This right on so many levels. Being the go to person is a recognition of worth. It can be harmful to you as well.
You become known for your past and can find yourself spending more time supporting your past and helping other than looking after yourself and your future.
You can't please all of the people all the time and find yourself burnt out trying to do so. Learning to say NO is probably the most important soft skill you can learn. Saying NO doesn't mean being rude or blunt.
One of our managers is brilliant at it. I asked her if I could borrow a couple of her staff to review something I had done. She said, "I cannot promise you their time because their priorities are x,y,z. However, I can promise to look into it". Absolutely knocked me off my feet when she kept that promise within 3/4 of an hour. She came to my desk to confirm that provided my estimate for their time requirement was good she could let me borrow them on such and such an afternoon.
Sadly she isn't in my management chain anymore though I continue to learn immense amounts from her. She delivered a masterclass in the art of delivering a constructive NO.
- She is direct, open and honest when she says no. She doesn't give vague reasons and fob offs.
- A promise from her is a promise delivered. She won't promise something she can't honour
- She doesn't shut down the conversation, she will propose an alternative course of action or suggest you speak to an alternative but specific person instead. She will probably introduce you to them.