The “H"elp Word
How often in the last month have you used the “H” word? For most leaders, there’s a direct link between the number of H’s and the effectiveness of their leadership. That is, the more H’s, the better the results. Check out your leadership grade:
How many H’s in the past two weeks:
- 0 = D
- 1 - 3 = C
- 4 - 6 = B
- Over 6 = A
SPEED BUMP: To get an A, you need to be asking for help at least three times a week.
Skip the part about how you ask, and what the topic might be. If you need help on those, it’s a different discussion.
Once you decide to ask for help, whom do you ask? Here are the likely suspects, in order of helping power (1 is more powerful than 4):
- Boss = 4
- Peer = 3
- Direct Report = 2
- Outside advisor = 1
You may think this is backwards, but here’s why it is often correct:
1. Outside advisor: Forces you to face reality, not your fantasy. An outside advisor will challenge you with a clear motive of helping you. (Yes, some folks in your firm may not want you to succeed.)
Asking for help boosts your confidence in both your skills and your resilience, because it lets you be uncertain and wrong. Uncertain and wrong people who ask for help are a delight to work with.
SPEED BUMP: Step up and be the one who asks for directions. You’ll get there sooner.
Asking works because it provides at least these benefits:
- Forces you to frame the issue clearly.
- Gets it outside the clutter in your head.
- Pulls in another person, providing either better data or commitment or both.
ACCELERANT: When this week did you ask for help?
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