Leadership Advisory, Executive Mentor, HR Strategist, Culture Change, Wellness 

If it’s not a ‘hell yes’, it’s a no.


I was chatting to a client recently who was torn on whether to appoint a candidate to a key role. There was something holding them back from making the offer, a niggling feeling that perhaps the person wasn’t quite right. Would they take the risk of appointing them, or follow their intuition?

I love the title of Derek Sivers’s book, ‘Hell yeah or no’. Its message is a simple but powerful one. If it’s not a hell yes, then it’s probably a no.

This guidance can be applied to all areas of our lives, both in professional and personal contexts. How many times do we say yes just to keep others happy, when we’re really not feeling it? How many times do we allow ourselves to be pressured into situations we don’t want to do? How many times a week do we ignore our own needs?

For my clients talent decision, it wasn’t a hell yes so it was therefore most definitely a no. Our intuition speaks to us loud and clear if we pause long enough to listen to it. And as many leaders can attest to, a poor hiring decision can can have long-term consequences.

This guidance is also relevant to boundary setting. We get used to our boundaries being breached many times a day, from intrusive marketing and media, to competing deadlines and priorities, to feeling societal pressure to follow paths we don’t want to follow. Boundary setting is an important life skill that is vital to us standing in our power.

If we’re saying yes when it’s a no, we’re not in our power. And if we’re not in our power, it’s a hell no.