You may have seen something in my ezine about the Leadership program I’ve been attending. I say I graduated from the program because I’ll never be “finished” learning about leadership. Or growing in my own leadership.
One thing I loved about the program is how experiential it is. We didn’t sit around learning about leadership, we did stuff that showed us about it.
One of the activities we did drove home the strength of asking for help.
The fact is that leaders ask for help.
Does that go against the grain for you? It did for me!
I’ve long prided myself on being self-sufficient. In fact, it didn’t even occur to me to ask for help unless I was truly in the ditches with no way out.
In the activity we did around this, I was one of the last to finish because, hello, I didn’t get help. Even when I asked for it, I did it so half-heartedly that help didn’t come for a bit.
Ouch. That was eye-opening!
But think about it. You can’t do everything. You simply can’t.
If you have all the resources, skills, money and energy you need to create your dreams, you aren’t dreaming big enough.
And that was my problem. I was only dreaming as big as my self-sufficiency let me.
Now, it seems like every day I’m getting more lessons in the power and blessings of asking for help. I got another one today.
One of my Leadership tribemates (a fellow Crocodile) has a son who’s a war veteran. Tired of so much homelessness, joblessness and suicide, his goal is to help vets reclaim their lives and potential. He knows that Leadership will be huge in helping him achieve this.
Just this morning, my friend asked the tribe for help in getting him there.
The result of her request is that we’re going to start a gofundme page so her son will have the resources he needs to do this vitally important work.
And the tribe gets to support something we care about that will make a big difference. Don’t you feel better when you’ve been able to help someone else?
I’m telling you this because we have so many misconceptions about asking for help. We think crazy stuff like:
- It makes me look weak.
- People won’t want to help me.
- It’s not that important.
- I’d be too embarrassed and scared.
- There are people who need it more than I do.
Asking for help isn’t easy for most of us. It can feel scary. Terrifying, even. Especially when we’re telling ourselves stuff like that.
The other side of this is that we want to do big things in the world. To make a big difference. To help more people. And we want to grow as a person and business owner in the process.
We can’t do that and play small at the same time. We have to have help. Period.
Sometimes, we’ll find what my friend did this morning – that asking for help can open doors in a bigger way than we’d dreamed was possible. Sometimes, we won’t.
It comes down to this – be a leader and ask for help, or stay small and on your own. That can be a pretty lonely way of going through life.
Here are some things to keep in mind to help you (and me) with asking for help:
- Be clear about what you’re asking for. Be clear within yourself and with others. Don’t mumble or beat around the bush. Say it directly.
- Know WHY you’re asking. What’s the bigger picture? Why is it important to you and to other people? What difference will it make?
- Don’t take it personally if someone says no. Even when it’s someone close to you. If they can’t say no, it’s not an ask, it’s an order. You’re free to ask. They’re free to respond.
When you ask for help, you’re building a muscle. Even if the person says no, you’ve still exercised that muscle. You’ve gotten stronger simply from asking. And the next time will likely be easier.
This is important. The world needs the changes you and I can create, especially when we have help.
What’s something you really care about? What help can you ask for related to that? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below.