In Action, Leaders

“You are never strong enough that you don’t need help.” – Cesar Chavez

We work almost exclusively with small- to mid-size businesses. One of the things I consistently see leaders in those businesses struggle with isn’t innovation or efficiency or sales. It’s isolation. It’s the fact that in terms of leadership they’re on an island. These unfortunate people end up trying to do everything a leader’s supposed to do without any support whatsoever, and the results are rarely what they’re hoping for.

Part of the problem is leaders don’t always look for help. We’ve been trained by our society to think that we should be taking on every single thing we can and that “winners” do all of those things really well. The unspoken flip side of that is that anybody who can’t handle it all themselves is somehow failing. Nobody wants to admit to that.

Sometimes leaders isolate themselves due to their own ego. They think they have to look like they know everything (some even think they do know everything). They think that if they ask for help or try to learn & grow it makes them look weak and/or incompetent.

The reality is that none of us can be experts at everything. It’s not possible. None of us knows everything there is to know about our specialty, never mind the dozens of other things we’re faced with. In particular, no leader ever reached a point where they didn’t need to continue to learn & change & develop – and it’s hard to do that sitting alone in a room with the door shut.

So go get help. Find a group of other leaders in the same boat. Very few things are more powerful than peers who help each other grow and hold each other accountable. If you can’t find a group of peers (or even if you can) find a coach. Or a mentor. Somebody who can help guide you, who can encourage you when you need it, who can challenge you when you need it, somebody who can just listen when you need it.

Whoever it is, find some help. Don’t believe you have to go it alone to be a success. Don’t let your ego get in the way. Get some support. Asking for help doesn’t prove you’re weak – it helps you become strong.

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