When I started working many years ago, I showed initiative, solved problems and got things done. I was rewarded for it, so I continued to work a lot of hours and do those same things throughout my career. When I started to lead a team, I should have realized that my job had changed and I needed to do things differently.
This happens to a lot of new leaders, but even to those like me who thought that they could do it all. I had been promoted from within a group where I knew everyone else’s jobs. I could give them all the answers and even do their jobs for them if something needed to get done. My actions did such a disservice to my team, the organization and myself. My team was not growing and I was not developing them. I could not sustain the hours that I was working and continue to get everything done. I was doing my best to keep things afloat, but I was definitely sinking.
I began to really look at how I was approaching things and changing how I led my team. I started asking questions, instead of giving answers. I delegated to them, coached them and focused on helping them get opportunities for exposure. Although I was feeling good about my progress, I realized that there was one thing that I had not improved yet. Once you have a larger scope of responsibility and things are changing rapidly, doing it all on your own isn’t possible. I wasn’t good at asking for help which didn’t set a good example for my team. It also limited the great ideas coming from others. Bringing all of those ideas together created things that were so much better than I could ever do on my own.
I share this lesson with others who are leading a team, looking for a job, learning something new or struggling with an issue. Getting help from a mentor, a coach or someone who has been through it can enable you to move quickly through the learning curve. Asking for help is a strength, not a weakness. Having this mindset is key to the success of your leadership, your team and your organization.
If my story resonates with you, please set up time with me for coaching. Don’t wait until you are sinking to get help. Here is the link to set up an appointment.
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