Analysts of power such as Hedrick Smith hammer the tactic of being an obstructionist. They're on the money. But few have deconstructed the force field which a simple "no" creates. It can set in play unique activity beneficial to the no-sayer. The trick is that it can't be contrived. Those saying "no" have to mean it.
From sophomore psychology class, we recall that one of the first concepts the majesty the baby learns is "no." After being indulged since exiting the womb the baby encounters real opposition in the environment. The rest of its life could be focused on how to get passed the "nos."
Actually, the ramifications of a "no" can be so profound that we have to be ready for the push-back. After a few brief assignments I recognized that the chemistry was not right between me and big name in her field. Nicely I explained that her budget (she was trying to nickle and dime me) was not geared to use my services. That set off a type of fatal attraction whatever. I really didn't want the work. Maybe that was the tipping point.
Given the field force established I likely could have derived from the relationship, had I returned to it, a lot of money. Maybe some great referrals. And association with a brandname. That's the lesson here.
The executive communications market is strong. So, I could choose and stay on the road less traveled: The "No" route. In different circumstances, I would have leveraged the power.