I’ve always been that guys who’s willing to jump in and help.
I’ll step up, even if you didn’t ask for the help. Afterward, I get that warm, fuzzy feeling that comes with doing something good for someone. It’s not that I want any public affirmation; it’s just nice to know, personally, that I can help. It doesn’t take much to find a need; after all, there are so many people out there who need help.
How many of you do the same — help everyone else out, but never ask for help yourself?
Be honest with yourself: Does asking for help seem like defeat or weakness? What is it saying to those you’re so willing to jump in and help out?
I lived in the corporate world for many years, where asking for help was a sign of weakness. You didn’t want to do that; instead, you wanted to pull up your bootstraps and suck it up. To make it happen, or someone else will. Not only is that a tough environment to work in, but it’s tough to sustain.
I’ve been attending the Global Leadership Summit for many years as a way to hone my skills and learn from some of the world’s greatest leaders. While this year’s lineup of speakers might have been the best ever, I caught myself reflecting on what Dr. Brene’ Brown had to say from her book, Daring Greatly: “You can choose courage or comfort, but you can’t have both.”
It’s not our job to have all the answers, but to ask the questions. How many times, as a leader, have you felt you needed to have the answer when the question is asked? You can’t give somebody something you don’t have. You can’t offer help if you can’t ask for help. Nobody wants to be judged or criticized for asking for help.
It’s not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.
The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes up short again and again …
[B]ecause there is not effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause …
[W]ho at best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly…
— Theodore Roosevelt, “Citizen of the Republic” Speech, April 23, 1910
We need to step outside our comfort zones, build up the courage, and ask the question. Do you need any help? (Yes, you.) Next time, ask the question: Do I need any help? Then, make the ask — Can you please help me with … ?
Mike Klockenbrink is chief of staff at Lakeside Church in Folsom, CA. Mike worked for W.W. Grainger Industrial Supply for 16 years in many different capacities. In January 2000, Mike quit climbing the corporate ladder and started climbing the Kingdom ladder. Klockenbrink can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.