Sometimes the last words we hear before disaster strikes is, “Don’t worry, I got this.” What that really means is, “no, I don’t need any help.” It is right at that moment when we hear that small voice saying “help me, help me.” So if we need the help, why can’t we just ask for it? Because we equate asking for help as a sign of weakness instead of strength.
Everyone at some point in their life has worked for that one individual who, against all odds, refused to ask for help. This individual’s world may be crumbling down around them, but he or she is determined to persevere on his or her own merits rather than seek external input. Instead of leveraging other people’s strength, he or she ascribes to the philosophy of “faking it, until you make it.”
The truth is that all successful people and organizations have asked for help along the way. If we had all the answers, then there wouldn’t be a need for anyone else. There is a human connection that is made when we reach out and ask for help. It is a connection that unifies and builds trust. It demonstrates humbleness and lays a foundation for innovation.
When we ask for help, we actively seek the collective wisdom from external perspectives. We acknowledge our lack of understanding, ability, or information and demonstrate a willingness to learn from others. We need to stop perpetuating the “self-made man” myth. Success is a product of action taken as a result of seeking input from others and learning from failure.
Steve Jobs said it best: "I've never found anyone who's said no or hung up the phone when I called-I just asked. And when people ask me, I try to be as responsive, to pay that debt of gratitude back. Most people never pick up the phone and call, most people never ask. And that's what separates, sometimes, the people that do things from the people that just dream about them. You gotta act. And you've gotta be willing to fail, you gotta be ready to crash and burn, with people on the phone, with starting a company, with whatever. If you're afraid of failing, you won't get very far."
Learn. Grow. Lead Up.
Who do you ask for help?