Go it Alone or Ask for Help?
During this week I have come across several situations whereby a client or friend has discussed with me their problems or issues. Usually this is well after the fact and too late for me to assist them in solving those problems.
However, after some thought, I realized I was looking at a trend of issues from people who have the natural talent to be very successful – yet, are having difficulties in getting to that next level of performance. Why is this happening?
The clear answer in my opinion – they wanted to go it alone with no direct assistance from anyone. In all cases, they were basically flying by the seat of their pants when they encountered resistance or confusion. Again, why?
Because they were not asking for help from more knowledgeable or experienced people in the areas they were entering for the first time. Therefore, their learning curve had to use the trial and error method rather than the fast track method.
I was fortunate enough to have learned this amazing little factor during a business simulation game (yes, I know – a game! Well it was major fun and the debrief was amazing for instant learning.) Before rushing head long into the fire (crisis), step back and think about what you are going to do, who could help you fast track the solution based upon their experience or knowledge and how would that relationship impact my future?
In all the cases that I reviewed this week, major amounts of time were wasted therefore impacting their overall performance and success. They all had a reason for not asking others for assistance before they launched into activity mode. And the biggest reason was ego.
They did not want to bother anyone else was one response. They did not trust the other people to get the job done – as well as they would do it. And, the other most popular reason, “I can do it better and faster” – which turned out to be false.
In summary, it is great to have a personal drive and accountability to get things done. And, it is perfectly okay to ask others to assist you in areas you are uncertain, have no experience, or lack valuable insight to a critical situation. Balance between always doing it yourself and asking knowledgeable people to assist you in critical times is the mark of the true high performer. Focus on the outcomes, manage your ego and involve others to get the immediate assistance you need for higher levels of execution.
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