Enter The Yes-How Principle.

Check out some big picture and every day life wisdom a business owner within the Keller Williams family posted a week or so ago. Seth Campbell is a super-star within the real estate industry. He’s an Operations Partner within the KW system, a Regional Director for KWRI, and owner of The Five Doors Network which is highly successful KW expansion model real estate team (over 1,000 transactions/year).

While I’ve never met him, I believe my first knowledge of Seth came from listening to a podcast called The Whiteboard, which is a show that was made popular by the owner’s of Pipeline Wizard.

As my buddy, Dan Hamilton, posted on Facebook, “Incredibly simple yet profound mindset shift here…I can think of many ways to put this principle into practice. Thanks for sharing, Seth Campbell.”

I can see where some folks may have their crawl-space ruffled by this, and that’s OK. I understand on the surface of this topic there may not be enough “NOs” in this world. After all, our kids have a million toys, phones, etc. and so many folks in business and life want to say “yes,” when, truth told, they can’t follow through on their promises. That said, what Seth is saying is there is a path to a “yes,” but if the “how” isn’t introduced with it and the inquirer doesn’t want to make the “how” happen, then the “no” is on them.

Further, there is certainly a fresh-air, sense of positivit(y) about it.

As awesome as Seth’s post is, my favorite part may be the small comment exchange that ensued on Facebook. Dan’s answer is good, and Seth’s makes you want to say, “Oh, snap.” You’ll see at the bottom of the post.

Thank you!

Franklin Jones


One of the most fundamental leadership lessons I ever learned was the Yes – How Principle.  There I was, years ago, an up and coming manager at McDonald’s pressing on one of my leaders that we could be better, accomplish more, perform at a higher level.  I had that same passion and high expectations back then, I was just a lot rougher around the edges in my leadership.  I was crossing the line with him… one of my greatest mentors ever, and he explained something to me that has forever shaped my leadership, my mindset, my parenting, and my husband skills.  He explained that there are two kinds of people in the world, the YES-HOW people, and the NO-WHY people.  The YES-HOW people would hear a new idea, solution, mandate, standard, urgent need, etc and automatically respond with a form of “YES” and immediately go to:

  • “Here’s how I think we can get it done.”
  • “I’m ready to learn how.”
  • “How have others made this happen?”
  • “How can we get that implemented right away?”
  • “I’m not sure I even know how to do that, yet I’m ready to go for it.”

The NO-WHY people automatically respond with a version of “NO” and go to:

  • “That won’t work because…”
  • “Here’s why that’s a bad idea…”
  • “Here’s why I can’t get that done…”
  • “I’m too busy, don’t know how, why why why why…”

At the time, unfortunately, he was explaining it to me because I was a NO-WHY person and decided to switch teams.  Now, as a rule, in our organizations, we only subscribe to YES-HOW.  It works in all things, even the difficult ones.  Someone outside of my 20% wants a meeting?  Yes, here’s how… in 3 months, or after you take this class, or after you achieve this milestone, or after my 20% is done, or here’s how to be in the inner 20% circle, whatever.  My son wants a toy at the store?  Yes, here’s how… save up and buy it with your money.  Would you like to learn how to make some money? I read somewhere that kids hear 6 NO’s from their parents for every YES and that’s why they grow up to stop dreaming and believe they won’t be able to take risks or accomplish certain things.  I’ve decided to keep my kids’ brains defaulting to YES and HOW as they enter the world.  I believe it will take them far and it can do the same for the people around you in leadership.  Every time you hear yourself saying “NO” figure out how you could’ve done a YES-HOW and see how much that opens the possibilities for the people around you.

Chris Slick Being YES-How has its curses, though. Because if you don’t have a team around you that also thinks the same way–you’re going to be stuck doing all of the “How” by yourself some days.
Dan Hamilton
Dan Hamilton That’s why you use it for hiring too!
Chris Slick
Chris Slick That’s why they pay you the big bucks!
Seth Campbell
Seth Campbell Yes I can do that, here’s how… I accept your resignation and find someone else who will get it done .

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