“I’ve been blessed to find people who are smarter than I am, and they help me to execute the vision I have.” ~Russell Simmons
“No one who achieves success does so without acknowledging the help of others. The wise acknowledge this help with gratitude.” ~Unknown
Do you want to accomplish more? Do you want to do it quicker? Do you want to foster collaboration? Then practice consciously asking for help at least once a day. You will be AMAZED at the results.
In today’s business environment we simply do not ask for help nearly enough. We may ask for it occasionally, but we almost always err on the side of not asking for help as opposed to asking for it. This leaves us struggling in areas of weakness, spending less time in areas of strength, and making mistakes that could have been avoided. The reasons are relatively obvious:
We will show how much we don’t know – So we struggle to learn something that may have limited value later on, we make mistakes others have made before, and we create a substandard result because of it. All this so that we can manage our image and save ourselves the potential embarrassment.
We will get turned down for assistance – The classic fear of rejection scenario that ignores that you will be successful a certain percentage of the time, focus on the wins, not the losses. Along with this is the fear of being a burden on others, which neglects the fact that you can return the favor of time and expertise.
We prefer to count on our own efforts/knowledge – This confused sense of “ownership” is just an excuse for our unwillingness to listen to others or our poorly developed ability to manage the work of others.
However, when we lean on the expertise and wisdom of the entire organization we create synergies (such an overused buzzword, but without assistance from others it is impossible), and this creates amazing results for a company:
- Better Products/Results – Sharing the wisdom and experience to get it right the first time.
- Greater Employee Engagement – Subject matter experts will often come from your staff
- Quicker Learning Curves – No need to cut a new path when someone else has already blazed a trail before
- Greater Empowerment – By letting people run with areas they are comfortable with, you can confidently let them take charge
- Greater Collaboration – The very nature of asking for help, builds greater collaboration between the parties that wouldn’t have existed before.
- More Time, not Less Time – Less miscommunication, more time in your areas of strength, less time in your weak areas, it’s Economics 101 and it all creates more time for you to accomplish even more.
So start by offering your assistance where you see it could be used and asking for assistance with some small things. As you work on this and see it grow into larger functional areas, you can be look back on it and see that you were the person who helped create greater and greater collaboration within you company. But it starts with you offering and asking for assistance once a day….get to it.