Leadership Skill: Asking for Help
I don’t even recall how the argument started.
Somehow a simple text message morphed from a few sentences to an arrow that found its mark, spearing into an area that was still inflamed from other hits.
You know how that happens. A few words conjure up deeply-held emotions, past hurts, yet unspoken pain.
We worked it out, my friend and I, and our friendship survived and deepened because of it.
At the end of one difficult conversation, he said something that stuck with me: “Skip, you may think you’re fully transparent, and I guess in some ways you are. But,” his voice trailed off.
I waited, wondering what the next words would be.
“But, you’re not really good at asking for help.”
For many years, I’ve told the people who work for me that asking for help is a sign of strength, not weakness.
There is truth to Richard Bach’s quote, “We teach best what we most need to learn.”
My Request for HelpKeep reading to see my personal request for help. I can’t tell you how appreciative I am for the assistance.
Learn to Ask for Help
I prefer to give—to be someone who serves. When I was a teenager, I worked in a restaurant and just felt better when I was the one pouring a drink rather than sitting there getting served. It just makes me comfortable. I’d rather host a party than attend one.
Pride can stop us from asking others. But so can humility. Pride says, “I have no need of anyone because I can do anything.” Humility says, “My needs are not worthy enough to bother anyone.”
So you can’t judge the “why” behind someone not asking.
Learning to ask for help just seems harder for some people than for others. When others ask in a polite manner for something, I’m in awe. It impresses me. I guess because it’s hard for me to do. And it’s a crucially important leadership skill.
Keep reading to the bottom and see what I’m asking.
Asking for help:
Brene Brown teaches the power of vulnerability. She says that, “Courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen.”
Increases our connectedness.
Nadeem Aslam writes, “Pull a thread here and you’ll find it’s attached to the rest of the world.” As I ask you to help me, I’m increasing that attachment to you and to others.
When we ask for help, we acknowledge our own limitations. The combination of a willing receiver and a cheerful giver is a powerful combination.
Expands our comfort zone.
If you’re uncomfortable receiving, then asking for help pushes you to the edge of your comfort zone. In this way, you are expanding and growing into a stronger and more mature leader.
It’s easier for me to not ask.
But, no, I’m going to take my own medicine.
I’m going to ask you for something. I’m going to ask for help.
See, I have a book coming out soon. And, though I know a lot about the publishing business, about distribution, about printing, about bookselling, and about libraries, I know I can’t do this alone.
I need your help launching the book and making it succeed. I need your help sharing the book’s message. I need your help getting the word out.
I have a strong belief in the power of the book’s message and know it will make a difference.
But writing a book is one thing, getting it out there into the world is another.
I’m doing the uncomfortable now. Can you tell? Can you feel my jumbled thoughts as I write this? How I’m fighting the urge to just delete the whole thing? I’m way out there.
“How can you help?” you may wonder.
How You Can Help
Here are a few ways:
- Buy 10 copies of the book for your team. Give it to your friends. It’s the kind of book that you’ll want to give away. It’s called The Book of Mistakes, but it’s really about success. If you can’t buy a bunch of them, I’d greatly appreciate you buying just one. It’s really great as a book for those starting a business, retirement, or even a new life. It can be especially useful to new graduates. AND I have an extensive list of bonuses for those who pre-order the book and buy one copy or ten copies.
- Join the launch campaign. It’s a great way to be supportive, see behind the scenes of a launch, and also get extra goodies and access! Just watching how it all works is an incredible experience. Applications to join the team are here. Hurry if you want to join! The team will be selected in the next few days. THE TEAM IS NOW CLOSED. THANK YOU!
- Share about the book on all your social media platforms: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Take a picture of you with the book. Film a short video. Blog about it. Whatever you can do to get the word out is appreciated. I will have shareable quotes from the book up in a few weeks for you to share. Use the hashtag #TheBookofMistakes. We will also post a quiz soon to show you what character is most like you that you can share.
- Join the Thunderclap campaign. This is super-helpful. If you’ve never heard about Thunderclap, it’s a way to stand out from the crowd. It coordinates the release of your message across many different accounts. It costs nothing and it shows your support. Some people hesitate using the platform because they don’t want to give access to Thunderclap. I get that, too, but it works and it has been used successfully for quite some time. To join the campaign, click here.
- Write a review on your favorite bookseller site. Most people don’t do this and yet it is enormously helpful. Positive reviewers hold a special place in an author’s heart. Negative reviews are the nightmares that wake us up. Obviously, you cannot do this until the book is out and you have read it.
I’m going to thank you in advance for your support and generous spirit. One thing I have learned from blogging all these years is how incredible you are. You inspire me each week to become a better leader.
Below are some of my favorite quotes about asking for assistance. It’s a skill all leaders must develop.
10 Quotes About Asking for Help
“Asking for and receiving help is a way to prime the pump of generosity.” –Jay Perry
“We can’t help everyone, but everyone can help someone.” –Ronald Reagan
“We are all here on earth to help others; what on earth the others are here for I don’t know.” –W.H. Auden
“Help others achieve their dreams and you will achieve yours.” –Les Brown
“You can have everything in life you want if you just help enough other people get what they want.” –Zig Ziglar
“If we are working together, that will make us understand each other, appreciate each other, help each other.” –Jack Ma
“Anytime you see a turtle on top of a fence post, you know he had some help.” –Alex Haley
“There is but one just use of power and it is to serve people.” –George W. Bush