work

Links mentioned:

Making Bank – Website