“We are all here on earth to help others; what on earth the others are here for I don’t know.” – W. H. Auden
Pride can be a valuable thing. It can motivate us to achieve great things. It can keep us going when every other part of us wants to quit.
But, of course, it can have some negative side effects. Sometimes that push, that pride telling us we can do it, is also telling us we can do it alone. And the reality is that there are a bunch of things we probably can’t do alone – never mind all the things we could maybe do alone that would simply be done better or more efficiently or more effectively with help.
Even if you physically had the talent or skill to do everything (news flash: you don’t), you simply don’t have the time. There is no way you could get to it all. You have to have help, and you have to have lots of it.
So think about your business. What are you really good at? What do you do for the business that is most valuable? Hopefully those things intersect, at least to some degree. What about the stuff you aren’t good at, or the stuff that isn’t valuable? Why are you doing that? Think about the people around you – which of them could do some of those things?
Think beyond today. Maybe there’s somebody that right now doesn’t have the skill set to tackle some of those projects or tasks or responsibilities. Could they develop those skills? What are you doing to make sure they are getting the coaching or training or development that they need? Is there training you should be providing? Or should they be going outside the organization for it?
Maybe there isn’t anybody in your organization today who could help. If that’s really true, then you need to find somebody outside. The world has become a small place. They don’t have to be living just down the street. There are 7.5 billion people in the world – all you need are a handful that would fit.
Leaders often feel like admitting they need help is an admission of failure. What’s really happened is that they’ve admitted that they’re finally ready to succeed. Don’t let pride keep you in the same cycle of mediocrity (or worse). Get help now.